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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Guilt Intermingling with Relief

So I'm on maternity leave. To save money, we've pulled our daughter out of daycare so it's not proving as restful as I would like, but it's always wonderful getting to spend more time with her.

What really concerns me is what's going on at work without me... I left behind a student who always seemed to get himself into trouble whenever I wasn't around to keep him in check, and so I feel like I'm dooming him to a hugely unsuccessful end of the school year... But then I remember that he came to us with all F's anyway, so we may just maintain status quo.

Even more concerning in my substitute teacher. I'm so trying my best not to judge, but I really don't have a great feeling about her. Without sharing rather personal things about her, let's just say that the more she shares about herself, her past, her opinions of education, etc. the more I think she should quit teaching altogether and never darken my life again. 

She's not that bad a person, just not someone I'd ever choose to hang out with because we're just very different people. For instance, when I see someone is incredibly busy trying to get all her work done before going on maternity leave, I don't stand there blathering on, and on, and on, and fucking on, about my personal life and even go so far as to ask for feedback. It got to the point that I stopped even politely "hmm"ing and just turned all my attention to my monitor to type up reports on my students. I felt like screaming "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?" when I drifted back to her bubble of reality to hear the words "Do you think I did the right thing?" I didn't even hesitate: "I can't speak to that. I've never been in that situation before..."

I seriously came very close to crying (I'm not even joking, I really was worried my eyes were about to start brimming with tears) when she continued to talk after I said something along the lines of "Sorry I'm not much of a conversationalist but I've really got to get these reports done" and she even went so far as to get my hopes up to say: "I really should let you get your work done" before proceeding to continue making the least productive use of oxygen and vocal chords in the history of humanity, barring perhaps this classic, sterling moment in oral history:

When she finally left, I had to proofread my reports to make sure I hadn't made any subliminal insertions such as "fuck my life", "maybe I could fake contractions", or "would she notice if I emptied my water bottle onto my crotch before yelling 'MY WATER'S BROKEN'?"

There's far more I could say that would really horrify you, but I shouldn't really. Rest assured it's a lot worse than it seems. If I reacted to her that way, I can't imagine how my much more mentally unstable students will react. I guess I'll keep an eye on the local news to see if there's any news story about a substitute teacher getting stabbed in the throat with a number two pencil.


PHSChemGuy said...

Your kids wouldn't know to preface such an attack with a line like "Wanna see a magic trick?", would they?

SeƱor said...

Don't hold on to the guilt for too long. Enjoy the time with your family. As badly as the kids at school need you, it's your family that really needs you.

Just from reading your blog it's obvious how hard you work with your students and on their behalf. But the sad truth is that if something bad happened to you (sorry to sound morbid) things at school would carry on just fine without you. It would be your family with giant holes in their hearts. Again, I'm not trying to sound morbid, but if you've worked at school long enough to start to see your co-workers die, I think you would agree with my point.

Best wishes for your family with the arrival of new baby. Don't let her steal all the spotlight from big sister. :-)

Bdubba said...

Been there done that 3 times! No matter who is taking over, it is not you and (even if we don't admit it to them) we love those students and want the best for them (aka us!). It is somewhat analogous to handing over your child the first day of day care to come back to work. They will be fine (of course not as fine as you being there but your leave is for you to put your biological first 24-7). Trust me, it will all be there waiting for you when you return! There will be good, bad and ugly to deal with - rest up!

TeacherLady said...

PHSChemGuy, hopefully not. One student said that one day while holding up a pencil (my black Goth kid), but what followed wasn't bloody mayhem.

Senor, that's not morbid, that's just true. I don't fool myself that my students would descend into complete desolation without me, I just know it'd be easier for them if I were there rather than that specific woman!
And yeah, we're doing our best to plan for opportunities to continue putting daughter number 1 in the spotlight.

Bdubba, to be honest I kinda look forward to the funny stories that are bound to crop up around my not being at work! I must tell Hot Asian Babe teacher to take notes...

x l said...

I tried to watch Miss South Carolina, but I honestly just couldn't do it.

I hope things go well.. I mean, with you and your final moments of pregnancy and with that substitute..

Good luck!