sitting at one of these fake wooden desks, which in addition, happen to be too small for anyone other than a kindergartener. my ap books towering feet above my head. pencils sharpened ready to go, side by side with high-lighters and implements of ink as well. crisp, freshly torn notebook paper, ready to be scribbled frantically upon- knowledge waiting to be recorded. the teacher enters their domain- although, it’s a wonder they have even developed their vocabulary to that extent. he briefly looks around in the small lecture hall, eyes a few disciples who are texting away on their only means of communication to the outside world. ahem he calls, eyes piercing their guilt-racked faces. they look at each other in disdain, stand up from their desks, and as they walk down the shallow carpeted steps, turn off their best friends. his hand is held out, demanding and welcoming- he knows he’s taken away their “lives” for the next hour and a half. as they place their compact technological devices in his hand, he turns to me and gives me a smug grin.
why does he assume that i’d take pleasure in his recent victory? its not like i care what those kids do with their time in this public institution. just because i’m known for my attentiveness, my timeliness, and my intelligence doesn’t mean that i experience pleasure when i see random folk being disciplined. the students make their way back to their desks, and the teacher puts his newest prizes in the bottom drawer of his escritoire. the room is overcome with silence, his presence demands that, and somehow, our intuition hears his demand. my hand reaches, out of habit, for a pencil at the far left corner of my own desk. rummaging through the papers on his escritoire, he spends a few moments and begins to write in white chalk on the board. the hour goes by, with sounds from chattering neighbors. the teacher sitting behind his menacing desk, me, observing the clock. before the end of the period, the teacher rises from his throne and beckons us to open up our backpacks and get out our homework. students bend over in their seats, reaching through their bags and gathering crumpled sheets of hard labor done in their spare time.
i remain sitting up in my seat, he approaches slowly, cautiously, and is finally in front of me, grinning down with a look of pride in his eyes. his hand reaches out for my MLA formatted essay. i remain idle. he clears his throat. i didn’t care to do my essay last evening, and i don’t think i will care to do it any other time. he asks, where’s your homework A+? i look at him, eyes discerning his wretched face. he doesn’t deserve to be a teacher. he discriminates. frankly, i respond, i didn’t do it. gasps from my neighbors arise. its almost as if it was a widespread panic. whispers, bewildered expressions- all this over my simple response. sure, a response that is certainly not in my nature- but i didn’t do my work, and i shant do it anytime in the near future. his face contorts, i see his blood pressure rising. didn’t do it? he asks.
i respond, yes. his mouth twitches involuntarily. sweat is forming at his brow. he’s not sure what to do, he believes deep down that I haven’t met his standards. to most it would seem that way, but, perhaps, the one aspect about being an over achiever that is somewhat beneficial- is my rationality. who deemed his standards to be the standards i must abide by? the public school system you say? well, to be blunt, the public school system is going down the shitter. oh, now you pin the standards approval to the superintendent? well, he’s a washed up professor who graduated magna cum laude from John Hopkins, and instead of pursuing the job that’d be typical of one who majored in the medical field, chose, and yes, I emphasize chose, to come back to his hometown and be named superintendent. Some choice. There’s a saying, one that I heard many a time, but best known from Jack Black in the School of Rock, and that is, if you can’t do, teach. I suppose that’s what my teacher decided to do. Couldn’t become a writer- well then, why not teach writing? Its been apparent to me, ever since I entered kindergarten, that I was in fact, being taught by failures. A better tomorrow? Well, not if the failures of today are our only resources to mastering a skill. And if we do so happen to master a skill, won’t we be mastering a failed skill?
*now of course, I do appreciate teachers with all my heart and without their aid and expertise, I wouldn’t be who I am today, and I have certainly had my fair share of good and bad ones. This monologue is categorized as fiction- but to be entirely honest, it has caused me to think a bit more than usual about the teachers who aren’t so great.