It was the end of the year and I was pretty much at the end of my rope. I had been working a long term Chemistry assignment from February to April. It was probably the closest I’ve come to a mental breakdown. One time, I spent my whole break crying my eyes out. Don’t feel bad for me because I can laugh about it now. I remember it like it was yesterday. A young lady stayed until the end of class to tell me that she was applying to her dream military program. She was extremely worried about not getting in but I gave her words of encouragement before she left. (All of this done with tears in my throat) As soon as that door closed I let out the ugliest cry ever.
Looking back on it, I’m like “Bitch what is wrong with you? Why were you having a whole breakdown in these people’s classroom? You know you would’ve been shame if somebody walked in like ‘What the hell is going on here?!’ ” But hey sometimes you gotta let it out, right? But I quit that assignment because fuck them kids. I decided that it would be in my best interest to take an assignment at my alma mater. (I was very off base for doing that.)
No one told me until later that this was one of the worst Chemistry classes at the school. I kept seeing the Assistant Principals in the hallways circling around and guarding the doors like sharks. I’m like “What the hell is going and do I need to leave?!” But first period was a breeze so I felt better.
I had spoke too soon. Second period came and before my eyes, it turned into that Mall scene from Mean Girls when everyone turned into jungle animals. This time it was mixed with the essence of an NBA Youngboy video.
At one point, I vividly remember the kids propping up a phone, going on Instagram live, grouping up and holding their index cards like money. Before the live ended, they threw up no less than 300 index cards to make it rain.
I said nothing more than, “I have been lead astray.”
There are large swinging windows on the first floor. One of them were opened and I just so happened to look up. All I see is a young man doing a running start from the other side of the classroom and him flying out of the window like Matilda’s black friend. His body was prostrate like Super Man. I swear I am not making this up…or maybe that day didn’t really happen….I don’t know anymore. I quit that long term assignment as soon as the bell rang.
So I decided that I would end the year as a sub for Special Education. These students were so sweet but without experience, you really are not much help. But in this department, you are in a room with the students and like 5 other guides/teachers; which should make it better. But it turned out that I had actually entered a season of The Bad Girls Club.
One day they were taking the students on a field trip to McDonald’s. Long story short, they forgot to ask one of the veteran teachers to go and allowed me to go instead. This lady went off. “I’VE BEEN ON THIS JOB FOR YEARS! YOU WOULD THINK THAT I WOULD’VE BEEN ONE OF THE FIRST ASKED. MMHMM. I’M NOT GOING. THAT’S IT FOR ME.” One lady yells, “NAH THE SUB CAN STAY!”
Everybody is trying to make her feel better about it. Whole time, I’m thinking “I KNOW IT’S FOR THE STUDENTS AND I’M HAPPY THAT THEY CAN EXPERIENCE THIS. BUT LADIES WE ARE TALKING ABOUT MCDONALD’S! A FIELD TRIP TO MCDONALD’S, LADIES!” (In my best Allen Iverson voice) I get up, grab my purse and say “I’m not even pressed to go to Mcdonald’s. I’ll stay. I’m not even tripping.” She says, “No it’s not you. I’m not going though.” Then this other lady, who would be my friend one day and then shade me the next with her other shady friend, tried to give me all the tea on the department which I could give two damns about. This is also the same lady who bragged about being from Jamaica every hour, not exaggerating. I could say my dog just died and she would say “Well In Jamaica when dogs die…” I can’t forget about her mean friend with the Cora from Madea wig. She tried to randomly antagonize me on day, by almost sitting on my lap to fit in a seat between me and Ms. Jamaica.
One morning out of the clear blue sky, they decided to put me in the classroom by myself. I have no experience or training in this field. One of the classroom leads says “Ms. L, we’re going to have you cover Ms. Smith’s class.” Ms. Smith’s class was made up of higher level students, with some emotional problems. I said “Me? Just by myself? Like with no one else?” She said “Yes….they’re bad but they listen.” In my head I’m like “Bitch, you’re dead wrong for this.” She leads me to the classroom like she knew something that I didn’t know. She tells the students to behave and leaves. Seconds after she leaves I hear, “That’s why you got yo ass beat by ______ at the bus stop, which soft ass! I’m get_____to be yo ass again!” I’m like…….
After a long beautiful summer, I found myself back in the classroom because I ain’t no bitch. The school year had started about two weeks prior but I put off on subbing because I didn’t have it in me. But I bit the bullet because who doesn’t need a little extra money? Plus, you’re really not doing anything except for monitoring a class room.
My first day I was not a happy camper. I woke up mad, got in the car mad, and definitely got to school mad as hell. My mom dropped me off and I’m not sure if I was mad that I was subbing or grappling with a mid 20s crisis. My mom said “Ok love you, see you!” I grumbled back “Ok love you see you” and shut the door. Her and my stepdad pulled off like……
I got to the office and aggressively grabbed my papers from the secretary and she smiled. (I feel pretty bad now that I’m thinking about it.) I got to the classroom and of course, it wasn’t unlocked. My first thought is…
So I walk back to the office and tell the secretary. Again, she smiles and calls maintenance to unlock the door. I finally get back to the room.
I have a good 30 minutes before the kids came in. So my minutes pass and the bell rings. Students start piling in and one of the first things that one of them yells is…
She looks over and sees me sitting at the desk and says the infamous line, “Oh We gotta sub!” She proceeds to say…
Could I truly be mad at her? Well no, because it kind of had a ring to it.
This is my second day at this particular high school. I ended up having the same class as the day before. But this one particular period use to act like they were off a bean. The class’s spokesperson always came in loud as hell like…
I’m just like….
Me:…………….Can y’all come in here without being disruptive please?!
Other boy: Heyyyyyy Missss!
Boy: Damn so you can say hey to him and not me? Wow that’s fucked up….
Since grade school, I’ve had this incessant knack for doodling. Damn near would’ve doodled on my diploma if it was handed to me. So I doodle on my attendance sheets even when I’m in class. It’s really bad. One morning, I was subbing for a graphic design class. And by 4th period, the the office called up to my class room and I let the student answer. They asked to put the sub on the phone.
Secretary: “Hi! You’re doing your attendance perfectly but can you tell the student, WHOEVER it is, to stop drawing all over the attendance. These are actual important documents.
Me: I sure will! (Meanwhile I’m looking like Doodlebob on the phone)
I walk back to my desk to an already drawn on 5th period attendance sheet and white out the entire top and write “- Sorry” next to it. What a shame.
This boy came in talking how he was saving up for a car, very loud and proud.
Boy: “Yeah I’m saving up for a car…”
Girl: “You got your permit?”
Other boy: “HELL NAW! HE DON’T EVEN HAVE AN EDGE!”
This particular instance made me mad and happy at the same token. So there is this Mexican boy and this white boy who seemed to be friends or just friendly classmates. They’re talking about immigration, Call of Duty, American etc. I already had to put him in his place after he said that it should be a requirement for immigrants to speak English. But then he says….
White Boy: Hispanic women love being on their phones. They can’t even put it down for 10 minutes!
Me: WHAT KIND OF STEREOTYPE IS THAT?
White Boy: That’s just what I’ve experienced.
Girl: THAT’S NOT TRUE! I’M NOT ON MY PHONE 24/7.
White Boy: Well you don’t count because you’re a boy. (Hispanic girl is transgender)
Girl: Well are you assuming my gender? Because I identify as She/her. And that’s on Period!
Me and Girl to the white boy :
Ah, there are so many stories that come with this job. It makes it a little more enjoyable. I’m actually still typing this up at one of my assignments right now. But again, it’s all about finding the humor in life guys. These situations we’re in are only temporary, so you might as well look on the bright side. Laugh a little. Everything’s going to be alright I promise.