Welcome back to school!

Lawrencedale MI (TWP Press)

Teachers at Lawrencedale Public Schools were welcomed back to school with a celebration of all things legal, political, marsupial, and maniacal. Superintendent John Underwood began by explaining the school’s lack of money, facilitating no funds for retirement, extra-duty pay, and dry erase markers.

After these awesomely cordial opening points, Underwear went on to texplain that the school had reduced so many employees that there weren’t enough left to man an accreditation committee, so Lawrencedale would no longer have national accredidation.

Instead of pausing to acknowledge teachers who won awards, attended and presented workshops and conferences over the summer, finished their master’s degrees or became nationally-board certified or master teachers or in any way celebrating education and the daily work of teaching and learning, the welcoming comments continued with the introduction of Richard Coppley of Coppley, Coppley, and Hicks, who took off his seersucker Gregory Peck/Atticus Finch-wanna be blazer and updated teachers on new legal issues concerning education.

As the morning drug on with no bathroom or stretch or water breaks, Coppley delivered an 82-minute speech on the process of hypothetical court cases involving cocaine-sniffing teachers, drunk-driving teachers, and teachers committing other “acts of moral turpitude” and or just “being a crummy teacher.”

“One joint of marijuana, one doobie, is moral turpitude,” said Coppley to the teachers, who had not heard the word “doobie” used since a Foghat concert in 1982.

The teachers sat enthralled by the lawyer’s expertise, enabling them to create meaningful lesson plans, collaborate with one another on the curriculum, write welcome letters to parents, devise first-week activities, and enjoy the academic process of returning to a structured life of the mind with 100 or so students storming the doors.

More encouraging verbage included how the voucher program was killing public schools, how the separation of church and state was being bulldozed, and how FERPAs, 504s, IEPs, 911, C-Paps, photosynthesis, and 411 work. Then after a brief word from Superintendent Underling that included a rambling story about a dog in the outfield at a little league game, test scores, and the price of tuna, teachers were allowed to stand.

By noon, the teachers were so full of rules, laws, pessimism, putrefaction, and puke that they were, indeed, happy to be educators at Lawrencedale Public Schools, and pleased to be treated as un-thinking professionals who had not been cognizant of national education news and trends until Mr. Coppley opened his mouth before them only a few short hours prior in the never-to-be-retrieved past.

Waitress Tawny Cummings at the Train Wreck Bar and Grill in downtown Lawrencedale told TWP that the sale of Margaritas, Bloody Marys, and Jagermeister shots spiked at lunch that day.

In the afternoon, teachers were entertained by guest workshop presenter Betsy Pretzel, who taught  almost 2 years before beginning her career as a dynamic, experienced teacher and professional development speaker. Pretzel’s topic was on something whose title had a double negative in it. Toothpicks, color-coded 4 x 6 index cards, and jokes about the teachers sitting on the back row were all introduced.

The bartender at Train Wreck, Matt (refused to give last name), told TWP that he was out of all his cheap gin and tequila before the dinner shift even began.

Welcome back, teachers!




Filed under Teaching Whore Press

7 responses to “Welcome back to school!

  1. Okiescifi

    Well, just needed a place in which to spew for a minute and thiought this might be the perfect spot! I am so FRUSTRATED with this profession and with administrators who are continually belittle-ing (?) my education, certification, experience, effort , and time. WHen I am constatntly asked to give up plan time (they often refer to planning period as “break time”) to cover a class, attend an administrative meeting, or to do some other task I am shown that my time and effort mean nothing! Teachers are asked to do more with less and we usually stand up and produce, but this year I have been TOLD/Commanded, not asked. We cannot do more tasks with less time. If I teach 5 different High level classes, and have no time allocated to plan/prepare for these, how are TEST scores suppose to be better????? Legislators, administrators, and others need to give us the tools to succeed, just as we strive to give our students all of the tools that they need to succeed! I don’t have the answers, but I am getting a better image of the problems and questions!

    • I hear you! Really, I do. There is a lot I like about the new school I’m at this year, but it’s a tiny school and the principal NEVER gets subs, which means, we are always losing our planning periods, and students are continually shuffled around when a teacher is gone. We don’t even get paid for this, which I think is probably illegal. I haven’t had the TIME to look into it. I think that teachers are continually being taxed to make up for what is not happening for kids at home. I also think that the schools continue to do a remarkable job–better every year. It’s just that every year brings a new kind of test–tests that students never used to take. And those students who never used to jump through all kinds of hoops (I include myself–and anyone who graduated 15 years or more ago), seem to have have done all right despite them!!!

  2. Sean

    Sorry folks, I didn’t miss the opening day, nor have I missed teaching…thought I would, but I have not…We had 53F here in East Texas this morning after about 250 days of 100F+ heat. I sat on the back deck and took my coffee, and asked. ” What do I get to do today?” Pulled a few weeds, talked to my 77 year old neighbor. We decided we would plant a fall garden together of squash, and some fast growing peas…I can’t wait until tomorrow. 🙂

  3. Okiescifi

    Hey….I did not see you at our first in-servaice day….but I snow you must have been in the audience! I was especially SHe droned on for about an hour (and I have no idea what she spoke about!) and probably left thinking that we ahd all listened very attentively as the room was quiest except for snores and such!

    Here is another interesting note: over 1/2 of the SDE budget goes to Pearson Testing! THat money does not get reduced or “cut”.

    Better stop here…
    Have a great year!

  4. Yeah! Only a week until school starts! I am so looking forward to that first staff meeting! This post brought it all back to me – what had taken me all summer to get over.
    I hope you had a good break!

  5. gilda

    OMG-you nailed it 100%! How to inspire us for the year, and really, really, really make us want to come back to work. You rock!

  6. Nothing like giving you all of the good stuff first so that you know you have the best job in the world!

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