I have to write this down before I forget it.
It was mid July and I received a letter in the mail. “There have been some changes to your position and you will need to come to @#$#% School (Note to reader: The symbolized curse words will be in the place of things that I have forgotten) to the Parent’s Night to find out about your new position.” I couldn’t believe it. I had three years left before retirement and I wasn’t going to be doing the job that I loved so much at Smithland Elementary School in Harrisonburg. I interrupt this dream to ask especially, my teacher readers: Can you imagine this nightmare? Coming to a Parent Night and not even knowing what you’re going to do? And no, I don’t know why I didn’t call @#$#% School to find out what I was going to do.
It’s Parent Night. I must have called my Mom and sisters because they all came along to @#$#% School for the big reveal. Jack sat dutifully beside me and my Mom and sisters were behind me. (Insert some psychology: This must be a metaphor! 🙂 ) The lights begin to dim. The spotlight lands on a large sequined woman. It’s Mrs. @#$#% , the school principal. She begins to sing some lyrics that go like this: “It’s a new school year at @#$#% . Our jobs are so important. Our jobs are so important…” and then it goes into what can only be described as a Broadway Back to School Spectacular Spectacular (nod to Moulin Rouge) Frankly, it was raucously inappropriate for a Parent Night, but this was not reality, friends. I need to remind everyone that this was my dream last night. Mrs. @#$#% starts introducing the teams of teachers. Three teachers got up with the 5th and 6th grade team so I decided I’d go up and introduce myself. “Hi. I am Mrs Rimer (this is weird because I haven’t ever declared this at a school event) and I received a letter that I would be teaching here. I really have no idea what my job will be.” Mrs. @#$#% whispers like Shere Khan the snake in Jungle Book, “There has been a change of plansssss….stay after the program.”
And in the Blose sister way, I went back and told one sister what she said, and then another would ask “What did she say?” because no one listens in my family or they come up after the story is half told and then you have to start all over again. It’s a family trait. 🙂
Mrs. @#$#% invited me into her office where there were plenty of pictures of her from previous Parent Nights in different sequined dresses. I was pretty sure that our educational philosophies were going to clash. “Mrs. L (wait I thought I was Mrs. Rimer), you have been hand selected to be a teacher for a very special group of 12 8th graders. They need your energy and your excitement. And because they can’t behave for anyone else, you will teach them math, reading, science, social studies, art, PE, music and computers. (Ok. At least I don’t have to teach library) You will get a 30 minute lunch break each day unless they get out of hand.” I didn’t say anything which is not like me. I leave her office and everyone is standing there. I tell them about my new job. Everyone is furious. Jack said, “You are not doing that.” I have no choice! “I need to teach 3 more years or I have no retirement!!” I shout. So I go to my room, and there aren’t 12 8th grade boys but there are 24. I notice one has salt and pepper hair. I recognize him. “Wait. Aren’t you @#$#% ? I taught you in 1991.” “Yeah. It’s me, Mrs. L. I never got past 8th grade.” “Why didn’t they just push you through and give you a participation diploma!?”
And that was it. I don’t remember anything else. The good news is that I can do anything for three more years.