You know you work in a tough high school when you…
1. feel an overwhelming sense of pride when one of your students cares enough to cheat in an exam.
2. are not surprised to find an uprooted tree in your classroom when returning from lunch break.
3. once had a student suspended for plucking out his pubic hairs and flicking them at the girls during class.
4. have at various times confiscated items found in a student’s bag including a pet rat, 2 homing pigeons, a feral kitten, a snake and a bag of filled water balloons.
5. receive an email from a Deputy saying, “If you see Mr. Bloggs on the school grounds today do not approach him. Call me. He may be armed.”
6. set the absolute final, no more extensions! due date for any assignment by saying, “I am doing your reports Tuesday morning. Give it to me before then.”
7. cannot leave white chalk in the classroom because students will steal it to write, “F**k you” and “I am a c**t on the back of each other’s school shirts.
8. regularly receive letters, cards and emails from well behaved students begging you not to quit like their last 14 English teachers.
9. bring soap to class so you can send male students to the bathroom to wash penis drawings from their arms. (my husband wonders why they didn’t draw breasts instead)
10. spend the entire week before Parent Night inspecting files, folders, textbooks, blackboards, display boards and student jerseys for aforementioned penis drawings.
11. are an expert at dealing with belly button and nose piercing emergencies.
12. can’t allow students toilet breaks during class time. The toilets are locked because one of your students keeps setting fire to the toilet paper.
13. regularly send certain students to deliver a sealed letter to the Principal that says, “Please give Bradley (many Bradley’s are naughty) an errand to do and do not, under any circumstances, send him back to my classroom. Thank you.”
14. accept that climbing in and out through the window is a perfectly acceptable way for students to enter and leave the classroom, even when the classroom is on the second floor.
15. form close friendships with fellow survivors (former students, their parents and colleagues).
16. are not alarmed to pass a classroom at lunchtime and see students have made a huge pyramid from their desks and are perched on top of it, watching a video of the Muppet Show.
17. consider not informing certain students (and swearing the others to secrecy) when changes are made to the classroom roster.
18. are delighted when particular students become chronic truants. You are even more delighted when their parents avoid enquiries about the whereabouts of their child through phone calls, letters and the truant officer.
19. understand exactly what a parent means when they say they are, “all parented out” in regards to their offspring because you are “all teachered out.”
20. receive a prestigious teaching award and the first student to send a card congratulating you will be the worst student you ever taught (he actually turned out okay).