A First-Year Teacher’s Experience

A sample from Book 4: Exert From Chapter Three

[Book 4 was written in 2007-14.] A First-Year Teacher’s Experience. I was shown my classroom right off the bat. It was big but the teacher I was replacing left me nothing. Did you hear that? Nothing! There was a filing cabinet full of stuff—five drawers of it, and I had to go through it all.

Did I mention that I was hired a week before school started, during which time the school parish held its in-services—a term I would become very familiar with, but still don’t quite get the structure of the terms in and service used together. What these in-services are about?: They are really meetings where teachers are given instruction on something or other. Some of them are worthwhile, while others are a total waste of time. I’ll get into that later.

So, that first week I began collecting paper (that’s another thing teachers do) at these in-services. By collecting paper, I literally mean collecting paper—stacks of it. And every additional meeting—there was even more of it. Who knows what was on them—I never had time to read them.

That was in 1999 and in every school I have taught in since, I’ve always generated the read-later folder which collected three or four sheets a day (on a slow day). Did I say none of this got read! This is mainly so because the later part of the folder title always got pushed back for the next hour, and then the next day until before I knew it, it was the end of the year and the whole folder, or two, went into the trash. What a waste of good trees! So, needless to say, tackling that filing cabinet had to wait until after the meetings.

In the mean time, after the meetings for each day that first week, I spent any free time in my classroom getting it ready. That’s what Henry Wong called it. He’s the guy who wrote the bible on classroom discipline title The First Days of School—I have the book. In fact, just about every teacher in the south received a copy because the system bought it for them. You may have one, too.

We made Wong and his wife really rich! I read it several times. I’ve practiced some of the things Wong suggested. Some works but a lot didn’t. But it is a good book to have when you are first starting out. So, teachers spend hours, days and nights, making sure everything in their classroom is perfect—at least the ones who care do. The only ones who really don’t do this are coaches.

In my opinion, coaches don’t have to care because they already have their students’ respect before they even walk in the door. If they don’t have the student’s respect, then guess what? They’re on the bench. What power to have! To have the power to say: You suckers cut up now, you’ll pay this afternoon.

Then at game time, when you bench them, you don’t have to even explain yourself, you just give them the look (you know the look, the squinted don’t-even-ask look), and then they shrivel down on the bench vowing never to open their mouths again in coach whoever’s class. That’s power!

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Additional Readings On Politics and Education

(Each page has loads of additional books (in every format), videos, instruction materials, and inspiration gift ideas.):

1984 by George Orwell

American By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag by Sarah Palin

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Culture Warrior by Bill O’Reilly

Decision Points by George W. Bush

Executive Orders by Tom Clancy

Godless: The Church of Liberalism by Ann Coulter

Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai

Leadership and Crisis by for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel—Why Everything You Know Is Wrong by John Stossel

The American Presidents by David C. Whitney

The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy  by Rick Beyer

The Great Super Cycle: Profit from the Coming Inflation Tidal Wave and Dollar Devaluation by David Skarica

Author: k. e. leger

I'm a writer.

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