Welcome Back, Teachers! Try Not To Freak Out!

August 26, 2013


**From the desk of the Principal.**

Dear Teachers,

Welcome back, staff of Lakeshore High!  I hope you had a terrific summer and you’re excited for a great year!  Remember how important your job is, and that our community respects and appreciates what you do here.  Some of you may feel discouraged after last week’s “Teachers are Lazy, Inept, Leeches Who Are Ruining the Country” rally, but I would suggest that that rally wasn’t nearly as well attended as the news said it was.  It was definitely smaller than last month’s “Teachers Are Bigger Corrupters Of Children Than Heroin, Prostitution, and Those Dead Space Video Games, Combined” rally.  Look at it this way: just think how many people didn’t go to the rally.  Now that’s a lot of people!

Like those rallies in Egypt?  Now those were big rallies, right?  Let's keep some perspective.

Like those rallies in Egypt? Now those were big rallies, right? Let’s keep some perspective.

Also, of course, many of you are no doubt concerned about the  budget cuts.

We’ve had to make some pretty creative changes – such as the newly combined P.E. and Art department, “Physical Art-ucation” – but most of the cuts we’ve had to make can be compensated for by teachers taking on more volunteer duties (A lot more.  Seriously.  A lot.), and by making cuts that the general public won’t notice if they don’t look too closely; for example: staff layoffs, eliminating all programs for needy students, gifted students, disenfranchised students, those weird students (you know who I mean) and all college prep.  Oh, and turning off the electricity except during the 30 minutes in the middle of each class, when computer and light usage is at its highest demand.

You're going to want to try and get a good 8 or 9 usages out of each wipe.

You’re going to want to try and get a good 8 or 9 usages out of each wipe.

I know some of you are concerned about rampant filth and disease now that we’ve eliminated the custodial staff, but I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you look in your mailbox, where you’ll find a free (free!) box of handi-wipes, and a poster saying “Keep It Clean, Lakeshore Panthers!” for you to put in your classroom.

Below is the schedule for the first day back.  Let’s make this the best year ever!  That’s not a request.  Go Panthers!

7:30 – Time allotted for staff to stare vacantly into the middle distance, and/or weep quietly.

7:40 – Department meetings to review the 15 new standardized tests – some of which contradict the others – students must take and pass this year.

8:45 – Class lists will be posted online.  Staff, please, close your doors when you count how many students are in each of your classes; that kind of language is really inappropriate to a professional workplace.

Your new health insurance package. It has gauze!

Your new health insurance package. It has gauze!

10:00 –  Meeting to go over the “revised” salary and benefits package. Remember Lakeshore Panthers, you didn’t get in to this profession for the money, you did it because you love what you do.  You may wish to repeat this over and over during this meeting.

11:30 – Lunch break. (Have a soda or two!  In exchange for putting soda machines in every classroom and requiring students to drink 3 a day under threat of expulsion, the cola conglomerate has graciously offered to donate ¼ of one cent to the school for every 10 bottles purchased!)

11:35 – Orientation for all newly combined departments. (*note: Mrs. Wendsworth, your new mega-class “All Languages That Aren’t English” that was to meet in the gym has been canceled.  We’re pretty sure that other languages are just a fad.  Your students have been placed in English/Language Arts classes because English is a perfectly good language, right?  Right.  Obviously, this means you’ve been laid off.  Enjoy the sunshine!)

1:00 – Mandatory “Why Giving Students Footrubs Is Not Appropriate” training.  And let’s all thank Mr. Wilson that we have to do this one.

2:30 – Prep time to work on meaningful lessons that will develop critical thinking, multi-stage logic, and complex writing skills.

2:45 – End of work day.  You’re welcome to stay and continue working, but the power will be shut off.  Also, there’s a community rally scheduled for 3:00 in the parking lot that, well, you might not want to be here for.

, , , ,

About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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53 Comments on “Welcome Back, Teachers! Try Not To Freak Out!”

  1. BrainRants Says:

    I feel you. We’re doing silly fiscal cheetah flips here in the Army too.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I like the mindset that decides that since crises don’t happen very often, one crisis response person can cover vast amounts of geography. Can’t argue with that reasoning!


  2. Blogdramedy Says:

    To think I could have been a teacher. I feel cheated. But maybe there’s a test for that?


  3. earthriderjudyberman Says:

    Hysterical, and, yet … be very afraid. Hits too close to home. 🙂


  4. Exile on Pain Street Says:

    Seriously…when did teachers become the enemy? How did that happen? If we’re not careful, we’ll run short of teachers, just like the Catlick Church is running short of priests.

    (In hindsight, probably not the best analogy, but you get my point.)


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I think it’s the combination of the extreme conservatism the US has been in for the last 30 years, mixed with and weird anti-intellectualism that’s cropped up in the last decade or so. It’s led to this weird, Salem With Trials-esque mentality that teachers are trying to poison children with “new ideas.” It’s very strange, though.

      I think it’s also compounded by the fact that there are bad teachers out there, and they come along when we’re very, very impressionable. So they stick out, even when we’re adults and we want to take them down.


      • List of X Says:

        That’s the “new ideas” like theory of gravity, foreign languages, metric system, I presume?


        • Exile on Pain Street Says:

          And evolution. Don’t forget that hot potato.

          A book that just got a great review in The New York Times about successful eduction models, Smartest Kids in the World, claims it’s mostly about the quality of teachers available. Also, it convincingly argues that since the U.S. is so wealthy and successful (relative to the rest of the planet), we simply don’t have the drive to succeed we did early in the century. Wealth breeds complacency. I wouldn’t know anything about that.


  5. Hippie Cahier Says:

    Sadly, this brings back memories!

    The theme of the year at my very first welcome back speech was, and I am not making this up, “When you can’t make it, fake it.” Talk about setting the bar high.

    Have a great year!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      That was the shining moment of NCLB: “Kids aren’t meeting the standards!” “No problem, we’ll lower the standards.”


      • Hippie Cahier Says:

        At the risk of spilling government secrets, the former Mr. Cahier, a rocket scientist for a certain government agency specializing in rocket science, repeatedly shared this mantra, which he’d learned from a superior, “When all else fails, lower your standards.”


  6. Derek Zenith Says:

    School administration is the problem.


  7. 1pointperspective Says:

    This would be funnier if it weren’t so close to true.


  8. Brown Road Chronicles Says:

    Having two teens now, I’ll defend teachers all day long. Working under so many non-sensical rules and regulations! We’ve had so many that are so dedicated and have made our kids what they are today. So thanks for being part of that group. Hope you have a great year!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      What’s especially interesting about the labyrinth of education bureaucracy, is that there is no person – not one person in the entire country – with substantive power. No one can actually change anything. It’s baffling.

      My attitude is to zone out during the various “Here are the latest tests and rules and standards and contradictory demands” meetings and then teach like hell.


  9. susielindau Says:

    Is it too late to get my teaching degree?


  10. Michael Dooley Says:

    Where was this greatness when I was in school? I love it, hilarious picture- is this making it on someone’s resume? -Michael Dooley leadershipdevelopmentblog.com


  11. mistyslaws Says:

    Sounds like someone just needs an apple.


  12. Jackie Cangro Says:

    Only 179 days to go until summer vacation!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I try really, really hard not to complain when we go back to work. Oddly, people are unsympathetic to 10 weeks of paid vacation.


      • Jackie Cangro Says:

        My neighbor, who teaches constitutional law in a NYC public high school (!), recently said the same thing. For her, school starts on Sept 9.
        I miss summer vacations. Teachers deserve every minute of it. It can be a long year.


  13. Elyse Says:

    Laughlin’ and cry in’ you know it’s the same release.

    Thanks for both, B-man. And have a good year in spite of it all.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I’m a big bucket of zen this year. I’m determined not to get angry and bitter in the avalanche of stuff that always hits at the start of the year. “It always works out” is what I keep repeating to myself.


  14. pegoleg Says:

    He’s so right, teachers! For example, I didn’t attend that rally…I was busy laying in my tar and feather supplies for tomorrow’s “Teachers are the carbuncles on the Butt of our Budget” rally.

    My sister, Tar Buns, was laid off at the end of last year from her alternative high school (ie disenfranchised and weird students) which is now operating with 2-1/2 teachers. Seriously. She was just called back 2 weeks ago and starts in junior high English today. Glad to be employed, but yikes! What a roller coaster.


  15. becomingcliche Says:

    I would laugh if it didn’t hit so close to home.


  16. UndercoverL Says:

    Two things: First, I didn’t know you were a principal! Second, can I also get that first ten minutes built into MY day, because, as a SAHM, being sanctioned to do the weeping is a really big deal.


  17. donofalltrades Says:

    Haha, being a teacher sounds like being a police officer! My kid just got notice that no edible snacks are allowed this year for birthdays. Bring stickers or pencils instead. Fuck, we already had to buy pencils for her public school class during the summer, along with $60 worth of other supplies!

    Anyway, in all seriousness, you do a great job. Well, I don’t know that YOU do a great job, buy your profession is still noble and important as far as I’m concerned. Any successful or even semi successful person can probably think back upon a teacher who helped them become the person they are today, and that’s pretty cool!

    Thanks for the work you do.


  18. abbybyrd Says:

    I’m a teacher, and I LOVE this. xoxo


  19. stormy1812 Says:

    hilarious! and sadly definitely not too far from the truth. my parents are both in education and i worked at a charter school for a couple of years. i had considered going back to school for my teaching degree but not after that experience. i loved the kids well enough but i did worry about the demands to have to met that don’t even touch on actually teaching and then there was dealing with other teachers (at least at that particular school many of them were horrid and a few were really only kept on because of being friends with administration – it was a mess) and the list went on so i stuck with my journalism degree and now get to stress out that way instead lol. go figure. good luck with the year and hopefully the intangible rewards do make it worthwhile (somehow).


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      It’s shocking when you start teaching and realize that there are a number of teachers who are just, genuinely bad. Burned out, or simply don’t know the material, and don’t care. They’re the minority, obviously, but I’m always amazed that someone can work a job with such clear, massive, direct impact on people’s lives and just not care about the harm they’re doing.


      • stormy1812 Says:

        that’s exactly why i had to quit that particular job. i couldn’t stand to watch some of these teachers possibly turn kids off to education permanently… no clue about the negative impact they were having at all and i couldn’t understand how they couldn’t see that. it was so frustrating/infuriating to say the least. part of why im extra grateful to the genuinely good/great teachers out there. 🙂


  20. cartpsych Says:

    Great, I just went back to school to get a teaching credential. Now I may have to reconsider rodeo clown college.


  21. Andrea Says:

    So sad and so sadly close to reality… Over-population. And over-populated by people who don’t value education and WANT to work at Walmart someday. It’s such a bummer.


  22. speaker7 Says:

    I’m having trouble believing you made up this letter because it looks identical to the back-to-school letter I received.


  23. Go Jules Go Says:

    You get out at 2:45?!

    Seriously, though. Side note to all teachers: Thank you! I’d say it in multiple languages, but I can’t.


  24. halfgut Says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to that 8th grade substitute band teacher. I was actually supposed to be in the trombone section and not with the flautists.


  25. List of X Says:

    I assume substitute teachers are now out of question, and any sick teachers will be subbed by cardboard cutouts.


  26. jadorelamusique Says:

    This…oh lord.
    I’m in school, studying to be a teacher…I’m SUPER optimistic now!!! Haha. Great post, Byronic Man 🙂


  27. LucyBre Says:

    Reblogged this on Being Weirdly Awesome.


  28. allyandjesse Says:

    Wow this is such a laugh! Need to share with my fellow teachers. When all else fails, you just gotta laugh!


  29. The Guat Says:

    Ha! This one cracked me up. Love your meeting/training schedule. “Physical-Art-ucation” … no wonder our kids overweight and not that creative. Ha too funny.


  30. silkpurseproductions Says:

    Teachers should get hazard pay for even showing up every day. They will never get enough credit for the work they do.


  31. happyflowerwordzoo002 Says:

    Am so chuckling. Thanks for welcome back to school.



  1. Welcome Back, Teachers! Try Not To Freak Out! | Steven's Just Ducky - August 26, 2013

    […] Welcome Back, Teachers! Try Not To Freak Out!. […]

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