My Classroom: The Trailer

Portapotty War Zone Amongst Other Thoughts
By: Mr. TeachEvil
I, like my ally Mr. Teachbad, also teach in a large urban inner-city district; I share many of the same depressing views and horrible experiences. However, I would now like to turn our attention to the pathetic working conditions us warriors at my school experience every working day.
I teach in a portable as do all the other teachers in my department. A portable is a “temporary” outdoor classroom composed of metal sheeting and dry wall. Their purpose is to accommodate attendance overflow. They’re grouped together nicely to resemble a trailer park. The admin’s excuse was that our department has historically had the highest standardized test scores so our reward was to be thrown out to the dumps so they could keep a closer eye on the other losers. Once I learned of this, I proposed at a department meeting that we spend the whole year watching Disney movies to get the Math Dep. kicked out here but to no avail.
The portables are really not that bad once you get past the initial thought that your surrounding working space closely resembles that of a Nazi concentration camp slash San Quintin prison yard mixed in a paste of human tears and excrement. It’s really not that bad; it only took me a month to reconcile the fact that my expensive college degree landed me in a collapsible shed amongst row after row of collapsible shed. But all the while, we should have been aware of the new terrors awaiting just around the breeze-way corner…
While the previously mentioned is horrible, the rampant break-ins are truly terrifying. Apparently, these “learning cottages” are depressingly easy to invade. Currently, mine has been infiltrated four times in the last two and a half years (maybe five break-ins…I’ve lost count). The motives: At least two acts of vandalism, one act of theft, and evidently one act of bums looking for a warm place to inhale.
The vandalism is the worst. The most recent occurrence left my room in utter disarray and destruction. Now imagine if you will taking ten wild, testosterone pumped lowland gorillas, forcefully shot-gunning a twelve pack of Redbulls down each their gullets whilst duck taping spewing cans of spray-paint on their wrists all after locking them into a fucking “learning cottage” filled with stacks of paper and innumerable amounts of small commodities like paper-clips and shit. That should give you a picture of the mess. Image walking into your freshly destroyed “learning cottage” (a “learning cottage” that took hours and hundreds of dollars to make presentable) at 8:00 on a Monday morning with a full week of teaching ahead of you. The best part of it all was thirty minutes before when my VP dispassionately yet condescendingly delivers her morning greeting stating, “Mr. TeachEvil… your poooortable has been broken in to” as she shoves a testing packet into my arms. It was then and there that I realized this woman’s heart had gone cold a long time ago…cold from too many enslaved years in an bureaucratized urban school district…cold from constant bombardment from those both above and below her…cold…so very cold…
I can’t fucking believe I’m still teaching….my days are surely numbered.
P.S. In unrelated matters, I was summoned down to the office a few weeks back to be grilled about my failure rate. Would you like to know what was the first question out of my principle’s mouth as I sat down? “Now Mr. TeachEvil, what are the classes [content area/grade level] that you teach again?” I should have responded, “What exactly would ya say ya do here?”

5 responses to “My Classroom: The Trailer

  1. I taught in a portable before, even taught a college class in one during a particularly hot summer. I wasn’t quite sure what evil I had perpetrated that got me that punishment. Anyway, I also did what was worse, roaming from classroom to classroom with a cart, a homeless teaching bag lady. If I had done either for more than a year, I would have quit. Good luck.

  2. Remember everyone: Class size does not matter; the students’ learning environment and your teaching environment does not matter; the lack of teaching materials does not matter. Research shows that what really matters is teacher effectiveness. Oh, and following proper dress code regualtions. Yes, they have gobs of data that proves that teachers wearing a business suit, stockings, and high heels are far more effective than teachers in blue jeans and sneakers.

  3. You have told the story of every teacher I know who teaches in a portable. Well done. I would read an entire book written like that.

  4. I’m a roaming teacher. In the portables. It’s a blast, let me tell you…

  5. Oh I want to see the male teachers all in high heels and stockings. I want their effectiveness rated. Please?

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