It’s true what they say about high school teachers – many of them are no better than the students they teach. There’s something about the halls filled with teenagers, the Prom/Homecoming/Sports posters adorning the walls, and the young lovers perched in corners that just incites drama. It probably doesn’t help that a majority of the faculty at a school is female (though not as bad as elementary, but those teachers are sorority-letter-clad and full of an energy that astouds me). One of my classes (one of the smaller ones with a population of 4 high need students), is a drama epicenter. The three girls sit together in a huddle and just dish all the dirt on everyone they know, and all the reasons they’re angry (there are many). The one brave male in the room is no better, as his girlfriend and he are together only because they can hurt one another without feeling bad about it. So he sits there and talks about how he’s getting married (until he cheated), when the girl he really likes (but doesn’t want to hurt) sits next to him. Like I said, Drama.
The teachers are no better, though. In the few months I’ve been here, I’ve witnessed backstabbing, hypocrisy, deceit, and love triangles (and may have unwillingly been involved in some of these). One teacher has a nasty habit of talking about my friend and coworker and how she dresses “inappropriately”. The thing is, she doesn’t talk to my friend face-to-face, with a “Hey, I’m kind of concerned about your outfit today, you might want to rethink that next time,” or something similar, but instead talks about it to other teachers and administrators, causing an awkward situation all around. The first time this happened, my friend got really upset and her mentor had to sit down with her. Then, a few months later, I heard wind of a similar comment from the same original teacher. My friend doesn’t even dress inappropriately! I don’t know what the problem here is besides nosy b’s who gotta create problems.
There’s also a bit of a love triangle going on (or there used to be). At one time, I had a Sped teacher and an English teacher both interested in me. When I was set up with the boy, the Sped teacher stopped talking to me, even when we would walk side-by-side down the hallway. He spoke to me today for the first time in over a month, only because he had concerns about one of my students. The other teacher, however, the English teacher, he’s the problem.
This teacher (let’s call him Dwight) is quite a bit older than I am (and we all know I tend to date younger anyway), angry, overweight, a divorcee, and a jerk. Yet he tends to go after any young female that comes in contact with him (I’m not the first), and doesn’t seem to get a hint. At Christmas, he bought me a $30 candle and fantasized about making eggnog while I baked snickerdoodles with Christmas movies playing in the background (Excuse me while I go throw up). For a while, it got really awkward and inappropriate, and I actually had to fake a boyfriend after Christmas break to get him to lay off. When the real boy came along, we dismissed the imaginary boyfriend as “oh, he’s just a friend, and the long distance was hard” (he lived in Cali), and I try to mention the boy when in mixed company just as a constant reminder. Even then, he still makes comments to co-workers about how the boy is too young (2 years younger) and why am I dating him when I could have the great catch that is Dwight? Even today, when the three female teachers I get along with most and I were discussing our evening plans and our current relationship (they’re all just waiting for the boy and I to get out of the new phase and into the bitter one to make their own relationships feel better), Dwight complained of a toothache due to all the sweetness (a dig at my relationship) and left.
While he’s laid off for the most part, he’s still irritating. I’m on a new diet, which is slightly vegan and consists of smaller portions and generally healthier foods, which has caused me to lose 10-15 pounds. Dwight, who is also on a diet but eats a lunch consisting of a Healthy Choice, bag of popcorn or Doritos, a Diet soda, and a cookie/muffin/pudding, told me that the reason I’m tired is because I don’t eat enough calories, therefore I don’t have enough energy. No, Dwight. I’m tired because I’m a first year Sped teacher who runs our collaborative classroom at the moment, assistant coaching the varsity boys soccer team, and making sure my new boy is a priority whenever I can. All of this on top of being a 20-something living alone in the city. When I want to be overweight and sad, I’ll ask you for diet advice.
All of this, and I still kind of feel sorry for him.