Be Very Afraid

15 Jul

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth:
I was employed by my school district for 10 years without ever receiving a written reprimand.
I kept my state teaching certification current and took required professional development courses.
I renewed my official state Fingerprint Clearance Card, which showed that my fingerprints had been matched against those of known criminals, and I came out clean.
I never slept with a student — although a colleague across the hall did, several times. Her police mug shot made numerous appearances in the media, but not mine. Nuh-UH.
Still, all these things were not good enough to roll my name over to the district’s list of substitute teachers. I had to fill out an affidavit with a checklist of various criminal behaviors as a clerk got ready to notarize it. With my pen poised but not able to lay its ink on any of the 22 categories, I came away with the feeling that I led a terribly boring life. No manslaughter, no arson, not even a moment of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
My teacher friend and I chuckled over the idea of falling under such suspicion and decided the district got it all wrong when creating this list of crimes. There are more pressing questions to ask potential substitutes:
Have you ever strangled a student who spilled a soft drink onto a freshly cleaned classroom carpet?
Have you ever set fire to a tall stack of essays that awaited grading?
Have you ever robbed a student of an iPod during classtime?
Have you ever conspired to distribute M&M’s or other dangerous chocolates to your colleagues?
Have you ever assaulted a chalkboard by slapping erasers against it at the end of a frustrating day?
Have you ever murdered a lesson plan by BS-ing your way through it because you were too busy to read up on the subject beforehand?
And forget DUI. Have you ever taught under the influence of way too much caffeine?
Now, these are the true and unforgivable crimes of a substitute teacher-to-be. Guilty.

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