The daily musings of a substitute teacher in East Central Illinois.

Overheard in the Teachers’ Lounge…

Today I was a 3rd grade teacher at Lincoln Trails Elementary School in Mahomet. The class was really awesome and lots of fun. I managed to teach a lesson on writing a cursive i, which was kind of scary, since I haven’t used cursive since about 5th grade. Fortunately, I was able to handle it, and I used my bad handwriting as an example of what not to do (without admitting that it was my typical cursive handwriting). Yeah, I’m just that good.

I also had the distinct pleasure of subbing for a teacher with whom I went to high school. Apparently she doesn’t remember me, which doesn’t bother me too much, since she was a grade ahead of me and I graduated almost a decade ago, but as soon as someone told me her maiden name, I was like, “Whoa! I know her! And her husband! Crazy!” This tidbit of information was something I learned in the teachers’ lounge.

(And yes, I know that there are teachers who have some bizarre dislike of the term “lounge”. As a matter of fact, the room at Lincoln Trails is officially called the “Teachers’ Workroom”, but I decided to use the somewhat more familiar term.)

For those who have never spent time in one of these rooms, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Teachers talk about really strange things. Surprisingly, there is very little discussion about teaching. In fact, it seems like teaching is a taboo subject, unless it is in relation to the crazies who have taken over the bodies of normally well-behaved students. As an example, here are some of the things that were overheard today…

“I’m reading over a paper my son has due by the end of school today, and boy, am I glad to know that he can B.S. as well as I could when I was in high school!”

“It is amazing how quietly girls can throw up. I have boys, and when the puke, they’re all like, ‘RRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAUUUGGGGHHH!!!!!'”

“I told her to throw up in the trash can, but the can was full, so the puke splattered all over the place. And it wasn’t like she could run across the room to the other trash can, so she just kept going, and it got all over the floor. Then the custodian was busy, so I figured, ‘Hey, I’ve worked as a lifeguard–I’ve cleaned up all sorts of stuff!’ So I put on the rubber gloves and cleaned it all up. At the next staff meeting, I got an award for going above and beyond!”

“Oh, yeah, if a kid threw up in my room, I’d take them outside until the custodian could clean it up. No way I’m going to touch that!”

“I am so glad that my husband works second shift, because now when I get home, he’s at work, and then when he comes home, I’m already asleep, so he doesn’t try to… you know… very often. I’m over 30 years old! I don’t need that very much!”

“Well, you know, with this economy…”

Bodily functions definitely seem to be a dominant topic. Also, videos of grandchildren, discussions about kids moving out, and talk about how long before retirement are common. Of course, there are also the teachers who come in, eat, and leave, all without saying a word.

This is all very different when there are treats, though. Then there are discussions about calories and weight loss plans, all while the men and women in the school are fighting over the last brownie. Fun times!


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