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School, All Play and No Work?

Updated on July 30, 2010
ACSutliff profile image

A.C. Sutliff has been a teacher since 2010. She self-published a realistic fiction trilogy for teens and is now writing a fantasy trilogy.

What have I been up to?

Today, I woke up at a 7:45 this morning (which is early for me considering my schedule this summer). I showered, dressed and actually left my office before sitting down to check my hubs! Instead, I grabbed some posters and certificates and hopped in the car and drove the short 15 minute journey to The Middle School.

My classroom is in the vocational building out behind the school, so I parked my car on the curb close by. The doors were open, and a large powerful fan blocked my way. It was blowing cool morning air into the building.

I hopped the fan and went around the corner, and almost ran into my team teacher, Darcy. She had a stroller with her, carrying her 3-month-old boy, and her 8-year-old daughter was also along for the visit to the school. Darcy took me to see my room, which is huge! And completely empty.

I didn't even have a teacher's desk!

I began to panic. How was I going to teach a group of kids in this huge empty room? Forget about tables or desks for the kids, I was thinking, "Where do I sit?" My mentor from college says that the best teachers share all their space with their students (come on, they're sixth graders, get real!).

Before I could get up the courage to ask my new friend Darcy what happened to all the furniture, she introduced me to the custodians who were busy cleaning my room.

I've heard before that the most important thing you want to do when you start working at a school is make friends with the custodians and the secretaries. That way, when angry parents call the school, the secretary sticks up for you, and when sick kids puke in your classroom, the custodian comes to clean it up right away instead of taking a detour to the teacher's lounge to watch TV. Lucky for me, I already know the secretaries very well, but I hadn't met any custodians yet, so I was glad to meet Bob and--uh oh! I forgot the other custodian's name! Oh man, that's not good!

Think, think, AC~! You can remember!

Well, for now I will call him HC, because he's the head custodian (even more reason to remember his name!). HC gave me keys to my room and the main building, so I can go back whenever I want now. Even if Darcy isn't there. It's really starting to feel like this is actually happening! (I've been substituting for so long I started to feel like I'd never get out of Subville.) I have a teaching job! I'm actually going to teach sixth graders! Math and science!

And now is when the reality sets in.

I have a teaching job.... I have to teach sixth grade this year.... I have to help 60 kids learn math and science....

I have my own classroom to set up!

I have my work cut out for me!

I managed to find a chair and sat down to think while I was in my classroom today. Yes, I have one window! And two doors.... and even a white board! Yes!
I managed to find a chair and sat down to think while I was in my classroom today. Yes, I have one window! And two doors.... and even a white board! Yes!

So let's get busy!

The first week of school is seriously important. It's when the kids (especially sixth graders) learn all the rules about their new school and their new classroom. Realizing that I should have already decided what my classroom rules are, I feel behind before I've even started.

Let's start with the rules then!

1. No shoes no shirt no service

2. No feeding the pet frogs spit wads (or anything else!)

3. Treat others the way you treat your parents and hope for the best

4. Talk with your mouth shut and chew with your mouth empty

5. The teacher is always right

Phew, now that that's out of the way.... What next? Oh yes, teachers need to make sure that kids understand the routines in the room. This takes some thought. What do I want my kids to do? How can I get them to do it? Will threatening them with extra homework work, or will they realize too early that I never grade it, or collect it, or even assign it?

Let's get back to basics, shall we? First things first, students will call me 'sir ma'am'. They will speak unless spoken to. They will raise their hands and show the 'peace sign' in order to silently let me know that they don't need help on an assignment. And if they turn in homework, they will be expected to correct it themselves using the key on the table across the room from my desk. No cheating!

I've forgotten something.... Oh right, there is no teacher's desk, or tables in my room. If only I could remember that custodian's name, so I can ask him about that the next time I go in.... Well, it will come to me.

Would YOU Listen to ME?

Please let me know what you think of my brilliant teacher ideas! Do you find me an inspiring teacher who would motivate you to do your best on your math assignment, or be cooperative while doing your science experiments?

(Author Note: This is a strange hub in that some of the details here are true and some of them are not. For example, I am actually going to be a teacher this coming school year. Believe it or not, it's true. Yeah I know. On the other hand, I stretched the truth about some of those teacher plans I have. For example, my rules are just plain silly. Of course my students can feed the pet frogs spit wads! Why would I object to that?)


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    • ACSutliff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago


      I know exactly how she feels! My first year I plan to really cut down on my dept and work hard to make next year easier, so I will have more time to write... next year. :-p

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


    • meow48 profile image


      8 years ago from usa

      absolutely love this. my sis is a home ec oh excuse me, a home engineering, oops changed again, a life skills teacher at one of the huge township schools here. she holding onto hope right now because her dept keeps getting whittled down every year.

    • ACSutliff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago


      Thanks for coming by! I'm glad I could entertain you!


    • bluejay900 profile image


      8 years ago

      Good Job, AC! I totally loved it! I hope you have a great schoolyear!

    • ACSutliff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago


      Wow! It's great to hear from you, and thank you for the great comment!

      I am wondering now if you got the humorous aspect of this post. :-) My real rules are very simple: respect, responsibility, and safety. That's it. Everything you could ever need a kid to do at school can be covered under those three rules. I do agree with you about what you say kids should learn in school.


    • lisadpreston profile image


      8 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Well, congratulations my dear friend. You will be the coolest teacher. You remind me so much of a few favorite teachers I had. My third grade teacher, Miss Shrimplin, was right out of college and it was the 70's mind you. She dressed like a hippie and came in hung over all the time. She also had sucker bites on her neck frequently. LOLOLOLOLO. She really was the coolest person though. I heard she still teaches at that same school. She must be old now and I wonder if she still sports the hickies? My fourth grade teacher, Miss Sharma, never taught us one thing. The whole year consisted of us picking a subject and doing a 4 week study and report on it. (HUMM, I never got the connection before. I turned out to be an investigative reporter. Gee, thanks Miss Sharma) I loved her class. Those of us who were in her class needed extra help in math and such as we entered the 5th grade. We didn't know our times tables or anything. Mrs. Loik, my 5th grade teacher said that we may not have been taught certain things scholastically, but we were taught things by Miss Sharma that most don't receive, that being Independence, self discovery,organizational skills, research and public speaking. Not learning my multiplication and such in the 4th grade didn't hinder me. I ended up excelling in math being in all the advanced classes. I even made the presidents list in college for having a 4.0. My specialty being business math and accounting. And of course English.

      You will make a superb teacher. Your rules make sense to me, but then, I am weird. Desks are boring. The floor is much more creative anyway. The children can practice the yoga stance while combining explosive chemicals in the flasks. Desks could be a hinderance when you all have to vacate the room quickly! Somehow I think your students will be doing a lot of writing assignments! One thing to keep in mind, well maybe a couple of things and it is only my 2 cents worth. The main and important things that you teach children doesn't come from a text book. If a child is taught self respect, self esteem, is encouraged to do big things, given hope, shown love and concern and is allowed to have freedom of thought and expression without ridicule, he or she will excell to great heights. You will have more of an influence on these kids than you think and will be remembered by them 30 years from now with fond memories as I do with my own past teachers.

      Good luck, you will do well.


    • ACSutliff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago


      You seem to 'get' my humor. Thanks! You know, I've had some very strange math teachers too. Besides, there's no proof here that I can actually teach anything. :-)

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 

      8 years ago from Australia

      You must be a very well balanced right/left brain person. To teach maths AND write creative story's! Then again, on reading some of your rules I question the balanced idea. Some of the strangest people I've known have been maths teachers ;)

    • ACSutliff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Eeeewwwww physics! hah

    • kaltopsyd profile image


      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      I do love science too! That was my second favourite subject... until I realized that Physics was a science. Ewww.

    • ACSutliff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago


      ;-) Buffalo indeed!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      8 years ago from St. Louis

      I feel so much better! Now I can get some sleep. Buffalo indeed!

    • ACSutliff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Hey Guys,

      I couldn't stop laughing myself while I was writing this one. I really needed the laugh too!

      ~K Alto, thanks for the votes! I liked English too.... and I was really hoping to be able to teach English, but I also get one reading class, so I'm happy enough. :) Plus, science is just the best!

      ~Christoph, thank you for that bit of wisdom. I will have to make sure to never wear a blouse. *winkwink*. I will have to have some major consequence for any student who dissects a class pet.... Like they have to clean the frog tank for the rest of the year AND buy me a new frog!

      ~De Greek, wow, that is some kind of crazy visual. She must have had a LOOOOONG hard day. HAH! I've taught PE and I've taught kindergarten, and believe it or not.... I did more running in Kindergarten! :-)

      ~M Selvey, Yes, I'm glad you noticed that rule's flaw. Kids don't treat their parents very well these days, especially middle schoolers.... I'm glad I could make you laugh.

      Thanks everybody for coming by!


    • M Selvey, MSc profile image

      M Selvey, MSc 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      "Treat others the way you treat your parents and hope for the best" -

      Oh my! That could be asking for trouble :-)

      Very fun read, AC - need some humor after these last few weeks. Good luck with your teaching job :-)


    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      8 years ago from UK

      I loved the simplicity of

      "Talk with your mouth shut and chew with your mouth empty" :-)

      And since you will really teach, try to visualise this:

      A woman laying back on a chair. Not sitting, but laying backwards with her back on the chair's upright top edge, legs stretched out in front of her, arms hanging down on either side of the chair, chin dropped down to her chest. That is how the teacher looked when I went to pick up my six year old son from school at the end of his first day, so I imagined you on your first day :-)

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      8 years ago from St. Louis

      Ha, ha! Your rules are pure absurdity. Of course upon seeing frogs, I would start plotting how to put then down your blouse, and then dissecting them to see how many spit wads they've been fed. But my fav was the self-test grading: Why do the test when the teach is going to give me the answers to fill in later? Frogs and test answers? You're my kind of teacher.

      P.S. That room looks so...empty! Nice job!

    • kaltopsyd profile image


      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      This was just so amusing to read! It had me laughing and trying to keep quiet so I wouldn't wake my dear mother. HAHAHA. I wish I had you as a math teacher. You're so cool and funny. Instead, I grew to hate math and dislike my teacher. I've always liked English (I bet you would've never guessed). ;-)

      Your silly rules are hilarious. I want to copy them and post them on my wall. hehe. I voted funny AND awesome for this Hub.

      Good luck teaching and I hope your kids love you.

    • ACSutliff profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Proteacher! You got it!

      Thanks for coming by bayoulady. I'm glad you found it funny. I do look forward to having my own classroom finally, and I look forward to getting to know my kids and letting them get to know my sense of humor. :) I appreciate your comment!


    • bayoulady profile image


      8 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      GREAT HUB! I am a retiring elementary teacher, and I know your obvious sense of humor will help you immensely!

      If you have't discovered proteacher yet ,GO. GO I SAID to! I used to be teachingrany on the site. GO! LOL!


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