I have discovered a new form of torture guaranteed to break the strongest of you out there. “What is it?” you wonder. Well, let me give you a little hint. Have you been watching the weather reports lately for the Ohio area? Step into our world.
Imagine, if you dare, a classroom which has only three windows that open out at an angle from the bottom-yes, you heard me right, from the bottom! I have begun recently spending extended time looking at these windows and wondering just what kind of maniacal, twisted mind designed them. Was this a tormented student now grown up who had had such a terrible experience in school that their sole desire was to make all teachers and students who set foot in these rooms suffer forever for the unhappiness he endured?
Then picture that room filled with hot, sweaty students whose desks you need to hover over in order to aid them in their work and whose radiating heat almost sears your skin. Imagine these same bodies after recess and PE. There are no words to describe…
Imagine a school so outrageously hot that the school nurse, from her air-conditioned office, sent an email to address how to keep our students from dehydrating and how we deal with the headaches, dizziness, and weakness many students are complaining about. (Not to mention the ailments we teachers are suffering from.)
Finally, picture yourself barely able to move let alone think, trying to force a room full of semi-comatose students who are literally sprawled over their desks, weakly clutching their sweating water bottles, to focus on your words, which are growing fainter with each passing minute. To answer your questions, which are making less and less sense. To follow in a book, when their eyes are so glazed over that the words in the book no longer stay neatly in the lines as they should. To care, even remotely, about the lesson you are desperately teaching.
Yes, this is the life of the dedicated public education teachers in my building. We bravely forge on trying our best to teach these children who trust us to take care of them in the inferno we call school. At the end of the day, we limp weakly in our sweat-soaked clothes to our blazing cars, and as we drive away with the air conditioning cranked up as high as it will go, we pray for the energy to face another day in Hell. And we curse the weathermen who tell us that we can expect more of the same.