Dodgeball is Bombardment. Same Game. Less Suffering.


This week I had the honor of watching The Evil Spawn play her very first game of Dodgeball.dodgeball_md

It wasn’t pretty.

Turns out little girls aren’t good at violence.

This makes me sad. 

You have a child.  You nickname her The Evil Spawn.  And yet, she embarrasses the family name with her kind-hearted nature (I can assure you she wasn’t raised like this).

She understood the rules of the game, but was confused by the “unspoken” rule.

That’s the one that says “I will do everything in my power to throw a ball as hard as possible directly into my best friend’s snout with the hope they will pass out from the indescribable pain.”

At least this is how I remember Dodgeball.

Which by the way, we didn’t call Dodgeball.

We called it Bombardment.

Dodgeball makes it sound like you have a chance of getting out of the way and you might not have to return to class with a giant welt on your face.

When I was a kid, good luck with that.

PE meant suffering.

There was no walking or aerobics.

There was pain and there was suffering.

Your choice.

Actually, it wasn’t your choice.  It was the seniors’ choice.

And they usually chose a double-helping of both.

It was called Bombardment because it was an act of war.

We didn’t play for fun.

We played for survival.

We didn’t look forward to PE.

We dreaded it from the moment we opened our eyes each morning.

There was no giggling.  No laughing.  No enjoying one another’s company.

There was only the stench of fear in the air.

We didn’t get in trouble if we hit our friends in the face.  We got in trouble if we bled on the gym floor (Coach’s Rule #1:  Bleed Outside).

These days the kids are soft.

And lucky.

And don’t even get me started on the foam balls they get to use.  It’s like getting hit with a sponge.  We used hard rubber ones the size of baseballs.

They hurt.  Bad.  The fun was in the pain.  At least that’s what the PE teacher told us.

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No Tenure for You. Come Back One Year (or Not).


I’ve steered clear of the following blog topic for the last three years (how time flies when you are blogging).

No, not the discussion on whether or not Seinfeld is the best TV show of all-time ( it is… BJ and the Bear comes in a close second).

Tenure.

This seems to be the hottest of all education topics.

Hotter than testing, the perceived worthlessness of administrators (I said perceived… because all of us are worth our weight in… well, in something), or the lack of parental support.The Soup Nazi (Seinfeld).

Tenure trumps them all.

Just saying the word can provoke a heated discussion (and get you beaten up in a Teacher’s Lounge near you…).

You are either for it, or against it.

It’s hard to find someone who rides the fence on this issue (much like Dancing With the Stars… some love it and some find it as enjoyable as abdominal cramps).

To me that’s the problem.

Those of us with tenure (yes, I am a proud owner (or not) of what could be construed as a lifetime teaching job) absolutely love the idea.

And what’s not to love.

Tenured teachers have jobs (very important in this day and age).  If that wasn’t enough, they (evil administrators) can’t fire those tenured teachers.

And as an added bonus, our raises are based on the number of years we have taught and has nothing to do with productivity.

It’s a little piece of heaven.

I’m not saying this is right.  I’m not saying it’s wrong.

I’m just saying it’s our system.

Then there is the anti-tenure crowd.

This is a rather large and angry group which includes pretty much everyone else in the free world (and most people in Cuba).

Anyone who doesn’t have tenure (99.999999% of all humans) believes it is the dumbest idea since New Coke (which incidentally, I enjoyed).

These people think far too many teachers who attain tenure end up going through the motions while cashing an ever increasing paycheck.

I’m not saying they are right.

I’m not saying they are wrong.

I am saying tenure is woven into the fabric of our educational system.

Some states are considering passing No Tenure Laws (way to be a leader Florida… and I’m crossing my fingers you don’t send us another Bush for The White House…).

Tenure has never seemed very American to me.

I’ve always thought our country was built on the idea that if you work hard and pay your dues (figure of speech… not Union) it’s possible to make your fortune and climb the ladder of success.

If you think like I do (and for your sake, I pray you don’t), tenure may be holding good teachers back.

They aren’t granted the opportunity to be judged financially on the great work they do.

They are lumped in with all teachers, good and bad. 

Those who work 12 hour days and those who hardly work at all.

I think that’s a shame.

Tenure doesn’t help our best and brightest.

It doesn’t promote working harder, thinking outside the box (which is the dumbest phrase since… Where’s the Beef?), or going above and beyond.

Unfortunately, it’s major purpose seems to be protecting older teachers from vindictive administrators and school boards.

This is important, but is it reason enough to keep tenure in 2010?

The title of this blog comes from The Soup Nazi.  My hero.  My mentor.  My compadre (at least he will be after I learn Spanish).

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The Best Job in Education?


It’s time we get to the bottom of this age-old question that has been hashed and rehashed in teachers’ lounges for the last 100 years (or it’s just something I think about… hard to tell).

Who has the best job in education?The Mystery of the Best Job in Education.

I’m talking about K-12 education, so college professors who “work” 3 hours a day twice a week don’t count (let the emails begin… please include “Don’t Forget We Have Office Hours” in the subject line… ).  I can almost hear my readership on college campuses plummeting.

Who has the best job is a very difficult question.

An easier question is who has the worst job.  I could get to the bottom of this in a matter of minutes (by minutes I mean seconds).

I can ask anyone who works for a school who has the worst job, and they will all say the same thing. 

“I do.”  

Everyone thinks their job is the most difficult and demanding in education.  And the world.  And universe.  And whatever is bigger than the universe.

Since this question is easily answered, we can focus on who has the best job.

Personally, I think a job where you sit at home and blog about nothing (not in a tie, unshaven, and holding a certain unnamed handsome beagle) would be the absolutely best job in education.

Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be an economic possibility (since this unnamed beagle eats a LOT… which is understandable because he needs his strength to… well, nap all day… and sleep all night).

To understand who has the best job in education (which isn’t easy because it’s an enigma wrapped in a riddle tucked in a conundrum), I’ve decided to break it down by position.

First up are Athletic Directors.  This can’t be the best job because fans get angry when the AD hires a bad referee.  Of course, this statement assumes there are good referees (sorry, coaching flashback).  Plus they spend way too much time in a gymnasium.  You can only lean on a wall or sit in the bleachers for so long before your back hurts.

Bookkeepers can’t have the best job because there is far too much responsibility with way too much money (hopefully they have money to worry about…).  Plus employees of the district get SO upset when their paychecks are a few weeks late.

Coaches get fired.  A lot.  And if they don’t get fired this year, it’s very likely they will be fired next year.  So they can’t have the best job because they may not have a job by the time they are done reading this.

Custodians.  Vomit and toilets (individually not too bad, but together they make a horrific partnership).  Enough said on this subject (until a few sentences from now).

Dean of Students.  This job is similar to being a principal, but without any of the good parts (this assumes there are good parts).

Lunch Ladies have to feed hundreds of children who don’t like what they are serving.  This is especially true when the food is green.  Plus, you have to wear a hair net.  Not a good look.

Maintenance Man.  No chance.  Kids break things and while that provides a certain amount of job security, it happens so frequently this job is work.

Principal.  No way.  People yell at the principal and then threaten to sue.  Vomit and/or toilets would be a step up. 

The School Nurse is out because vomit is the least of their troubles.  Illness (Hello, Swine Flu) and huge amounts of responsibility takes them out of the running.

Secretaries are in charge of… well everything.  Definitely not the best job but certainly a candidate for the most challenging job.

Superintendent.  Nope.  You can throw this job in the same category as bookkeepers.  Lots of money (if all is going well) and a ton of responsibility.  Plus, they get paid a lot, so people don’t like them.

Teachers have students in their classrooms all day.  Enough said.  I don’t think I even need to talk about the shear number of papers they have to grade.

Technology People.  I don’t think so.  If a staff member has a computer/printer/SmartBoard/projector/anything electric and it’s not working… they want the Tech Person driven out to the middle of nowhere and left for dead.  If people want you killed, this officially takes you out of the running for the best job.

Substitute teachers.  Get serious.  Students who hate school get excited when there is a sub.  Not a good sign.  It’s hard enough controlling kids when you know their names.

All of these positions have issues that disqualifies them from receiving the title of Best Job in Education.

So if not these, which job is the Best in Education?

Easy.

It’s a no brainer.

Assistant Superintendent.

This is without a doubt (like I have a clue) the absolute Best Job in Education.

Why?

Two reasons.  One, who knows what this person looks like?  And two, who knows what this person does?

They are ghosts.

Enigmas if you will.

They work for the school… or do they?

They are seldom seen or heard (again, let the emails begin… please include “You Have No Idea How Hard I Work” in the subject line).

You know who hates this person?

Nobody.

Absolutely nobody.

This qualifies them (easily) as the winner of the Best Job in Education.

No matter what job you hold… Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Great Holiday Season!

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If I Write a Blog About Politicians, Do You Think My Chances of Getting Audited Go Up or Down?


Happy Flag Day!

Happy Flag Day!

This country is facing difficult times. Don’t be alarmed; we will be saved. By whom you ask?

The government.

Excuse me if I don’t sleep well tonight. Or ever again.

All over the World Wide Web you can read about the “good” work our elected officials are doing to save this country.

They are attempting to pass legislation that will make our lives better.

Call me crazy, but when politicians start coming up with “ideas”, I get really nervous (originally I used “great ideas” in this sentence, but even I couldn’t take myself seriously on this one).

When it comes to education, politicians continually have brainstorms on how it can be improved. This is fine with me because as an educator I believe we need to be pushed and challenged. This is the only way for us to maximize the United State’s most important assets.

Students.

My only concern lies in the fact that politicians always want to make education slightly better, but seem unwilling to attack the large problems because that might upset the voters.

After all, the next election is always right around the corner (I am in no way insinuating that politicians are only concerned about getting reelected… how do I type this stuff up with a straight face?).

While I’m leery of bureaucrats saving us, I have always thought school administrators and politicians have many things in common.

When you think about it our jobs are very similar.

Of course as educators we don’t get great health care, big pension checks, or wear flag pins like politicians (Political Rule #1: If you wear a flag pin people will naturally assume you are patriotic and thereby more electable).

There are many areas in which we are alike.

Both groups are expected to look professional. We wear suits (thank you Mrs. Hilary Clinton for making this statement asexual). Male politicians and school administrators both seem to own ties with various mystery stains on them (no matter what the job, never trust a man who can’t feed himself without a bib).

Administrators and politicians both live and work in the public eye. One slip up and your entire career can come crashing to a close.

Examples of this are when a politician misspeaks about the facts on TV (this is bad) or a superintendent mispronounces a name at graduation (really bad… really, really bad… in fact there might be a future blog on how really, really, really bad that is).

Politicians work long hours. Principals work long and productive hours.

Both groups are quite familiar with the standard All-American meal; fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, a roll, and iced tea.

Politicians eat this type of meal at fundraisers while begging people for money. Administrators eat this same meal at sports banquets while watching young people get recognized for their outstanding achievements.

Politicians and school administrators are both elected to their offices. Politicians are voted in by the people and administrators by the local school board.

Each gets a term in office. At the conclusion of their terms they are judged strictly on their performance (and on things way out of their control like wars, recessions, and how the basketball team did this year).

Politicians must run for reelection, while administrators hope for a contract extension.

I could go on and on with their similarities.

Both groups face the challenge of being responsible for large groups of people from various economic and social backgrounds.

Both work within a budget (my side is hurting on this one… like politicians have to follow a budget…).

Both enjoy parades (one throws out candy at the homecoming parade, while the other organizes it).

Both have spouses who are scrutinized under the public eye (say what you want… that Todd Palin is one cool guy).

So much in common, yet at their core there is a subtle difference between the two professions.

Administrators make tough decisions on a daily basis for the betterment of their students.

Politicians make decisions (or not) so they can be reelected and make more decisions (or not) so they can be reelected.

I will let you decide about my chances of getting audited. Happy Flag Day!

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Lawyers and Teachers.


lawyerI have been thinking about how people and careers are perceived.

After giving this way too much thought, I have concluded that I am confused. I have also decided that as I get older, I am more easily confused.

I tend to get distracted from time to time by these unimportant subjects. I don’t have a clue what causes me to think about them.

And then, after I think about them for days on end, I am left with more questions than answers.

Nothing is ever solved. Just more confusion on my part.

Long story short, people’s perceptions on different occupations have me dumbfounded.

Why is it that everyone hates lawyers?

Lawyers are typically considered to be one of the lowest forms of society. In casual conversation we make fun of them. Mention a lawyer and people react with disdain or a joke.

There have to be at least a 1000 jokes about them and their profession.

Most of these jokes end up with the lawyer waking up dead.

Seems kind of mean spirited. Granted funny, but mean spirited.

While people make fun of lawyers, most of us would be terribly proud if our children went to law school. Broke, but proud.

Yet, we can’t stand lawyers because they are considered bad people. That is unless we need one.

Then we want the most despicable lawyer we can afford.

Teachers on the other hand are generally considered to be in a wonderful profession. Good, honest, hardworking people that we trust to teach our children.

We may consider them slightly foolish, but for the most part they have our admiration.

In large part, society believes teachers serve an important role. We admire them and the work they do.

There aren’t 1000 jokes about teachers. And if there is a joke, the punch line doesn’t end with the teacher drowning… or worse.

While we generally have good feelings towards teachers, lots of people would be disappointed if their child went into this profession.

This seems odd to me. And just the opposite of our feelings towards lawyers.

It’s all very confusing.

We don’t like lawyers, until we need one. And we would be thrilled if our child went to law school.

We love teachers, but it isn’t our first choice for our children as a profession. In some cases, teachers discourage their own kids from following them into teaching.

Shouldn’t we be encouraging our best and brightest to become teachers? Shouldn’t we have that goal for our top 10 students in each class?

Become a teacher… as opposed to being a lawyer.

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Everyone Has a Price. When it Comes to Tenure, What’s Yours?


I was reading an article in the New York Times about Michelle Rhee, the Chancellor of Washington D.C. public schools who has a dramatic idea on how to improve education.

She wants teachers to give up tenure. And earn more money.

Actually it is a little more complicated than that. Here is the link.What's Your Price?

To quote Ms. Rhee, “Tenure is the holy grail of teacher unions, but has no educational value for kids; it only benefits adults”.

The Washington Teacher’s Union has been hesitant to take her up on the proposal.

This blog isn’t about whether tenure is good or bad, but the amount it would take for you to give it up.

So would you?

Give up tenure? For a price?

And what is your price?

Don’t kid yourself, everyone has one. Mine is $2,000. Not a penny less. Alright, who am I kidding? $45. But that is my final offer.

You add that onto my salary each year and I will take my chances.

This may sound foolish, but in these tough economic times I think most people might settle for less than you think.

I would be interested if given this opportunity, but is there anyone else? And what amount would it take for you to roll the dice and work without tenure?

This may not be for everyone, but is it for you?

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The Shorter the Work Week, the Longer it Feels.


The Perfect Long Weekend.Like most people, I look forward to any sort of vacation. While the summer one continues to be my favorite (followed closely by any other), I must admit that I do have a special place in my heart for that day off that falls on a Monday.

I don’t care what holiday the government has to move to make this possible (and people say our elected officials are incapable of accomplishing anything).

These 3 day weekends are a gift, and well- received if you work in schools.

As educators, we need to forget about our low pay, mediocre health insurance, and lack of respect from society (not that those of us in education like to complain). Give me that extra 24 hours off.

I start to look forward to the time off a couple weeks in advance of any 3 day weekend.

The anticipation builds until the Thursday before (Friday is spent day-dreaming about Saturday-Monday… and of course my work).

The closer the weekend gets, the more I get excited and start planning what I am going to do for those 72 hours of not working.

Then it happens. I always know these weekends will turn out exactly the same way.

It is inevitable.

They are too short. Way too short.

Somehow I leave work on Friday afternoon, glance at my watch, and realize it is 2:30 p.m. on Monday.

72 hours of free time always goes by faster than a normal 48 hour weekend.

But that isn’t the bad part.

The following 4 day week is easily the worst part.

You would think that a work week that starts on a Tuesday would fly by.

Nope.

It drags.

Badly (if that isn’t a word, it should be)

For some reason, known only to scientists and possibly aliens, a 4 day work week (when you normally work 5 days) seems at least 894% longer (and if you don’t believe me, Google it).

Why is that?

Why does the God of Work punish me so? He teases me each time we have a 3 day weekend and I always fall for it.

Everything (which means nothing) I know about time tells me 4 days is shorter than 5.

Once again, I have actually sat down and done the math.

Yet, a shorter work week is actually longer.

It almost makes me want to get out of education and take a job in the real world (a world that I have only heard about… a world with no prep periods and I have been told that some people even work year round… just the thought makes me queasy).

The key here is almost.

I will stay in education and continue to look forward to those precious 3 day weekends.

Even if the following 4 day week will punish me by feeling longer. Much longer.

Just to test my theory, I would like to propose a 4 day weekend, just to see how a 3 day work week feels.

I am willing to make this sacrifice for the good of everyone who has to suffer through a short work week.

You can never accuse me of not being a team player.

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Schools Have What They Want, But Not What They Need.


I constantly read newspaper articles regarding the government inadequately providing money to K-12 education.

This has made me wonder, how much money would it take before educators thought they had enough to guarantee success?

Schools are a business. Most people don’t think of them in that way, but they are.

We tend to view them differently than a grocery store, a gas station, a factory, or a construction company.

Education has more in common with these other businesses than most people think.This is My Money Bag.  I Don't Trust Banks.

School districts have a budget, employees, insurance, and customers. All issues that every business must face.

Since students are our customers, schools are guaranteed not to run out of business any time soon. This is a wonderful position in which to be placed, but it can also have a downside.

A guaranteed customer base has the tendency to promote bad service. If you don’t believe me think about cable companies, airlines, fast food restaurants, and auto dealerships.

When you think of these businesses, is your first thought; Wow, they have great employees who provide even greater service!! (or is it, in another sure fire sign that the world may end soon… that kid behind the counter can’t even make change)?

These businesses have tried to improve their service in the last few years, mainly because it was so poor. Actually, poor is not the right word. Horrendous fits better (I believe this to be true mainly because the kids at Taco Bell keep messing up my order).

Their challenge is that they provide items most people feel they must have. The bigger challenge is that the people will continue to purchase these items regardless of the quality of service.

Schools have to beware of falling into this trap. And it is an easy trap in which to fall when you know that you will always have a customer base.

The economic definition of business is the social science of managing people to organize and maintain collective productivity toward accomplishing particular creative and productive goals, usually to generate profit (man, I wish I could write sentences like this… not mine, Google it).

This definition can be applied to schools, except that we are not in the business of generating a profit but expanding a student’s knowledge (in theory… I am not counting that student from 3rd hour who drives you crazy).

Even though schools have an endless supply of customers, we do lack something. Most people involved in education think it is money, but I don’t believe that finances are our biggest challenge.

It is not that I wouldn’t take more money for my school; I just don’t think it is the solution for all of our problems.

While schools are a business, we are also a government entity.

Being part of the government is always a recipe for success. What could possibly go wrong when the government is involved? I have a warm and fuzzy feeling just thinking about it (this is a little something I like to call sarcasm).

Would every school in America be better off if our budget was doubled next year? If every teacher had their salary increased by $25,000? How about if administrators had better health insurance?

If all of these things happened, would students be smarter, better-rounded, produce higher test scores, and be more prepared for their lives after a K-12 education?

I think in the immediate future that more money would help to improve education, but in the long term, I am not so sure.

If educators had more money with which to work next year, we would be thrilled… for a while.

Then human nature would take over and we would want an even higher salary, an even better retirement plan, and more respect for all of the wonderful things that we do for students.

More money makes humans happy… in the short term.

It is similar to buying a new car. It is a fantastic feeling when you first get it, but as time goes on, it just becomes a car (when the new car smell goes, so does a small part of your love for it).

At first you wash the new car every weekend and treat it like a member of the family (one that you like), but over time we begin to take it for granted.

I think we would see the same type of reaction if educators had an unlimited supply of money. It would definitely be cherished in the moment, but time has a way of wearing down our appreciation.

Don’t get me wrong, schools could certainly fine a place for more money. There is no argument about this, but over the long haul something would still be missing.

I believe that the major thing that lacks in education that other businesses benefit from is competition.

That is the secret (in my mind, not necessarily in a “normal” persons mind).

Competition would benefit students more than testing, newer desks, technology, or even higher property taxes.

It is what pushes humans to be successful. It is difficult to be self-motivated enough to demand progress without competition.

Competition helps us judge one thing against another. That is why we keep score at games (except little kids’ soccer), give grades in class, and get a raise for working harder than other employees (except at schools).

Without the competitive factor, we give our best. At least what we think is our best. And that usually falls well short of what we could actually accomplish.

America is built on the idea that if you work harder then you can be better than your competition. And if you are better, you will be rewarded.

This has helped us build the greatest country in the world.

It could help us build the greatest K-12 educational system in the world. Or we can just continue to throw money at the problem.

Side note… Soccer team won 1-0 in our first game, but who is counting, because they don’t keep score. Except for the kids. They keep track to judge if they were successful or not.

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Being a School Principal can be Wrought with Danger.


It Looks Good.  And It's a Danger.There are a lot of good things about being a school administrator. Unfortunately, with the good there must be some bad.

This kind of symmetry makes the world of education go round. First hour and last hour. Teachers and students. Homework and recess. Boys and girls. Math class and recess. Junior high students and detentions. School days and vacation. And the good and the bad.

If this highly organized system breaks down, our schools will be overtaken by mass confusion and total mayhem (alright… more than we have now).

I love the structure of the school day. Everything happens at a certain time.

School starts at 8:00 and dismisses at 3:30. Lunch is the same time every day. The work week is Monday through Friday. Pay day comes once a month whether I need it or not.

Structure and lots of it.

Nothing ever changes, until something goes horribly wrong. Which happens by my estimation about 113 times a day, if it has been a good and unusually peaceful day.

Last week I had one of those days. By late afternoon, things had almost been going too well. It had been almost too easy. It was quiet, maybe a little too quiet.

No crisis. No excitement. Nothing out of the ordinary. Until…

….I felt a sharp pain around my neck. Apparently I was being choked.

A variety of things ran through my mind. Who could it be? So little time and so many suspects. I quickly came up with a lengthy list of possible attackers.

Was it an angry parent? Had I upset a student or possibly a teacher? Someone in the community who was not happy with me? Maybe even the home school mom who keeps emailing me, or a soccer parent, or even the chocolate milk kid who haunts my dreams.

It could be one of a thousand people I had dealt with over the years.

One’s mind races in a time like this. My entire life flashed before me.

The highlights and, as it turns out, a lot of boring parts. If I survived this vicious attack, I really need to turn up the excitement a bit (alright… a lot).

My run as a school administrator was coming to an end in about 90 seconds if I didn’t act quickly.

Then it occurred to me.

I wasn’t being choked. I had just closed the file drawer on my tie. Sad but true. At least no one will ever know.

The moral of this story is I hate ties.

The good is I survived my attacking myself with a file cabinet. The bad is I am an idiot and still a target for about a thousand people (a guesstimate… there may be more).

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School Buses and Principals. Let the Good Times Roll.


Shouldn't Busses Keep Both Wheels on the Ground?Someone out there has a sense of humor. You may ask yourself, how can I be so sure? Easy.

There are certain things in life that are a constant annoyance. Examples include but are not limited to: wacky weathermen and sportscasters, dial-up internet, scary cab drivers, fast food workers who mess up drive-thru orders, and people who wear blue tooth earpieces (how can these people be so busy that they don’t have the time to lift their cell phone up to their ear).

On top of these daily hassles, the spiritual being in charge (fill in your religious beliefs, or not- here) gave principals a special challenge.
In his (or her) wisdom, he (or she) has given us buses.

At first glance, buses are a wonderful idea. On the outside, they are just big happy yellow vehicles. Little kids grow up dreaming of the day when they can ride the bus to school.

When a preschooler watches videos (whoops….I just dated myself), there is always an exciting cartoon bus with wonderful smiling children looking out the windows. These buses are usually being driven by a very kind driver (and he usually has a mustache… I have no idea why).

These cheerful students aren’t throwing anything, getting out of their seat, putting the windows down too far, or using inappropriate language.

Buses were invented to provide safe and affordable transportation for school-aged children to get to and from school.

But as new school administrators learn in a hurry, there is always (and I mean always) two sides to every story. And buses are no exception.

When one delves a little deeper into the concept of buses, you begin to realize that whoever invented them either disliked principals immensely, or at the very least was having a really bad day. Or more likely, both.

When a teacher is looking for that first job as principal, they find out that the majority of interview questions deal with curriculum, evaluations, goals, staff morale, and discipline.

The discipline questions are a little misleading, because future principals usually assume they are about situations involving shoving, fighting, or disrespect towards staff members.

As candidates go through the interview process, buses are the furthest thing from a new principal’s mind.

If things go well in the interview, the district makes the candidate an offer to become their next principal. This is a very exciting career moment and the poor naïve candidate still has no idea of what awaits them.

They only have thoughts of more money, a big office, and most importantly, the idea of no longer having to babysit a junior high study hall.

The brand new baby-faced principal starts the new job excited and eager to have a positive impact on students and the school. But much to their surprise, the fun is just about to begin.

By fun, I mean buses. Actually, I don’t mean fun. The word I was searching for was… nightmare. That’s it. Nightmare.

If a principal is hired for $60,000, the financial breakdown is as follows: they are paid $59,981 for taking care of bus troubles and $19 for everything else.

Sounds like a good deal, but the truth is bus troubles are worth more than a measly $59,981. And $19 dollars certainly doesn’t cover everything else.

You may be thinking; how much trouble can buses really be?

It is obvious to me that if you are asking yourself that question; you are not an administrator, or you are a massive goofball who has taken an enormous blow to the head (possibly breaking up a fight on… I dunno… maybe a BUS!)

So there you have it. Buses were put on the earth not to transport children, but as a sick joke on school administrators.

Buses are a daily (actually twice a day…plus field trips and extracurricular activities) source of pain, heartache, suffering, and bloodshed.

And that’s just from the principal.

Starting your day with bus troubles is the worst possible thing that can happen to a principal.

Actually that isn’t completely true. Something worse could have happened the night before when the principal was supervising an athletic event.

But that’s another story (or blog).

If someone needs 842 Barney videos that include storylines about sweet children, buses, and kind (by kind, I mean creepy… I think it is the mustaches or it could be the talking dinosaur) bus drivers, please email me.

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Disclaimer

While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.