Thursday, January 29, 2009

Miss Pazdit

I used to be free period 3 every day, and every day my supervisor would hunt me down and ask if I could cover Miss Pazdit's class until she showed up. At first it was five minutes, then ten, and it grew to twenty and then most of the period. It became tedious after a while. I was particularly irked because this was a beginning ESL class, one I'd actually asked to teach. Miss Pazdit had been assigned a paraprofessional, who complemented her teaching style perfectly by never showing up at all.

I asked if I could switch this class with my fourth period class. My supervisor declined, claiming that such a change would only make Miss Pazdit late for fourth period rather than third.

One day, I decided that since I was stuck there, I might as well teach the kids something. I pulled them all to the front of the room, rather than let them sit all over the place as they'd been doing, and started talking about the weather with them. We started discussing what it looked like outside, and how the weather was where they came from. 30 minutes into the period Ms. Pazdit arrived, to find her students completely focused and actually working. She was outraged. This was simply beyond the pale.

"Where is that paraprofessional!" she shouted.

Not to put to fine a point on it, at least in front of the kids, I said, "I think you're asking the wrong questions."

Miss Pazdit was very upset with me. She cornered me later and asked, "Do you have a problem with me or something?"

"Yes I do," I told her. "I cover your class for free almost every day because you can't even bother to show up." She gave me a dirty look and stormed away.

At the end of the year, she retired. She visits every now and then, and talks about how much she misses teaching. Personally, I don't believe her at all.
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