Saturday, June 01, 2013

Principal Sappenbottom and Priorities

 by Curious Teacher

It's June. There are graduating seniors who won't graduate, there are Regents exams, makeup labs, and the usual end-of-year chaos. During this time the Principal should be busy, busy, busy doing Very Important Work. But Principal Sappenbottom is Not That Kind of Principal who worries about those things. Students have no idea who she is, and that's the way she likes it, thank you very much.

One day Principal Sappenbottom decided to get up out of her air conditioned office and walk around the school. There had been numerous complaints that air conditioners were broken around the school. She wandered into a teacher's lounge where the AC was, indeed, broken. She looked around. "It's messy, it has to be cleaned up and re-arranged, or I'll take this work area away," she said and stomped back to her office.

Of course some teachers were terrified. Principal Sappenbottom was mad! So instead of prepping, or tutoring, or grading, or doing any of the usual stuff teachers do in their free periods, these teachers threw out a file cabinet, several shelves of books, and started furiously drawing up floor plans of a rearranged room. Nothing! Else! Mattered! They had to show a floor plan to Principal Sappenbottom ASAP.

One veteran teacher thought this was all nonsense. He was very busy conducting a lab practical and he had other worries. He politely told these teachers that maybe all this could wait until, say, the end of the year, and he didn't have time to look at 5 different floor plans and move his stuff immediately to fit the configurations of these floor plans.

No! Ms. Floor Plan shrieked. This has to be done immediately! Principal Sappenbottom doesn't like this room!

Veteran Teacher had had it. He exploded. "I don't care what Principal Sappenbottom wants," he snapped. "I have other things to worry about. SHE has other things to worry about, why is she bothering us with this nonsense?"

Words were exchanged. Feelings were hurt. And of course, Ms. Floor Plan immediately ran to Principal Sappenbottom's office. The next period Veteran Teacher got a phone call. Principal Sappenbottom wanted to see him in her office immediately.

"We think it's better that you move your stuff to (another work area)," Principal Sappenbottom said.

Veteran Teacher was like "Next year?"

"No. Immediately."


"Well, lots of reasons." Principal Sappenbottom smiled.

Veteran Teacher came in the following Monday to see that indeed, Ms. Floor Plan had already moved all his stuff to the other room. One problem though … in the other room, the teachers said "There's no desk for you."  So now Veteran Teacher has no place to go during his free periods.

"I think they want me to retire," he sighed.

He's probably right.
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