The Patience of Job

sorry – not a religious article… just thinking of how much patience I must exercise on a daily basis as an “inner city” high school teacher. (not inner-city in the sense of downtown L.A., but WAY more inner-city than Cerritos, CA)

For example, I have a student ask me for a letter of recommendation to some program (I didn’t get far enough to read the details) and in the process of scanning the directions I discover that (as should be the case) I need to seal this recommendation in an envelope. That actually makes me feel a great deal better, because this particular student has enough interpersonal issues that I’m not sure they’re going to like my evaluation. BUT I don’t happen to have an envelope on me… so I politely ask how long I have before this needs to be returned.



Well, then I’m going to need you to go to the office to pick up an envelope for me, since I don’t have one…. instant chaos. I’m the big-bad-wolf. I’m unhelpful. I don’t really want to fill this out. Another teacher filled it out and didn’t seal it, so why do I have to? And now this student won’t talk to me – worse… if I attempt to say a word to her she is rude and talks over me. Hmmmm…. I wonder why I had qualms about openly returning a recommendation….

A few moments pass. Things calm down. She finally hears what I have to say about picking up an envelope from the office. I, the very forgiving and patient soul that I am, am about to write her a pass to the office to get said envelope and I will still fill out this form without letting this recent incident affect my evaluation overmuch.

Oops…. I just remember that about 20 minutes ago we were instructed not to give out passes for the remainder of the day (probably has something to do with the morons that set a fire or two in some school trash cans today). You’re not going to like this, ma’am….

Blam! I’m the jerk again. My fault…. I can’t even get in a word edgewise again to explain that I’m very sorry, but I can’t go against the rules from the front office.

Well, at least now I can say that she’s better off without my recommendation. At this point, I’d have to rate her as low as it gets.

Boy, did I need to vent! Thanks for hearing me out!

Next up, the SNAFU with my Master’s Degree….


One Response to “The Patience of Job”

  1. Talk about saved by the bell. Why do kids w/ serious attitude problems….let me back up…. why do people (adults and children) feel entitled to such privileges w/out any rules or regulations or even set backs?

    It gets me that the people who seem to believe they deserve the best treat others w/ such disrespect. Her aggression alone would get her kicked out of an interview for whatever she was applying for. God forbid the interviewer should ask her a question she doesn’t like. No matter how many good recommendations she gets her attitude will eventually prove her unworthy at this time of such a privilege. Hopefully we will not count her as an adult who didn’t learn in childhood that you can not have everything immediately and exactly the way you wish.


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