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    Time To Teach Time Travel

    | Indiana, USA | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, School

    (I am a substitute teacher. This takes place on Picture Day, where all the kids go with their homeroom teachers to have school pictures taken. After about a quarter of my students have sat for their portraits and are sitting quietly near me while they wait for their classmates to finish, the principal comes in to the room.)

    Principal: “You need to take the students who are finished back to your classroom. They can’t just loiter in here.”

    Me: “But, I thought I wasn’t supposed to leave any student unattended.”

    Principal: “That’s right.”

    Me: “So, I have to walk each student, as they are finished, back to my classroom?”

    Principal: “Yes.”

    Me: “And, then, return here to escort the next student?”

    Principal: “Yes.”

    Me: “Okay, I’ll do that.”

    (I proceed to escort the 6-8 students who were finished back to my classroom. I then return to the cafeteria, where portraits are being taken. Just then, the principal walks in, seemingly livid.)

    Principal: “What did I tell you about leaving students unattended?”

    Me: “I’m confused. I thought I was supposed to escort each student back to my classroom, and then return here for the next student.”

    Principal: “Yes! That’s right!”

    Me: “But, to do that, the students in the classroom would be left unattended.”

    Principal: “Students should NEVER be unattended!”

    Me: “Then, should I stay in the classroom and tell students to just return to my room when the portraits are done?”

    Principal: “What are you thinking?! Students should never be left unattended in the classroom, in the cafeteria, or in the hallways.”

    Me: “Let me see if I am getting this right: I am supposed to be in the cafeteria throughout the time the portraits are being taken so the kids aren’t unattended in the cafeteria. I am also supposed to escort each and every student back to my classroom so they aren’t unattended in the hallways. Once I take a student back to the classroom, I’m supposed to stay there so that they aren’t left unattended in my room. Is that right?”

    Principal: “YES! God, why is that so hard to figure out? At this rate, it’ll be a miracle if you don’t flunk out of your master’s program.”

    Me: “So, tell me, how am I supposed to be in the cafeteria, in my classroom, and escorting students in the hallway all at the same time?”

    Principal: “You are the teacher. That is your job to figure out. Now, get it done!” *storms off*

    (I did my best to bend the laws of physics and reality to accomplish his directive, but it didn’t work. In the end, I ended up having to leave the students unattended in the cafeteria, where at least the adult photographer and school secretary were present. At the end of the day, I was relieved from my position as a long-term substitute teacher for “Endangering the safety of students by leaving them unattended.”)