Saturday, December 13, 2014


Being out here in the very rural part of Alaska, we have a pretty high turnover rate with our teaching staff. In our small school alone, we have only 6 teachers. I have been here for five years and have had 3 different principals and 18 different teachers during that time. So I thought maybe I should put together a list of FAQ for someone who may be interested in coming out here to work, at my particular school. I know there are thousands of questions, but I’ll limit them to the only important ones. 

Do the students sit quietly at their desks and work with the determination of a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter?
The short answer would be “No fucking way.” 

Would it be considered rude if I ate the unmarked food in the staff refrigerator?
Keep your hands off my lunch.

Does the staff at your school act in a professional manner?
I would say that most do, but I avoid them. Or as they would say, they avoid me. Tomato/Tamato. Either way, keep your paws off my lunch.

Are flannel shirts part of the male dress code? And if so, how many does one need for a year?

Two unknown lumberjacks doing what lumberjacks do.

It’s not how many you have, but how you use them. (Am I right, Lumberjacks?  *high-fives all Lumberjacks in the vicinity*) I have 6 in the starting rotation and one on the injured reserve that I wear on the weekends. The one in reserve lost a button and I haven’t had it repaired. No, it was not an eating accident, I caught it on a door frame. But equally embarrassing. 

Does the staff work together to solve problems?
By problems do you mean ‘Find ways to make it difficult for Clay to voice his concerns during staff meetings’? Then yes, like a Swiss watch.

At staff meetings, when the principal asks if there are any further questions, why does the staff look towards you and roll their eyes?
If you don’t mind, I’d like to limit the questions to pertinent educational inquirers and not foolish water cooler jibber-jabber.

Do the students feel comfortable confiding in the staff at your school?
I have heard more inappropriate confessions in my classroom than a Boston priest at a St Patrick’s Day parade. I am not a psychiatrist but some days I enter into a surreal world of weird shit. So yes, they are painfully comfortable.    

I heard about an incident involving a stain in the hallway at your school. Did a student do that or did you?
I can see that a person could be confused on who caused this, what with the foot traffic and all. And you know how kids don’t always pay attention. Sometimes they run in the hallways without paying attention. But yes, I did that.

What the hell is it?
It is, or was, a Ding Dong. (No matter how old I get, I will never tire in saying the words Ding Dong.) I had a Ding Dong at lunch and decided to eat the Ding Dong over near my desk. Someone asked me what I was eating and I said, “It’s a Ding Dong.” Anyway, as I was walking with my Ding Dong in my hand, I accidentally dropped my Ding Dong and stepped on it.

Would you stop saying “Ding Dong” over and   over!?

No.       (Ding Dong)                       

So, there you are. This little FAQ list should help you decide if our school is right for you. And if you do feel it’s right for you, remember, that half eaten can of sardines in the fridge isn’t a charity giveaway. It’s my lunch.