This teacher had a bad case of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The first thing I saw were Playboy centerfolds hanging from the ceiling. The walls were covered with blotches of paint and clay. Any art supplies that weren’t on the ceiling, walls or blackboard were smeared on the floor. The regular teacher often left the room to smoke cigarettes leaving the kids unsupervised.
I was offered a long-term position to the end of the school year. I accepted, and the VP gave me the room key and replaced the art supplies the kids had destroyed. I spent the weekend cleaning the mess.
After the first few days on the job, the kids started calling me “Sergeant”. That’s because I ran the class like a Marine Corps drill instructor but without the profanity and insults. The troublemakers hated me. No student liked the discipline, and one of the girls complained to her dad that I was mean and didn’t know anything about art. He demanded a parent conference.
After school the next day, the father walked in with his daughter right behind him. I could tell from his body language that his had convinced him that I had to go. That’s when I saw the United States Marine Corps tattoo on his right forearm.
Continued in Part 4, Semper Fidelis—Always Faithful. The Few. The Proud
If you didn’t start reading this four part series with “It’s the Parents, Stupid“, click here