Friday, March 19, 2010

The Teacher Sweater

Hello my faithful blog readers! All two of you!! Today I have to tell you about something very important: the teacher sweater. It is my professional opinion that the teacher sweater is visible evidence of a syndrome known as Post Teaching Stress Disorder, or PTSD. By the time someone with PTSD gets to the stage where they wear a teacher sweater (or vest) there is very little hope for treatment. Once you have it you have to retire.

Allow me to illustrate.

Two days ago we celebrated St. Patrick's day. The day started off with an intercom announcement from our faithful principal...

"Good morning boys and girls! We have a NEW school rule today! There is NO PINCHING at Butterfly School. We are not allowed to pinch. There is NO PINCHING allowed at Butterfly School."

That's good for me, since I wasn't wearing green. The only green I had in my closet was a sweater and it was a hot day! So no green for me. I wasn't too worried though, as I made it through Christmas without Christmas tree shirts and Hanukkah without dreidel socks and Valentine's day without pink or red hearts. I mean, it may be cool for other teachers to compare holiday themed brooches and earrings and stuff... but I find I feel like a big enough dork without all the extra props.

As St. Patrick's Day went by I saw lots of children wearing green. Many children were wearing things that were obviously class projects, like tissue paper shamrocks, construction paper hats and beards, and pots of gold made of felt with pipe cleaner handles around their wrists. Awww, isn't it good to know that teachers who complain that they don't have time to read real literature or use real math curriculum still manage the time to find, prep, do, and clean up from such important holidays like St. Patrick's Day? But I don't judge. I don't have a real job yet.

But those are the kids. And it's forgivable for a kid to wear so much green considering that no amount of school rules or announcements from the principal can prevent pinching behind teacher's backs. Also it's forgivable when you're five and it's just so damn cute to put a paper beard on you and make you go chase leprechauns.

However, once I started looking at the staff, I realized that this holiday was just like all the others at my school. The teachers REALLY brought it.

Ms. Kindergarten wore a green dress and heels.
Ms. First Grade wore green tights, boots, a black skirt, a green shirt with shamrocks on it, and a shamrock brooch.
Two of the Miss. Second Grades, BFFs and in their second year of teaching so they know EVERYTHING, wore clothes that could have been an ad for Abercrombie. They had boots, tights, a skirt, and a top. Just a touch of green and totally stylin.
Mrs. Third Grade wore a green patterned moo moo dress and sandals and socks.
Miss. Fourth Grade donned the boots, tights, and green top ensemble (seriously did I MISS A MEMO???)
Miss Fifth Grade wore jeans. Whew.... wait... and a sweater. A green sweater. With shamrocks and little leprechauns on it.
Mrs. Sixth Grade wore black slacks. And a sweater vest that had leprechauns and a pot of gold and shamrocks on it. She had shamrock earrings and a shamrock brooch. And she wore a green hat (not made out of construction paper).

But the best was one of the Mrs. Second Grades. This Mrs. Second Grade threw shame out the window and wore a similar outfit to Mrs. First Grade. She had boots, except they had little bells on them. She had green tights, except they had little gold coins in the pattern. She had a black skirt on, except it came to her ankles and was way too frumpy even for her age. She had a green shirt with shamrocks on it, except she topped it with a vest (also green, also adorned with leprechauns and shamrocks etc). And on her head she donned a headband claiming "lucky irish" as well as a headband that was decorated with a mini hat. Only a very seasoned teacher could pull off two headbands.

Clearly, all of the teachers at my school are suffering from post teaching stress disorder (PTSD) to some degree or another! But Mrs. Second Grade has it bad!!

The only cure for PTSD is to retire and give me your job. That way, I can have 25 children of my own to dress up for and then I won't care how much of a dork I am because I'll have that many kids who will completely love the fact that I dress up just for them and make one day of the year fun even if all the others totally suck because of testing and standards and mean people.

Until then, I won't judge. Really, I won't.

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