Tuesday, October 29, 2019

What if You Classroom Was Haunted?

I wonder what it would be like if my classroom were haunted.

Would it be haunted by the ghost of a former teacher? Is that where teachers go after they die? They say your spirit can't move on if you've got unfinished business. This should scare all teachers because, really, who has all their grading done? Put your hand down, you liar. Even if your grading is done you haven't finished planning that next lesson.

My classroom being haunted by a teacher would explain why I can't find things and why student pencils always go missing. It's either that or my students and I are completely unorganized, and I know that can't possibly be it. So it's probably a ghost. This would explain why my projector sometimes freaks out and switches channels. Ghost teacher, trying to send me a message that I shouldn't be talking any more. Oh sure, Mrs Ghost. When you taught it was all slate boards and chalk so you can't understand why I'm casting a Chromebook to the overhead. You don't even know what those words mean. And you should, Mrs Ghost, because you've been in my room for years so you've heard me explain it. But I guess once you're a ghost you're not really looking to learn or grow anymore. 

If my classroom were haunted by a former teacher it would probably be cleaner though. I don't know a whole lot of teachers who are ok with my style of "organization". Mrs Ghost teacher would probably move stuff around and I'd get back and instead of Haunted Mansion tea parties and precarious book stacks every pencil would be sharpened and in a cup, all my papers would be stacked nicely, and my coffee machine would finally be cleaned. 

Maybe I do need a ghost teacher in my room.

If it were a ghost student, let's call him Kaspar for legal reasons, that would explain how so many of my students fall out of chairs and off wobble stools. It's not that they're rocking back and forth or playing around. Kaspar is a punk and he's pushing them off and laughing about it. He's also getting into their desks and stealing morning work so they can't find it even though they know they put it right back into their folder just like I said. Kaspar strikes again. 

Kaspar breaks pencils, even as the student is writing with them. And Kaspar, let's call him Kas, messed with my pencil sharpener so it never actually sharpens the pencil, it just eats it. Can ghosts climb inside pencil sharpeners? Sure they can. Kas is ruining pencils. And markers! Holy cow, this is all coming together now. Kas goes around and loosens whiteboard marker caps so the pens dry up. I bet Kas has a bunch of tiny whiteboard marker ghosts following him around everywhere, doing his evil bidding. That's why he didn't cross over. There was one more prank left to pull. 

I'm absolutely going to haunt my classroom after I die. I'm already lame, might as well lean into it in the afterlife. I'll whisper answers into student ears while they're testing, sometimes right, sometimes wrong depending on how I feel that day. I'll whoosh across the teacher's desk, scattering papers everywhere. Me and the ghost custodian will play with the lights and make sure the fire alarm never works during drills until after the administration have called maintenance. In that millisecond flash between when the teacher turns the projector off and the light actually goes out I'll stand (float?) in front of the screen so my afterimage is burned into everyone's subconscious. I'll short out the microwave in the teacher's lounge. 

Unless they leave out dark chocolate M&Ms for me as a peace offering. Leave out the dark chocolate, show some respect to the phantom of the schoolhouse, use the lesson plans I write, and hire the young teacher I secretly trained in the broom closet, and I'll leave you be.

Or will I? *spooky ghost laugh goes here*

If you like this post and the other posts on this blog you should know I’ve written three books about teaching- He’s the Weird Teacher, THE Teaching Text (You’re Welcome), and A Classroom Of One. I’ve also written one novel- The Unforgiving Road. You should check them out, I’m even better in long form. I’m also on the tweets @TheWeirdTeacher.

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