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Taking notes



As a public-school teacher, I must constantly find ways to laugh because there are an infinite number of reasons not to. Like working for hours on end to develop a fun and exciting way to learn adjectives, only to have the students look at you as if you're speaking Greek. Like calling a parent all year, leaving messages attempting to schedule conferences about their child's refusal to do homework, and then having that parent finally call you back in June demanding to know why their little angel is not going on to eighth grade. Like having your daughter graduate from college and take a position with a bank where she is making more in her first year of work than you are after 20.

Am I bitter? Goodness, no! Now, what was I talking about?

Oh yes, finding things to laugh about. Well, if you know where to look, those things are plentiful. One good example is the excuse notes written by some parents for their children. These can cover absences, work not done, inability to do physical activity--all kinds of things. They are generally written by parents who are about to walk out the door to get to work when their child suddenly screams that he/she needs a note or all hell will break loose at school. So we teachers--most of us parents ourselves--have nothing but sympathy. We may laugh, but we also know that somewhere, a teacher is probably laughing at the note we wrote that morning for our own child.

Some true examples:

"Dear school, T. was absent for two days because she lost her great grandmother and all of her homework. We are a very sorry family."

"Dear Ms. Wentz, Please send James to the parking lot at 2 p.m. Someone will be waiting for him, but I don't know who. Thank you. His mother."

"My daughter, J., has permission to go to the theater with your class, as long as she doesn't see anything X-rated. If you go to any of those, I'd like to go first. Thank you very much. Mrs. P."

"Dear gym teacher, B. can't play today because the doctor says his bones are growing. I want to get a second opinion. Please excuse him."

And the best one?

"Dear P.E. Department, please excuse C. from gym class today. She is in bed with gramps."

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