For all of those that haven’t been paying attention, I’m a counsellor and I work at a High School. Recently I was called into a classroom by an English teacher to help deescalate a student from going full ham. Which I was able to do because I’m awesome at my job and speak the language of the voiceless and disenfranchised.
I asked if I could stay in the room, telling the teacher and students I wanted to avoid doing paperwork, but secretly wanting to monitor the student/situation lest shit escalate again. I also wanted to avoid doing paperwork.
Five minutes into a typical Year 7 English lesson later I noticed the classroom teacher has misspelled sandwiches while writing on the whiteboard at the front of the classroom. I look around the classroom, waiting for a student to point out this obvious mistake.
I raise my hand.
“Um, yes Travis, you have something to say?” the teacher asks.
“Yes Miss, I do. You’ve spelled sandwiches incorrectly.”
The students all giggle and I instantly notice the teachers jaw clench.
Through gritted teeth and without breaking eye contact she spits out, “I think you’ll find my spelling is correct.”
“Um, except it isn’t. Unless you mean to suggest that students bring actual Sand Witches, with sandy magic brooms, sandy cauldrons and sandy black cats on the field trip?”
With the white hot fury of a million suns the teacher in question stares burning holes of rage right into my soul. My resolve doesn’t shift; she’s wrong. Eventually she breaks my gaze to turn and look at her spelling error on the whiteboard.
After watching her look at her mistake for what seems like an eternity I can tell that she can’t tell what’s wrong with her spelling.
I low key pull my phone from my pocket and enter sandwiches into Google. Sure enough Google agrees with me that the correct spelling of the word sandwiches is sandwiches.
“If you don’t believe me Miss, I Googled it,” I say as I hold up my phone, “there’s definitely no t in sandwiches.”
The classroom breaks out into another round of giggles.
Surly as a cut snake she corrects her mistake, erasing sandwitches from the board and replacing it with the correct spelling.
“Aren’t we all lucky to have Travis in the room?” she asks the classroom, “Thank you Travis. Now don’t you have some paperwork you need to do?”
“You’re welcome Miss, I’m here to help.” I reply. Realising I’ve probably pushed things as far as they can go I leave the classroom to a chorus of student goodbyes. I retire to my office and pretend to do paperwork until I receive the inevitable text.
“Travis, could you please come to my office when you’re free. Thank you.” Yours sincerely, The Principal.
In the Thunderdome that is The Principal’s office the English teacher accuses me of undermining her authority. I accuse her of undermining the English language and remind her that she was the one that called me into her classroom to manage a student’s behaviour. I also suggest that undermining is another word she needs to Google.
The Principal gives a completely rote speech about unity and everyone walks away unsatisfied.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you The Victorian Department of Education.