My official job title is Achievement Specialist. I used to be called a Curriculum Specialist but for some unknown reason the title was changed. The job is the same just the name is different. There are a couple of bad things about it: 1) The students don't get it and in there eyes, if you are not called a teacher, then you are a principal which I definitely am not and 2) the field of education loves abbreviations, so I am the AS, yep, the ass!
Our PTO works very hard to plan activities for our students that are free or extremely cheap. PTO stands for parent-teacher organization which is ironic because it is run by all teachers because no parents want to volunteer to do the job. The Tomahawk PTO put on a Fall Festival. For $1 the students could do crafts, go trick-or-treating, watch The Great Pumpkin, and go through a Haunted Hallway. There was also a costume contest. There was at least 150 students in the contest. When you calculate that each student has anywhere from 3 to 5 family members with them that is at least 500 people. It was wild, but the students had a great time!
At the end of the evening, a young lady that I kind of recognized (she was wearing a costume) came up to me with her father. I knew he was going to complain about something because in my 32 years of teaching I have not seen a parent on campus walk up to a teacher in such a crowded room and thank them for all they have done. I smiled at the little girl and said what I say to every student that comes up to me, "Hi, it's good to see you!"
The father said, "My daughter says that you are the principal. Are you the principal?"
"No, sir, I am not the principal," I replied.
"I didn't think you could be a principal," he said with a tone of belittlement. "What are you?" he continued.
"I am the Achievement Specialist, how may I help you?" I asked.
"Oh, the Achievement Specialist," he sneered with a la-de-dah lilt to his voice.
And that is where he lost me. I was having a conversation with him in my head, but it wasn't about what he was complaining about.
"And why couldn't I be a principal? Crippled kids can't be principals?"
"Blah, blah, blah, kids cutting in line, blah blah."
"I am sure you expect me to be sitting in a home with a blanket over my legs and drool dripping from my chin."
"Blah, blah, it's not fair, blah, blah ,blah!"
"Oh, look at your poor daughter. She is embarrassed that you are continuing to complain about such a silly thing. She is trying to pull you away."
"Blah, blah,blah, blah, cutting in line, blah, blah, blah, it's not fair, blah, blah, blah.
"I get it! I get it! Kids were cutting in line. That's what kids do. Are you finished?
"I am sorry, sir, that someone cut in line in front of your daughter. We didn't anticipate the crowd being this large. We will be sure to take that into consideration when planning for next year."
"Please be sure to tell someone that is in charge what I suggested. You know someone important," he smirked. "Blah, blah, blah, blah cutting in line, blah, blah,blah, blah, fair, blah, blah, blah, blah!"
"I will be happy to do that for you sir. As soon as I wipe the drool from my chin. I know I am not important. I am only the AS_. Have great evening." Looking at his daughter, "Bye, darling, it was really good to see you. I am so glad you came this evening."
I do that same thing when you are ragging on me.
The Flip Side
What did you say? I'm not listening! Do you know what I am thinking about?