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April 15, 2024

Middle School Math Teacher

By Robert Ronnow

Middle School Math Teacher

Should I become a middle school math or English teacher?
Leave my bed early in the morning and return with test papers to grade.
With what authority will I persuade those kids to sit still and perform calculations and
       interpretations. I won’t be allowed to teach A Good Man Is Hard To Find. Nope, it’ll be Catcher in the Rye,
       Lord of the Flies and Slaughterhouse Five. Novels that annoy.
Poems and math are magic. Words and numbers are things no one has ever seen or heard or touched. But the administration keeps them separate. The curriculum’s determinate.
The kids are beautiful but combustible. When middle school lets out at the periapsis of Earth’s orbit, that’s the face of joy.

The purpose of school is to introduce us to the world’s innumerable
       wonders. The periodic table, World Wars I and II, Huckleberry Finn
       and Jim.
Once a gaggle of teenage girls bet whether I wore boxers or jockeys. I felt
ambushed and unlucky. Also a bit afraid.
There’s little love lost between the students and the teachers. Expect to forget and be forgotten.
I remember Mr. Killian my chemistry teacher. So boring about something I now find so interesting
        and important. He wasn’t boring; I was boring.
I remember Mr. Christensen my history teacher. He was fat and funny but taught as little as
        possible. I was known to laugh so hard I cried.
I remember Mr. T my calculus teacher. He dressed everyday exactly like Gene Kranz in mission
        control. I was confused past help so he didn’t help.
I remember Tone K was my music teacher. He said I was the worst trumpet player he’d ever tried
        to teach and switched me to sousaphone. He was right but so what! Playing badly is the best

Article © Robert Ronnow. All rights reserved.
Published on 2023-04-03
Image(s) are public domain.
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