Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Other Duties As Assigned…

As I sat outside in 90-degree or so heat (this is Texas remember) supervising my one hour and 45 minute Homecoming Float Duty, it just made me run through that mental list of “Things We Didn’t Go to College For” that bounces around the back of my brain from time to time. But with teachers flanking both sides of me sitting in those “Soccer Mom” folding chairs and grading papers, my friend the Spanish teacher glanced over my shoulder as I compiled my list and duly noted that a better title would be: “What they really mean when they say, ‘Other duties as assigned…’”

And, as usual she’s right, so there it is, and here we are with a list culled from years of experience, a number of teachers and from a variety of school districts.

Other duties as assigned…

• Playing yearbook "bingo" in order to sort through 1,000-plus books by teacher name and an assorted array of customized extras in order to distribute the book. Trust me on this one, you don't want to know the rules. There's never a winner.

• Stuffing tootsie rolls in empty rolls of toilet paper and wrapping them up for cheerleaders to throw to fans at football games.

• “Designing” receipts through all manner and forms of technology for items purchased for kids after misplacing the original receipts.

• Ascertaining whether “Lick Lamar” was too graphic to put on a lollipop when trying to come up with a theme for the Friday night football game against Arlington Lamar High School.

• Luring kangaroo mice with sunflower seeds and popping trashcans over them because we legally couldn’t set mouse traps or bait.

• Taking the temperature of vents throughout the school because no one in maintenance (located in a separate building, on a different street, with working temperature controls) actually believed the air blows at a frigid 53 degrees. Instead, the infamous “they” believed the teaching staff was comprised of menopausal, hormonally whacked-out females suffering from faulty temperature sensations.

• Chasing chickens (yes, real ones, not the wacky rubber ones) down the hallway after some end-of-the-year prankster put them in the girls’ bathroom.

• Arranging cookies on cocktail napkins for parents at the end of an assembly just so we could thieve a snickerdoodle or two.

• Rewriting about 100 statistics from the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test results on a blank sheet of paper during teacher in-service (staff development) to prove we can (a) find the data (b) accurately record the information and (c) waste all morning doing it.

• Trying to teach a computer class for six weeks without computers. Unless that was part of the “monitor and adjust” curriculum of Education 101.

• Being issued not red pens, whiteboard markers or paper clips but a yellow and black flashlight as the only piece of official equipment to cope with the anticipated power outages from low-bid construction crews hired to renovate the school. And, yes, of course, they were used.

• Painting [substitute your mascot’s name here] paws for a mile in preparation for the Homecoming Parade.

• Being assigned to the Noise Patrol to confiscate air horns and other noisemakers at graduation. Or, better yet, being pressed into duty as part of the Gum Squad–that’s G-U-M not G-U-N–to make would-be graduates spit out their chewy blobs before being allowed to bebop down the aisles to “Pomp and Circumstance.”

I swear all this is true…I couldn’t make this stuff up even if I tried. Sure would like to hear some of your stories. You can post them here or you can email me at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I realy got a kick out of the "other duties as assigned". I have been asked crazy questions and have done some bizarre things as an Executive Administrative Assistant. I was onced asked by my manager "where do you get stamps?" like the post office was some secret club I belonged to.