Happy World Cranky Control Freak’s Day


Not sure how a mistake of those proportions got past the mildly OCD-bolstered eye of the editor of this blog, but naturally that headline should have read HAPPY WORLD TEACHER’S DAY.

The world inside the classroom rarely gets a mention on SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK and that’s the way I intend to keep it, but today marks an exception.

In the gloriously overstuffed calendar of World commemorative days which includes the likes of less weighty odes such as –

World Puppetry Day   (March 21)

World Purple Day       (March 26)

World Pizza Day         (May 9)

World Towel Day       (May 25)  (This day remembers writer Douglas ‘Hitchhikers Guide                                                               to the Galaxy’ Adams)

World UFO Day           (July 2)

World Toilet Day        (November 19)

World Teacher’s Day stands solid as a deserving acknowledgement of those individuals who play their part in helping guide and shape future generations in our increasingly complex, multicultural and technological society. As managers of the greatest resource on the planet – young developing minds – teachers, as the old saying goes, affect eternity since they can never tell the full extent of where their influence may reach. Gosh, a person would never get out of bed in the morning if they thought too much about the weight of that responsibility!

For anyone who believes I may have my dates mixed up, here’s the information-scented portion of this post. World Teacher’s Day is celebrated in over 100 countries and has been on the International Day Calender since 1994 when the United Nations brought it into being. It falls traditionally on October 5th but in Queensland, Australia we commemorate the occasion on the last Friday of October since October the 5th usually occurs here during the school holidays (which it didn’t this year).


In honour of the occasion, I wanted to include some sort of vaguely humorous story about the teaching profession.  I found it when trawling through an on-line teacher forum. These are the words of a Prep teacher describing the uneasy working relationship she has with her teacher aid. The final line is definitely worth reading to the end for.

On this particular day I got to work…quietly. My aide came in all bubbly, ready to talk. I gave yes and no answers. Her response..”Oh, you’re a late riser I see.” After a while, she realized I was not going to talk the entire day, just work.

What struck me as odd was a project I left for her. I had some leaves with all the children’s names, and I wanted her to put them on a board. I stepped out for a minute, and she had put up all the leaves, and took an extra one I was saving, and put HER name on it, and put that up there as well. So, as soon as I noticed it, I took it down, and said I needed that extra one because it was my original copy. She said, “We always put our names up with the children’s work.”

I am a bit perturbed by this “we always…” stuff. Because good co-worker should understand and respect that new people sometimes do things differently. But the bigger issue is to take something off my desk and put your name on it, without asking me first. The kids are what’s important…seeing your name is not. What gives her the right to put her name up there with my last copy, especially if you noticed I wasn’t finished, and MY name isn’t up there. I didn’t leave her name off on purpose…I wasn’t finished! Now, I have to white out her name to make more!!

I am disturbed by that line of thinking… That is not initiative to me. That is going ahead with something because that’s how you want it.

I agree that it is great to have a partner, and someone who is able to share the load. My issue is with people who are more interested in running the show, and not ready or willing to have their own class. If you are content with being an assistant..or co-teacher, then that is fine. But when you start taking matters into your own hands…that is drawing a line…especially with a new teacher.

I think new teachers need to understand and find their way, and will begin to bring more into the classroom. But I know I personally have trouble with my aide trying to get me to do things her way. And, she sees I will not be talking all day, (which I saw was part of her attempt to change the subject) while she tries to convince me to do what she likes.

Less words, less discussion, more work.

I can listen to her ideas…

and I know it’s our room.

But it is my class.

I have to do things that work for me.

Make it work for both of us….yeah, okay.. but, how can I work in your fast lane?

Maybe that’s why I’m not married…

Swear to gawd, hand on heart, I did not make that up!

I’ve heard a few first hand stories over the years, including the one about the teaching partners who shared a class – one working two days a week, the other working three days a week – who used to drive each other crazy because one would always leave thumb tacks and paper clips mixed in the same box in their shared desk, but that one ‘leaves’ me near doubled-over with laughter.

As always, funny when it happens to someone else – not so funny when you find yourself the main character.

Little Billy

To view the finalists in this year’s Queensland College of Teacher’s Teacher Photo Competition click here

PPs. I like a good mystery as much as the next person. So it is with an uneasy mix of pride on the one hand and loss of face on the other I  report that I am currently on the case of one such real life puzzle that’s proving quite the unguessable charade.

A month ago, on the occasion of Ariana Grande visiting Brisbane to play her sold out concert, I wrote a post (here) comparing the koala-boasting charms of Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary with those of Australia Zoo. I mentioned that for many years I had owned a black and white photograph of myself, aged around six, holding a koala on a day out back in the 1970’s at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

Seems I’m not the only person who retained such a cultural artefact of growing up in Brisbane in those far more innocent times. During the week I was anonymously sent a black & white photo of a young girl of similar age and challenged to accurately guess who the person (known both to me and a great many of you) in the picture was. I would love to enlist others help in cracking this decidedly Holmesian identity riddle. If you’ve got any clue, by all means feel free to deposit it in the comments box below. I need help on this desperately ’cause in the last seven days I’ve been to near Helen back trying to work out who exactly this could be…



15 thoughts on “Happy World Cranky Control Freak’s Day

  1. What does this say about me Glen? I didn’t waste any time going to the site of the Teacher photo competition and I was immediately disappointed. For some reason I was expecting it to be a collage of the worst mug shots of teachers for 2017. I’m sure we have seen a few of those? I was so hoping to be entertained. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Re the photo, I do keep running into former teacher and teacher aid colleagues when shopping in Forest Lake. Fortunately none have been too flustered by the impact. This is the only refreshing of faces I get now I’m happily stuck in the realm of chemical engineering. The most recent impact was with someone by the name of Pam. Could this be her?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. P.S. (D?) Glen. I love your choice of photo for World Teacher’s Day (hoping vainly for some debate on my apostrophe placement). 🙂


  4. Do the names Interpol, CIA, FBI and Missing Persons Department mean anything to you Matt?

    I had a range of very astute amateur detectives working the case and two of them tipped me off about the identity of the person on Tuesday. I then confirmed face to face on Wednesday with this Prank Sinatra and whamo – no more mystery! (just a very gentle series of continuing aftershocks that had me marvelling at this person’s ingenuity to go to the trouble to put that photo under my nose).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never would have picked it myself Glen. The variables are so many as we get older. I’ve seem current photos of some I knew 30 years ago and would never have known I knew them if I walked past them in the street. On the other hand, I’m amazed by so many too who still look the same. Time is kind to some but not all.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post, Glen!

    I celebrated World Teachers’ Day the best way possible … on long service leave.

    My favourite story from my teaching career isn’t about being a control-freak but I still laugh thinking about it. I was on yard duty and a year 3 student came up and said ‘Those kids over there stole my jet pack!’ I looked over at the accused and noticing their lack of jet packs quickly surmised this was an imaginary jet pack we were dealing with. I replied ‘Your jet pack is obviously imaginary so imagine a new one for yourself.’ The student looked at me and said ‘I can’t just imagine a new jet pack!’ I then pretended to take a jet pack off my back and said ‘Look, I don’t normally do this, but you can lend my jet pack.’ I held out my imaginary pack to the student. He looked at me and rolled his eyes, ‘That’s ridiculous.’
    I said, ‘Its my jetpack and you can use it.’
    He replied ‘It’s ridiculous because that’s an adult jet pack and I’m only a kid. It won’t fit!’

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Not trying to be overly critical but very obviously that pint-sized budding ideas-person had much to learn in the life lessons department.

    I thought everyone knew you never pass up the opportunity to road-test an adult jetpack!

    That story is an absolute classic Matt, and as such, I dedicate this clip from the Tom Hanks film CASTAWAY(2000) to both that little Year 3-er (now probably all grown up and in charge of some millenial-dot-com startup, mass-producing the next-gen version of executive jetbacks for tomorrow’s busy corporate ‘high-flyers’) and… the joys of imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eliminating people was what I used to do in a previous imagined life as a gun for hire.
    You, my sweet, were eliminated long ago.

    As to someone with the initials H.P (not the pencil) who hangs out with a lot of books most days, let’s just say ‘person of interest’ might be the most suitable label.

    Liked by 1 person

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