Things heard at an Oakland public school*

I appreciate working with young people. They are literally our future and I tremble full of fear for where we are going as a society. I am definitely a disgruntled employee who is following her heart to different work, yet I think you would agree with me still about how frustrating some of these moments are. Sometimes I imagine leaving with a lot of maturity and grace, but moments like these make me want to pack my bags, drop some F-bombs, and drive off to a mental health institution. Like another teacher said, “OUSD is PTSD.”



Staff: The big copier is out. Note that the copy count was over a million copies!


Faculty: I wasn’t getting reimbursed for the art supplies I was buying.

Other faculty: Yea, I buy my own paper.


Principal: Mark is our full-time tech volunteer. [Our school now has 600 laptops and no tech staff.]


Faculty: …So, how many fights were there today?


Student: Yea, where is Mr. H (principal)? I never see him.


Me: I don’t have the online supplies request form.

Staff: Honestly, somedays, I have so much to do I forget to look at it and send people their supplies.


Me: Why are there 6 copy machines in this room and none of them work?


Faculty: They told us to practice the SBAC [online] test. Then they said, “But we’ll give you the laptop carts in January. No, make that April.”


Teaching Coach: Yea, see you’re slowly becoming a curriculum writer.

Me: …


Principal: Some people are just ready to work 70-80 hour weeks.


Principal: This is why I like young teachers.


Principal: I really don’t want to be dismissive but I hear you want me to change things. I want to be more solution-oriented.


Principal: I had to make a decision about the [curriculum], so I made the call from the top… [two minutes later:] I’m not the boss. I want this to be a collective.


Principal: I’m so sorry I missed the restorative justice circle. It was my fault I double-booked myself.


Assistant principal, after teachers chose an Asian American student to receive an award: Can we choose someone with a little more color?


Me: I think I’m going to buy books on racial formation, Asian American history, gender, and sitting with difficult emotions and place it in these male principals’ mailboxes.



*Obviously names have been changed for privacy.



Filed under education, humor, Oakland, prose, race, violence

3 responses to “Things heard at an Oakland public school*

  1. Deborah

    Wow sister. Tell it like it is. But it’s not post traumatic stress syndrome. It’s Traumatic Stress Syndrome, because it’s not over yet.

  2. phuong

    Unfortunately 😦 and unfortunately for our students…

  3. Ernesto Rousseaux Savon

    Really sad.

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