The Declaration of the Rights of a Teacher

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In English III we are studying The Declaration of Independence, and my students had to write a Declaration of The Rights of Teenagers.  In order to show them how it is done, I created this frivolous little document, which got a few laughs from my students.  Even though the silliness factor is off the charts, I have decided to include it on my blog.


I. Preamble
            When it comes time in a teacher’s life that he realizes that he must put an end to all the nonsense and unfair practices that he has received, it only makes sense that he takes a few minutes out of his busy, busy day to explain to all of you students exactly what he is not going to put up with any more.  So please read carefully and pay attention because I’m only going to go through this once.
II. Statement of Natural Rights
            We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all teachers are human beings, for crying out loud, and they deserve the same kind of respect that all other people get, that among these are weekends without grading papers, a few hours of the day without students bugging us for this or for that, and the recognition that I…am…not…your…mother. 
III.  Complaints:
            You have called me “chicken-head,”
            You have made fun of my little car, which may look like a girl’s car, sure, but it gets 29 miles to the gallon.  And what are you driving anyway?  That’s what I thought.
            You have asked me for a pen every single day you have come into my class.  What am I, Mr. Bic?
            You have failed to do even the simplest assignments.  I cannot make this any easier for you!  (I did the work myself and it took me less than fifteen minutes.  And now I have to explain to your parents why you didn’t do your work?  What sense does that make?  It would have been easier for me just to do the assignment for you and give you a 100.)
            You have approached me at the mall, at Redbird games, at restaurants, and bothered me when the last thing I want to think about is you.
            You have run your foul mouth outside my classroom when I’m on my planning period.
            You sit right in front of me and send text messages, as if I don’t know what you’re doing.
            You get on Facebook when we’re reading Homer.  Homer!  As if whatever silly comment you get on your Facebook account is more important than reading from The Iliad. 
            You don’t show up to class most days.  You’re tardy when you do deign to come.  Sometimes you wear a hat in my room, which is in clear violation of all the rules.
            You use double negative when you talk to me.  Furthermore, you start your sentences with “Ain’t that’s….”  You ask me “What day it is?”
            You raise your voices at me for things that are minor.
            You make me repeat my directions over and over.  You ask me what the date is, when it’s listed right there on the board. 
            You lie as if it were the natural thing to do.  You lie even though everyone in the room knows that you are lying.  You frequently lie with the claim, “I ain’t even did nothing,” which is bafflingly  oxymoronic and nothing if not a confession of guilt.

IV.  Conclusion          
            Therefore, I, Mr. Brame, of sound mind and body, appealing to the common sense of all good people of the world, solemnly publish and declare this DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE for me and FOR ALL TEACHERS IN THE WORLD.  I hereby pledge my life, my fortune, my tenure, and my summer vacation in the name of my freedom.

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