If Teachers Were Honest During Doctor’s Appointments


If Teachers Were Honest During Doctor's Appointments

Sooner or later teachers need to see the doctor, it’s inevitable. Of course, when we’re in there with the doctor, we usually just smile, nod and answer their questions as best we can. What we really want to say, however? Well, that’s a different story altogether.

1. Doctor: Hello, how have you been?

Look Doc, it took me 4 weeks to make this appointment, one week to get the time off approved, and about 5 hours creating lesson plans for my sub while I’m gone, so let’s just cut through the formalities and get to it OK?

2. Doctor: OK, so what brings you in here today?

You mean you can’t tell by looking at me? Well, for starters, every muscle in my body feels like it’s worn out and in need of being replaced. My back is tied up in enough knots to pass a basic sailing course, my energy level is somewhere between zero and zilch, and every night, I barely have enough energy to crawl into bed, where I wish I could stay for 3-5 days straight.

3. Doctor: Well have you been eating 3 balanced meals a day?

Well, let’s see Doc, for breakfast, I cram half a Pop-Tart in my mouth on my way out the door. I do pack a wonderful lunch for myself but thanks to my schedule I don’t actually get time to eat it, so I usually just eat a handful of leftover Halloween candy I find in my drawer. Then, for dinner, I’m so tired I just end up microwaving a frozen meal and drinking a bottle of wine. How balanced is that?

4. Doctor: Your blood pressure seems a little high.

Gee, I can’t imagine why? I only get up at the crack of dawn and spend all day dealing with children that either aren’t super excited about being in school or are so jazzed up I have to peel them off the walls. I get to stand up in front of them and attempt to educate them in a way that’s both entertaining, informative and simultaneously meeting all of their needs at the same time. I can’t imagine WHY my blood pressure seems high.

5. Doctor: I want you to get some more exercise.

More exercise? Are you kidding me? I already do plenty of weight lifting when I carry those stacks of paper to my car and back. I do wind sprints around my classroom all day long making sure my students don’t burn it to the ground, and who needs a Stairmaster when your classroom is on the 3rd floor? Oh, and my bladder muscle may be the tightest muscle in my entire body because I go hours without a pee break.

If Teachers Were Honest During Doctor's Appointments

6. Doctor: Are you exposed to a high level of germs?

Hmmm, let’s see. What do you consider a high level of germs? Do 100 snotty, sniffling children coming up to you coughing in your face when they have to ask you a question count as a high level of germs? What if those kids put their germy hands all over everything you own, including your classroom phone, pens, pencils, and computer? Do you think that would expose me to a high level of germs?

7. Doctor: How are your stress levels?

Stress? Me? Nah, what is there to be stressed about? I just need to prepare all of my students for assessments that will determine their future, my salary and the status of my school. Oh, and I’m responsible for keeping them safe in case something goes wrong at school. Then, of course, there’s administration that needs me to validate everything I’m doing in my classroom every minute of every day. Nope, nothing to be stressed about here.

8. Doctor: You look exhausted, are you working too much?

You’re kidding, right? Are you good at math doc? Let me give you a little problem. If the teacher is in school for 40 hours a week, does another 10 hours of schoolwork at home, and works a second job 15-20 hours a week, how many hours are left for rest and relaxation? 

9. Doctor: Well you need to be getting 8 hours of sleep a night.

Yeah, and where will we be finding those magical 8 hours a night? By the time I come home, make dinner, finish all my school work I took home and hopefully take a shower, it’s already way past my bedtime. Oh, and then there’s my family I’d like to spend some time with… you know those people I don’t see as often as my students?

10. Doctor: I’d like to prescribe you some medication. Now you have insurance but unfortunately, it won’t cover this prescription, so how would you like to pay for this?

With my firstborn child? With a pint of blood? Do you accept coffee cups as payment because I have about 250 of those?

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If Teachers Were Honest During Doctor's Appointments


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David Rode

Dave is a middle school math teacher. He's also a musician, a community theater, dad to two amazing children, and he doesn't get a lot of sleep.

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