Mississippi Teacher Corps

Saturday, March 31, 2007

One of my favorite personalities at school

Every school has at least one crazy teacher. The craziest teacher at my school, Ms. Bloomfield, is so off her rocker that she probably wouldn't be able to keep her job in a more functional school district. At the beginning of the year, I didn't like her very much because I couldn't get beyond the fact that she's, simply put, just insane. Over the months, as I've gotten to know her better, I've liked her more and more. She might be my favorite teacher at our school. I saw fit to honor her with a blog entry about some of my favorite Ms. Bloomfield moments.

One realizes Ms. Bloomfield is out in left field just by taking a quick glance at her. She looks to be about 60, is one of the few white teachers at my school, and has long gray hair. She's tall and somewhat husky, and I would describe her walk as a very fast waddle. I'm not sure how much of her strange walk has to do with the very high-heeled shoes she wears, or the fact that she seems to be bow-legged, or the fact that she's always rushing somewhere. Teachers at our school aren't supposed to wear anything sleeveless, but she's usually wearing a tank top or a sleeveless and shapeless long dress, even in the winter time, and is always fanning herself furiously. The other day, her arms were covered in bright blue and yellow Sponge Bob band-aids, apparently to cover where her cat had scratched her. She has early morning cafeteria duty, and she and I are usually amongst the first people in the building. When I see her in the morning, she is usually bent forward, furiously grabbing at her hair and trying to put it up, and has occasionally complained to me that her own hair is giving her a rash. She'll always stop fiddling with her hair to greet me as I come in, giving me a big grin and making sure to ask how I'm doing. It makes coming into school a much more pleasant experience.

The first clear memory I have of Ms. Bloomfield is the day that my entire school district had professoinal development, and all teachers were supposed to get on computers and use SPMS to create tests. Of course, this was a really stupid idea, since the system runs like molasses when so many people try to use it at once. I was working in the classroom of another science teacher in my school so that I could receive help in using the system. Ms. Bloomfield teaches across the hall from this teacher, and suddenly stormed into the room, complaining and swearing about the stupidity of our assignment. After ranting for a while, she made a comment about how her medicine was not working properly that day (apparently, she is bipolar and takes four different medications to help stabilize her). She showed up several more times during the day to do more of the same, including banging her fist on the computer and flipping the bird at the monitor. This was all before I had really gotten to know her, so I just sat there thinking to myself, "What is this crazy woman's deal?" The next day, she came to me and apologized, saying that she hoped I wasn't offended by her behavior, that her medicine wasn't working, and that she wanted to make sure that I understood that she was mad about the computers and the administration, not at me. I thought that was really nice. I think that part of why I like Ms. Bloomfield so much is because she expresses the frustrations that all of us have with the school in a blunt way.

Shortly after this incident, I asked the other science teacher what Ms. Bloomfield's deal was. This teacher proceded to tell me the story of what Ms. Bloomfield did for another teacher who was retiring from the school at the end of last year. Ms. Bloomfield went into this teacher's room during class and handed her a going-away gift in a bag, which the other teacher almost opened in front of the class, but decided that that might not be a safe idea. That was a lucky decision, because it turns out that Ms. Bloomfield had included the following in the bag: a large t-shirt with a picture of cats on it, a box of condoms, and a tube of KY jelly. No humorous note included. Wow.

One day, I was sitting with my students in the cafeteria during lunch and heard Ms. Bloomfield, who was walking behind me, call my name excitedly several times. When I turned around, she pulled out a banana, pointed it at me as though she were sniping me with a gun, yelled, "ba-NANA!" and waited long enough to see me start laughing, then waddled away with several more bananas held behind her back.

Several days ago, I was talking to Ms. Bloomfield in the morning as we clocked in, and happened to mention to her that I was placed on a plan for improvement because I forgot to clock out at the end of the school day on multiple occasions (and yes, I would have been suspended for a day if I'd forgotten again). As it turns out, Ms. Bloomfield was placed on the same plan for improvement, and we discussed how ridiculous it was that putting in lots of extra hours after school earned us this punishment. Ms. Bloomfield went into one of her short rants, "They see my punch in at the beginning of the day. They see my punch the next morning. What the F did they think I did, sleep at the school all night?"

Sometimes, I wonder if I would end up as crazy as Ms. Bloomfield if I stayed at the school for as long as she's been there.

Now playing: Van Halen- Jump


  • At 4:43 PM, Blogger Rosie said…

    That's great. She sounds like a good reason to get up and go into work daily. You should put opionize each of the personalities you work with (teachers and students). It would probably make for a good read.

  • At 4:39 AM, Blogger The People History said…

    My daughter tells me the teachers she likes the best are those that could be described as slightly eccentric by normal standards , she also tells me because their teaching styles allow them to move away from the set curriculum she has the opportunity to broaden her knowledge not just learn for tests


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