I’m Undercover

I’ve infiltrated fewer than hostile bunkers in my life. I’ve never disguised myself and slipped into areas I’m not allowed. I’ve got almost no experience in espionage. However, my total inadequacy as spy-material has not stopped me from hiding in plain sight among a crowd of people who suspect nothing. I’m sitting outside my next class with my students, and I don’t think they know I’m their teacher. 

No matter how much I want it, bunker breaker is not on my résumé

I’m not insulted, but I am a little surprised. I don’t really dress like a student which means I’m not wearing a hoodie and there is no telltale gleam of sweat on my forehead as a hangover leaves through my pores. I’m also older than they are, but I’ve been sleeping almost every night lately so I only vaguely resemble the withered wretch that I will inevitably become as the semester progresses. I’m also a little disappointed that none of my students have noticed someone openly staring at them while clearly writing about what they see. 

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Somehow, they do not notice me

So far, the conversation from my unwitting students is quite boring. I’m sitting next to one who is wearing denim pants and a denim coat, and I feel like it is my duty as his teacher to tell him he just isn’t pulling it off as well as he thinks. A student farther down the bench is talking about her last English class. Apparently, it was very easy. I wish I could walk up to her and yell something like “just because you said that I’m going to make this class super hard,” but I won’t partially because I don’t actually want the class to be that hard and because I don’t want to blow my cover.

“I know you’re 10 years old, but I’m treating you like a PhD student because you said ‘school is easy.'”

Another student just asked someone else what this class is like. The guy she asked actually gave a really good answer, and I wanted to walk over and give him a pat on the head or some other positive reinforcement, maybe a treat. But I didn’t. Instead, I waited, biding my time hoping someone would start talking trash about the class or say something unkind about the thing I love more than anything else: writing. From my snooping I have gathered this important observation: my students are kind of boring, and they also wish the class before mine would have ended on time.

The class just got out. I’m going in. I’m tempted to make some dramatic reveal of my teacherly identity, but I can’t decide on the proper way to do it. Should I wait, silent, until somebody says something mean about the teacher they haven’t met, then I can slowly stand, stare down upon their meek physique, and book “you mean me?” No, I don’t think I’ll do that. The classroom is empty. I’m going to stand, open the door, and say something casual because I’m a pretty relaxed teacher. Maybe “come in when you’re ready,” or “hurry up, losers, we got writin’ to do.”

9 Replies to “I’m Undercover”

  1. I enjoyed this post thoroughly! I don’t teach anymore but this brings so many fun memories. I’m also delighted to see that teachers all over the world are the same. I had huge fun on first days with a new class when I’d mingle with them at the corridor and quietly judge them before revealing myself… I know, I’m mean.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It might be mean to judge, but it’s also so fun, and nobody really gets hurt from it. I told my students I was judging them, and they thought it was funny. Or… they laughed, but maybe that was just fear. Either way, it’s a good time

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      1. Haha, students are sometimes (nearly always) so clueless! It happened very often that I was making a serious revelation and they thought I was joking. But then I was joking and no one got it. *sigh*

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve got some funky feels now. Reading that took me back to when I was a student. And to hear you talking about the students the way you did, made me feel like one of them. And then to read your comments, I’m sinking down in my seat mortified! Hahaha! The hysterical part is, I am SO far from my school days and have not thought of myself as a student in eons. I’m a homeschooling mom and I’m the teacher! What you wrote transported me to a most insecure time. Well done! Hahaha. Good times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Luckily none of my students were too embarrassed. I’m certain if a teacher ever did that to you, they forgot about it within a day or two. I’m glad–I think–I could remind you of some interesting memories!

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      1. Interesting is a bit of a stretch. I have horrible academia flash backs. The Nightmare On Elm Street kind. No worries, though. Freddy’s dead so…

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