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What Really Happens in the Teacher’s Lounge

By August 19, 2015April 20th, 2017Short Stories


Behind the closed door of the teacher’s lounge is where the magic happens.

That’s where we swap secrets on where to find the best stickers, dry erase markers, sharpies, and Christmas sweaters. In the teacher’s lounge is where we gloat over our long lists of rambunctious students with buttermilk breath. We sit there in snug trousers with mousey haircuts and dream about the good life.

Oh, the teacher’s lounge….


that’s not what happens in the teacher’s lounge..

Here’s what we really do.

Back in the 80’s, when I was a cute little elementary student, I went into the teacher’s lounge all the time. My teacher’s taught me how to use the risograph machine and let me have at it. The other teacher’s caught on and would put me to work as well. They thought I was so caught up with making all of their damn copies that they didn’t realize that I was eavesdropping.

Oh, the things they said.

They cackled, and cursed, and drank coffee, probably a little swig of booze too. Back then, during the Reagan Era, teachers could still smoke in schools and boy did they smoke. It was a chamber in there; hacks, coffee, gum, and soap operas. It was magical. It was exactly what my little elementary ears needed. It was awesome. I felt like a mini-adult inhaling all that second-hand smoke.





In 2015, not much has changed, well the smoking part did. They quickly kicked that to the curb with programs like D.A.R.E. and other health initiatives. Oh well.

But today, we still cackle and plan happy hours. We carry on like there’s no care in the world until one of “them” comes walking in. You know, an admin, parent, or those uncool teachers.

…or maybe a hot one

One year, we got a straight male teacher on our elementary campus and everyone went wild, parents included. We affectionately called him Jumbo Sharpie. One of the other teachers was lucky enough to score and claimed that he could be the permanent marker on her whiteboard anytime.

Oooo we.

Then there was Peppermint Patty. Peppermint Patty was the weirdo of the school; one strange chick really. She’d hog the copy machine, smelled of Wal-Mart bath spray, and we couldn’t tell if she was really a 2nd grade teacher or gym coach.

Every school, and I do mean every damn school have Mrs. Red Pen. Mrs. Red Pen is the faithful, loyal teacher who has everything in order, sticks to the admin like glue, and wears awful Christmas sweaters as soon as December breaks.

..and we cackle at her often

…she knows it too

and we don’t even care.


Sorry to crush your visions of the goodie-two-shoe teacher, but we’re more than coffee drinking, red pen using, noble virgins who grades papers and write on the chalk board.

Now this is what really happens in the teacher’s lounge.

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year.

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