Fly on the Wall: Mrs. Vantoux

By: Adam Sutton

“Why bother with this stuff?” Mrs. Quick said, more as a statement than a question.


“The kids are contained today.  Why worry about them being late?”

“It. It’s my job as a member of the leadership team.  I track the latenesses and give warnings and consequences,” Mrs. Vantoux replied.

“I guess, but who cares?  Why bother?”

“Because we have kids loitering in the halls minutes after the late bell rings lately.  I’m giving consequences, but I need you to grab them at lunch to make sure they serve detention.” 

“You should stop with this.  It seems stressful.”

Mrs. Vantoux comes storming, red faced into Mr. Hall’s room, “Bob, I’m going to flip!  Can you believe this!  I’m so busy.  Every time I open my email there’s dozens of notifications.  It’s.  I can’t keep up.  This isn’t even the biggest part of my job.  And, Bea Quick doesn’t give a damn!  We used to have expectations and rules and consequences here.”

“Mrs. Quick is mainly quick to avoid work.  I’m guessing this is tardiness stuff?”

“Yes!  Teachers are sending me dozens of notifications every day.  It’s never been this bad.  I can’t keep up.  I’m trying to call home, but no one calls me back.  Bea just told me I shouldn’t bother.  She’s the assistant principal!  If she doesn’t care, why should I? The kids are contained.  What does that mean?  I’m livid!”

Dear Mrs. Vantoux,

I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for helping me out with Jayla the other day.  She had really tested my last nerve, and if you hadn’t walked by, I may have been headed to the warehouse.  You were great and reminded me I should be more patient. 

Also, I walk by your classroom everyday in awe.  Your class looks so orderly and happy.  It’s like you are a benevolent drill sergeant in there.  Your kids are always on task, behaving and working at an appropriate volume with expressions that convey, if not happiness then, understanding.  In comparison, my class runs like an oil rig ready to blow.  I drag everyone kicking and screaming to do the simplest of tasks, and I am constantly ready to put out fires.  You are an inspiration, and it’s a privilege to teach across the hall. 



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