Fly on the Wall: Mr. Ortiz

By: Adam Sutton

Mr. Ortiz stood outside his classroom, head hung low, eyes fixed on the ground directly in front of his feet.  He looked tired. 

“Mr. Ortiz.  You doin’ ok?” asked Mrs. Klum, his next door neighbor. 

“Yea.  Yea.  My 8th grade problem is killing me.”

“I’m guessing the 8th grade problem is that Bill has been out for 6 weeks for his surgery,” Mrs. Klum speculated.

“Exactly.  The long-term sub is ok, but she’s not a teacher.  Graham in period 4 is tearing up the room.  Literally.”


“Mr. Billings, if we lose that sub, our lives will be infinitely more difficult.  She is not perfect, but she is here every day.  She tries her best to teach history.  But for a few students, she does pretty well,” Mr. Ortiz said.

“Mr. Ortiz, you are asking us to remove a student from the classroom.  It is my job to ensure that each student here at IMS gets the finest education we can provide.  How can I live up to that by removing a student for an indefinite period of time to do book work in the office?” Mr. Billings responded.

“Do you think Graham is learning any history lessons by being in his period 4 class?  Have you been in there to see him in action?  That sub makes $100 a day before taxes.  Have you considered the education the other students in Graham’s classes are receiving?  Is it the finest education we can provide?  If it is, we provide a pretty shitty education to folks.”

“You’re out of line, Mr. Ortiz.  I make the decisions here.  Know your place.  Get out of my office.”


“Mr. Ortiz, I know your regular teacher is supposed to be back in another week or two, but my other job at Target offered me a couple more daytime shifts.  I’m going to take them, so I’m going to be in tomorrow but that will be it.  I appreciate the opportunity.  This looks easier on TV.”

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