I Am a Teacher, and This Is Where I Work

Matthew Thiele
3 min readApr 7, 2022

America’s classrooms are falling apart.

Photo taken by the author on March 24, 2022

Last week, I mentioned that one of the things I disliked about being a teacher was that our facilities are run down.

If you don’t look too closely at the image above, it doesn’t look too bad. The necessary resources are there. There’s even a fancy, expensive interactive screen. Closer scrutiny reveals something wrong with almost everything.

If your school is like mine, the heat and AC have never worked right. Window AC units have been installed in some classrooms. Someone has used clear packing tape to seal some of the gaps.

Photo taken by the author on April 4, 2022

I now have a choice in some of my classrooms during the warmer months. We can be cool, or we can hear each other speak. We can’t do both.

Some of the floors are crumbling.

Photo taken by the author on April 4, 2022

Some of the ceilings and walls are crumbling.

Photo taken by the author on March 24, 2022

Some of the furniture is crumbling.

Photo taken by the author on March 24, 2022

Some of the carpet is stained and buckled.

Photo taken by the author on April 4, 2022

The upholstery on many student desks is torn, stained, and/or marked liberally with ball point pen ink.

Photo taken by the author on March 24, 2022

Some ceiling tiles are stained and bowed. Some rooms are visited by wasps, lady beetles, and stinkbugs. You can see their carcasses in silhouette inside the fluorescent…

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Matthew Thiele

Teacher. Satirist. Scholar. Published in Slackjaw, Points in Case, McSweeney’s, Ben Jonson Journal, and elsewhere. Definitely not a robot. Or an alien.