Teachers can be vicious, petty, catty and mean. We had out department meeting yesterday and one teacher who will remain nameless (Debbie!) starting hurling accusations around the room: “Some teachers,” she said. “Teach nothing, do nothing, let their kids run wild. We need to hold them accountable!” A lot of the teachers were looking over at me for support, probably because they felt intimidated. I said, “As many of you know I am the senior-most English teacher at this school and I am more than willing to provide guidance and encouragement to struggling teachers. My door is always open. Don’t be shy. Just come in and ask for help. I won’t think less of you. Debbie, I don’t think we need an inquisition here. We need to support our colleagues as they muddle through.” Then the room got incredibly quiet. Teresa ran out of the room covering her mouth with tears in her eyes. When she got outside we heard her wail with crippling laughter. Relief, I’m sure, that she didn’t have to face the monstrous Debbie alone.