This is a story about a small group of people who are in front of us fourteen to eighteen years of our lives. This is a story about teachers. We think we know them, but all we know is an image. This is a story of teachers and their personal lives, the lives one rarely reads or hears about.
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Excerpt from chapter one.
Meanwhile, Teri Jacobs, the new American history teacher, is in the social studies room trying to get a jump on next fall because she’ll be vacationing in San Diego in August. The office is stifling as there are no windows or movement of air. Dripping wet she struggles getting books and folders out of boxes, putting them on shelves and into filing cabinets. Stopping often, she tries to cool off by waving a piece of cardboard in front of her face. Her T-shirt is soaking wet and huge dark wet spots stain her shorts indicating sweat has gone through two layers of cloth. With her back to the door, she lifts an armload of books as Jack sticks his head in and shouts, “Tom! Hey Tom!”
There’s a shriek and a cry of “Jesus Christ!” as books go flying in all directions. She spins around and yells, “What in the hell are you doing scaring someone like that you dumb-witted jerk. Jesus!”
Staring at Teri with a shocked expression Jack blurts out, “Oh my God, you’re not Tom. You’re a girl. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I startled you.”
She stands with hands on hips, hair disheveled, and sweat running down her dirt-streaked face; she’s pissed! In an angry voice, she shouts back at him, “Is this the way you greet people? Sneak up on them and scare the hell out of them? And I’m not a girl. I’m a woman.” Within seconds, the glare is gone replaced with an observation.
He’s tall, about six feet two inches with a haircut that’s not military but comes close to it. There’s grey appearing along the temples of a well-tanned weathered face. His face is more on the square side and crow’s feet are beginning to appear at the corners of his eyes. Even though he works out it’s not noticeable as his muscles are rangy and he carries his lanky two hundred pounds well.
He’s staring now at Teri’s chest as her sweat-soaked T-shirt is making her breasts visible through the flimsy cloth. “Look, I said I’m sorry. I thought Tom, our custodian, was in here and he’s hard of hearing. And I assumed…” His voice trails off, as he’s mesmerized by her nipples standing out like two dark beacons on a field of white as the T-shirt clings to her sweat drenched skin.
Glancing down at her chest she quickly crosses her arms protectively. Looking up at him in a defiant attitude she says, “See enough?” She attempts to stare him down, which is quite an effort since she’s five foot five inches tall.
“Yes, no, I mean,” he’s stuttering and stammering trying to find a way out of his predicament. “I wasn’t really looking. Well, maybe a little. It’s just that your shirt is soaking wet and…”
Interrupting, “You couldn’t resist a little peak at my breasts could you? Like being at a wet T-shirt contest, right?”
Without thinking he responds, “It wasn’t your breasts. It was your nipples showing through and I was taken by surprise and, and, and I think I’m in deep water here.” Sighing and turning redder by the second he attempts to extract himself out of his predicament. “Ok, I was staring at your breasts like some sex-starved adolescent. There, are you happy?”
All at once, Teri’s enjoying Jack’s embarrassment so she continues to harass him. Putting her hands on her hips, she thrusts out her breasts daring him to look. “Like what you see?”
Jack, making sure that his eyes avert her chest, responds, “Yes.”
“Liar, now you’re looking at my eyes. How come?” Teasing and stepping closer she challenges him saying, “My breasts and nipples don’t interest you any more? Hmmm? Is that it?”
“No, I mean yes. I don’t know what I mean.” Flustered Jack is beginning to wish he had never come to school today. Jesus, he thinks, how do I get out of this predicament?
Laughing Teri picks up a dry shirt, and says, “Turn your back while I get out of this wet shirt. Unfortunately for you this shirt will definitely not reveal anything.”
Facing the door while Teri changes Jack says, “I apologize, now what do I have to do to get on even terms with you. And, by the way, who are you? Oh my God! You’re not a student are you?”
“What!” Buttoning her shirt, “I don’t know if that’s a compliment or an insult. I am definitely not a student but thanks for the compliment anyway. Obviously, you didn’t take a close look at my face did you? How could you? You were too preoccupied with my breasts. Oops, sorry, not my breasts but my nipples right? You said nipples didn‘t you?” Smiling, she puts out her hand and says, “Hi, I’m Teri Jacobs, the new history teacher.”
Review for The Private Lives of Teachers
Joseph A Wellman‘s book _The Private Lives of Teachers_ exposes the teaching staff at Payson High School as more than the stereotyped images society demands of them. So be prepared to step beyond the class rooms, chalk dust, and report cards to see the human side of these instructors of higher education.
As the new school year begins, the stage is set and divides the precipitants into two groups, the “doers” and the “watchers”. The “doers” play their sexual games, hoping their sins are undetected. And the “watchers” take notes to be used at a later time.
You watch, almost like a voyeur, as lives are destroyed and lies are exposed. Now, take a deep breath because Mr. Wellman is not finished with you yet as he pulls you deep into the souls of these people and gives you a glimpse of raw human emotion.
The Private Lives of Teachers is an “R” rated book that tantalizes without offending and I highly recommend it for your reading pleasure.
GetBookReviews.com Joseph Wellman has written a dramatic fictional account
about the private lives of teachers. So often teachers are revered in this
country as model citizens, well educated, well rounded individuals. Most of
the time this characterization is correct. However, there are those, as in
every profession, that break the mold. In this intriguing book, Wellman
tells the lives of fourteen social studies teachers from Payson High School.
Each teacher is educated, some with bachelors degrees, some with Masters,
and even one with a doctorate degree. Journey with these teachers for one
full school year. You'll not only follow the action in the classroom, but
sit back and be ready for the exciting action outside the classroom. As
Wellman depicts their lives, you learn of their backgrounds, their feelings,
their desires both sexual and professional. This book is "R" rated for it's
language and sexual content, but is definitely worth the time for a great
read. You'll be shocked and disgusted at times and left wondering....could
this behavior be the majority of our teachers or is this the minority? We
may never know because as the title says...the is the "Private" lives of
teachers. Well-written and extremely realistic, "The Private Lives of
Teachers" is a great summer read, since school is out!!! *****
Review by a teacher
This review of Joe Wellman’s “The Private Lives of Teachers” was written by Thomas Hansen, retired Social Studies Department Chairman, Lake Zurich High School, Lake Zurich, Illinois.
I finished your book and found it a surprisingly good read. My favorite fictional characters were Dan and Sarah. I love how you ended their story. Overall, great character development with interesting background stories and a good story line to keep you going. And a satisfying conclusion for Jack and Stephanie.
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