Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Boo, school

Still having trouble sleeping, so the return to schooldays is especially rough.

Mondays are my lightest-teaching days, but somehow yesterday was insane. Perhaps because I worked like crazy on all my free time. I made charts, wrote overheads, corrected papers, and transferred data into my teacher's notebook. PD was pointless as usual. Oh, get this. This one teacher, new to the school but not to teaching, brought up how one class's scores are abysmal, and she's done everything she can but is still not seeing results. The AP starts off by saying, "Well, if it were me, I'd start by holding up the mirror...." completely implying that it's the teacher's fault. The teacher was apparently oblivious to the insult and said cheerfully that however the kids do, "it's not [her] fault." I thought that was a cool comeback, and it certainly stopped the AP from being totally rude and unprofessional.

I mean, seriously. Can you believe this? The level of unprofessionalism (is that a word?) is absolutely RIDICULOUS. We had a bunch of "Important Visitors" at the school today. Did we hear about it last week? Ha, please. Did we hear about it yesterday afternoon as a department? Come on, now. No, the AP forgot and told a few of us AFTER PD. I was in my room, trying to get some damn work done after the relentless droning of the "meeting," when the AP came in and chatted with me. The visitor thing was a nearly-forgotten afterword.

So then, this morning, you would think teachers would see a schedule, to see when the VIPs would be visiting, and whom. You would be wrong, of course. Two of my colleagues and I did end up seeing the schedule at the near end of 1st period, only because it was common planning and we were on the same floor as where the VIPs were for their intro stuff. And we stole looks to see who was on the schedule. For second and third period.

Yeah, lots of professional notice. Mm-hmm.

When I finally got home yesterday, it wasx nearly five and I busily fixed "dinner" and checked email. During the lull of 7.30-8.30, I half-watched tv and transcribed the tape from Sunday morning (a follow-up observation; the write-up is due Weds night). I was very proud of myself for getting that done, since I'd already procrastinated for one night.

Today was only marginally less crazy than yesterday. I still did stuff on my breaks, but I did take one prep to go downstairs to hang out. I intended to eat something and grade homework, but that didn't happen. As a result, I was hit by a wave of fatigue. See: sleep, not getting much of.

Today I introduced similes (we didn't get to metaphors yet). My last class came up with some really great ones after we did shared and guided practice. "When I'm happy my eyes light up like the lights on a Christmas tree." "My blanket is as soft as sleeping kittens." "It's as warm as Barbados in the winter." "When I'm angry, I bubble like pot of water on the stove." "When I'm tired, my eyelids are heavy like thick batter being poured into a pan."

I was really excited and proud. Is that sad?

It's gonna take a couple more days to finish similes and do metaphors. Not sure if I'll do hyperbole this week or save it til later. I know we really need to work on engaging intros, so that's the end of this week.

Anyway, when I got home this afternoon, nice and early, the connection wasn't really working. So after a snack and catching up on TV from last night--omg, Prison Break is awesome and I can't believe we have to wait three months to see what happens!--I watched an episode of Popular (hurrah, Netflix). But, I decided that when it was over, I would spend an hour working on my paper.

And you know what? I totally did. Except for the hour part. I worked for a solid half-hour and got most of it done. Since I'm lazy and hate doing homework, I will polish it up tomorrow before class and all will be good. Phew! Yay, me.

Look at this, it's only 6.00 and I've been all productive already. Time for more tv!

I am really looking forward to Friday's Teacher-Blogger Happy Hour! I am sad that Friday still seems like three weeks away, instead of three days. (See that hyperbole there? I gotta teach that to my kids. Think of all the "Yo' Mama" jokes!)


ms. frizzle said...

You'll make it. Coming back after a break is always really hard - even a short break.

Those similes and metaphors are awesome - you have every right to be proud!

And we have tons of visitors, and rarely anything resembling a schedule. I'm not excusing your school for unprofessionalism, but oftentimes, VIP's say they will come on one day at one time, and show up on a different day at a completely different time. Which stinks. People need to realize how much it can throw you off to have someone clearly important, but you don't know who or how, just "drop in" in the middle of a lesson.

Hang in there & see you Friday!

your math teacher said...

My 1st year of teaching, a bunch of us teachers were sitting in the office talking about our students. We were frustrated because our low level students weren't meeting our expectations. Anyway, I guess my AP overheard us because the next day, he put up a huge banner in the office that said the following:

A good teacher is one that never blames the student for not learning. A good teacher figures out what he or she did wrong so that his or her student can learn.

I took my AP aside and told him he should probably take down the banner before he had a revolt on his hands. He actually thought this banner would inspire us!

I don't disagree that sometimes we need to change our instructional methods but implying that it is ALWAYS the teacher's fault when a student fails is freaking ridiculous. So if a student cuts class and refuses to behave, it's my fault? It's my fault if the student doesn't do his homework? What am I, god?

Luckily, another teacher gave me a different perspective. He always tells his students that he doesn't pass or fail them. The student is the one who earns or does not earn the grade. The teacher is only the coach and scorekeeper.

Anonymous said...

I love to watch Prison Break also, but it freaks me out how much it reminds me of the school I teach at and how the administration treats the children.

Lady Strathconn said...

Your students' writing sounds great. I hope to get to similies some time this year (second grade).

I also agree, that while some of the time we fail our students, most of the time, they fail themselves, or their home environments set them up for failure.

I can't wait to read what they come up with for metaphors.