Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Looking Up

Hey, I'm back again. You readers are getting lucky, two posts in one day!
My birthday is winding down, but my day is looking up. My co just called. She's engaged!
I'm so happy for her. Of all the people out there she deserves it a lot. It was my Hebrew birthday yesterday and I gave her a bracha that she should get engaged very soon.
I guess wishes do come true sometimes. It was the best birthday news I could've gotten.
Now it's only my English birthday, but I'd still like to squeeze a bracha in for her.
I wish her all the best, and may she and her chosson build a ba'ayis ne'eman b'yisrael together.
I'm not very good at these brachos things, but I'm sure she will understand how happy I am for her.
So Co, MAZAL TOV!

Anyone Have a Gun?

I had the most miserable birthday ever. Besides for some personal issues that put me down really bad, I got a call from my co that she was not going to be in today either.
She arranged for a substitute so that the classes wouldn't be flying for three days in a row.
I created a fun sheet for the girls to do after they had finished my co's work, and I spent all morning feeling really down.
Once in school things didn't get any better. I was lonely in the teacher's room because my co wasn't there, and I really wasn't in the mood of facing a class.
The classes were dismissed late to lunch, so I was asked to walk in 10 minutes late.
My principal took advantage of my extra time and called me into her office. She had a problem with me...again.
It seems that some mothers had called her to complain that their daughters hadn't done anything for the paper. They were upset that I did it all on my own. The principal suggested that for our next paper I let the girls do it all.
I lost it. I told her that her precious girls had all decided to miss our paper meeting in favor of a color war rally. This was a week before everything was due in. I set out their jobs for them then, thinking that I was doing them a huge favor, but they didn't do a thing!
Two days before the deadline R.S. and C.S. came over to complain that they had nothing to put into our Shavuos section of the paper. That meant I had to stay up till 3 googling Shavuos pages.
The features basically did everything themselves, and everyone else did their jobs. I have a feeling it was either R.S.'s or C.S.'s mother who called. Probably R.S. C.S.'s mother is not the type.
I told the principal that there would not be another paper for the end of the school year. I was not going to work so hard only to have mothers calling to complain. And then she still had the nerve to call me in and take their side. This was HER newspaper I'm doing, I'm not getting paid for it, and she still has the NERVE?
Anyway, she was done talking, but I had something to tell her. I told her about my birthday story yesterday and how I was disgusted with the way the girls behaved.
Guess what she said?
It was all my fault.
It's my fault because I put my birthday on the calendar to begin with. It's my fault that I sent a girl down into the teacher's room, and it's my fault that the girls thought it was ok to sing happy birthday to me. She claimed that I'm not a professional teacher; that I'm very buddy-buddy with my students, and that's why they felt like it was ok.
Anybody want to shoot her for me? Or maybe lend me a gun? I can do it myself too!
She told me that she had been warning me about getting too friendly with them...blah blah blah.
It's not the singing that bothered me. In any other school it would've been fine. But this school is always bragging about their reputation as a well behaved chassidishe school. That is the biggest lie I've ever heard.
The girls here are so smug, and so bold, and fresh, I can't even imagine where it comes from. Singing happy birthday isn't really fresh, but when students carry on even when they are asked to stop, that is unacceptable. That's what I keep finding here. The girls don't know where to stop.
I called my husband in the 3 minutes I still had left before class and tried not to cry to him on the phone. I told him what the principal had said, and he was upset too, but he reminded me that I was leaving to another school next year.
Truth is, I'm more than a little nervous. I hope that people are right when they tell me it'll all be better there. If I had to go through another year like this... Well I wouldn't. I'd totally quit right in the middle of all of it.
Anyway, even my students noticed my mood in class today, and they sat quietly and wrote pages of history notes.
I finished the novel I was doing with them and then they all did something which further illustrates my point. At least three quarters of the class took their books, threw them on the floor, and stepped on them.
Aside from the damage they were doing to school property, I was horrified at the action. What a crude thing to do.
I began a play in their literature books, and the girls acted it out loud until the bell rang.
Recess time I was again in the teacher's room, pretty quiet and upset. It ended all too soon, and I had to go into the second class.
I sat while teaching; I never do that. The girls all noticed, and like the other class, they were all quiet and well behaved.
I tried joking with them a little and it got my mood up slightly, but the day wouldn't end soon enough.
I got home, relieved that this was my last day of school until Monday. I went to shoprite to air out, and basically spent the rest of my birthday looking at the ceiling.
Sometimes I feel like I'm 100 years old, but today I feel like a 13 year old teenager. Totally confused, upset, and more than a little lost.
Sorry for kvetching so much today, I know you hate reading about these kinds of days, but I need to vent sometimes too!
P.S. There is one nice part to my birthday though. My blog hit 200 visitors today since May 2. That's a nice feeling. Thanks to my readers who made this happen!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Birthday Bloopers

My co called me this morning with a birthday surprise. She was going to be absent from school today. I did it to her yesterday, and she left the bag in my hands today.
The truth is, I didn't mind. Nothing could put out my birthday mood today.
Once in school I began the relay race to get all the newspaper things into order so that my girls could collate. We used the big classroom and every girl had a stack of papers on her desk. They all passed papers to the girls in front of them who passed them to the front of their rows. On the first desk of each row was where the girls deposited their collated papers, and then I and a few other girls ran around collecting the papers from the front desks and put them together.
T.K. and S.F.F. were in charge of stapling, and it all went well.
For about 5 minutes that is.
My class was nutty and hyper and most of the girls weren't working and just strolling the halls. I was way too busy to run after them, so I just let them go.
We made so many mistakes. Half the school will be getting papers with pages upside down, and others will have doubles and some will be missing.
I don't care at this point.
At 10 to 2 I sent the 7a class to computers. The 7b class stayed to finish the papers.
I sent C.S. down to put some papers into my locker for the teachers, that was the biggest mistake I made all day.
C.S. was nosy and went to peek at the seventh grade test calendar to see her class' schedule for the month. Problem was, I had written that it was my birthday right across the squares for today and tomorrow. C.S. came running up to the classroom to tell everyone that it was my birthday.
I was mortified, but I laughed along with the girls. I told them that they found out my secret, but that any further mention of it would be inappropriate.
Of course, F.G. went out and brought me a large empty box of freeze pops for my birthday present. I gave her a look to kill and icily asked her where she was when I had announced to the class that the discussion was over. She melted.
I'm getting good at this!
M.L. drove me nuts all day. She kept following me around and asking stupid questions. She's moving to Israel this summer, and she has no friends, and I really should feel sorry for her, but I can't do that when she drives me this crazy.
I hope I'll be more patient tomorrow.
After recess, the 7b class went to computers, and the 7a class finished their editorials as I finished stapling the rest of the papers.
S.G.L. was back and she actually spoke to me today. She smiled and told me thank you when I let her go out of class, and she contributed to my lesson.
Maybe we're getting somewhere.
At 3:20 I got both classes together for some history, (surprise, surprise) and then I dismissed them a bit early.
After school I went to spiral bind some papers for myself, my co, and the principal, and I met two girls who were applying for teaching positions.
I had a long talk with one of them about the pressure in the school, and she seemed bothered by it all. She was trying to get away from all this in her school and she was disappointed to hear that it was the same way here. I gave her my number so that she could ask me anything she wanted to know about the job here, and then she went in to meet the principal.
The other girl I met was actually offered the job for 6th grade history and English next year. She was going home to think about it when I stopped her and asked her if she had discussed salary. When I told her how much she'd be getting paid here, she flipped. She seriously debated whether to take the job or not.
I am so the devil's advocate in this school. :) (Wicked laugh...MWAAAHAHHHAHAA!)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Playing Hooky

Today I played hooky. It was the best day I've had all year.
I woke up early, and had to go into school for some last minute newspaper things. I wasn't dressed for school at all, wearing a t-shirt and my pink skirt again. I wore a longer wig than I'm allowed to wear to school and at least five pounds of makeup.
Of course, I came during Hebrew recess and all my students saw me. G.S. even ran after me to give me a freeze pop.
I arranged the copies for newspaper and then I went down to the teacher's room to set up some stencils for my co to give out to the class. I took a paper towel and wrote out some instructions for her. I told all the Hebrew teachers to make sure she got them. I wasn't worried.
So before my husband and I left for the mall, we went out to eat "brunch" in a local cafe. Of all people, we had to meet up with C.O.'s father. He asked me if I wasn't supposed to be teaching his daughter today, and when my husband laughed, he promised he'd keep my secret.
We ran off to the mall then before we were busted by anyone else.
I had a great day just walking the mall with my husband, and then we went to visit some family. I called the school to make sure my newspaper was getting done, and the secretary grudgingly agreed to check up on my hard work.
I spoke to my co later, and she told me that the day went great except for four girls who just did not show up to her class.
She had to call G.S., H.W., R.S., and C.K.'s mothers to tell them that tomorrow during lunch they had to stay upstairs and make up all the work they missed today.
I have to say that if that was all the drama my co had today, she is one lucky child.
I can't say I'm refreshed and ready for school tomorrow, but I did enjoy my day off.
I know that tomorrow and Wednesday will be great days because they're my Hebrew and English birthdays.
This week seems to be off to a good start. Keeping my fingers crossed and my hopes up for the rest of it!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Principal's In, I'm Out

I was looking over some posts I wrote in November, and I noticed one where I mentioned that I wanted to take off on Thanksgiving. I was too much of a goody two shoes to actually take a day off then.
Well, this week it's happening all over again, and this time I'm so taking a break. The market is closed tomorrow so my husband is taking off, and he convinced me to play hooky with him. I didn't even have to think about it. I already have a job in another school and I don't really care what happens anymore in this one. I arranged to teach two history lessons today so that I can take off tomorrow.
During davening I made up a review sheet for the aim I want the girls to read to themselves tomorrow, and on the way to the office I bumped into the principal.
She's so back.
I handed her some other papers I wanted her to approve, and of course, she had problems with three of them. She didn't like the spelling on one, the content in the editorial, and she hated the eighth grade piece.
I didn't approve the covers or my editorial yet, but I have a feeling I'm just going to get them copied without her permission. I can't have her breathing down my back when she doesn't put a finger in cold water for this paper.
I taught history, aims three and four of chapter 16. It'll be a tight squeeze to make it to the final but I hope I can fit it all in.
Whatever the case is, I'm taking off tomorrow. I'm going shopping!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pink Skirts

I have this thing about my pink skirt. I think I've noticed a pattern in the events that take place when I wear it. Whenever I wear my short pink pleated skirt (from the GAP) I have a great day.
I wasn't going to wear it at all. I was going to wear a black skirt and black top and a long white sweater over it, but then my neighbor, B.F. came over, and convinced me to wear my tan shoes today.
Problem is, you can't wear tan shoes with a black skirt and top, so B.F. told me to wear my pink skirt. Along with the skirt, I had to change my top to a white one, and then she let me put the white knit sweater over it all.
Of course the pink lipstick was a given and we made my cheeks even pinker than usual, and then I was sent off to school looking like a fourth grader.
The first nice part to my day was that the principal was still not here. (I feel bad for her; her mother is sick, but it's good on my end.)
Also, the eighth grade wasn't here either. They went on their graduation trip. This meant that the school was dead quiet, and my kids were the oldest here today.
The secretary went along on the trip, and that was one less person to look over our shoulders for.
The classes each managed to finish two aims in history, (and I think I'm going to take off on Monday, cuz I'm ahead of schedule...for once,) and they both worked on their editorials.
I ate ices while doing roof duty today, and then excused my way out of playing ball with my students based on my white top. I refused to get it dirty.
I'm never really a ditz like that, but it was as good an excuse as any.
G.S. and H.W. both teamed up to work on a goodbye party for M.L. who is moving to Israel this summer. I told them that it was a great idea, but that they had to talk to the principal first. They're so busy with this. I'm happy. I heard G.S. has a soft spot for the weaker, quieter girls like M.L. (this is the one in 7b, the one in 7a is G.O.) and it's nice to see it.
In the middle of one of my lessons, I was given a message that twelfth grade was cancelled. I was excited although it was my last day teaching them and I wanted to have one last time with them. But all the same, it made my day.
S.G.L. was back in school today. I can't figure her out, and the truth is, my co is already involved, so I'm not going to put myself in the middle of it all. Especially because I'll be leaving the school and past June I won't be able to help S.G.L. anymore. My co is staying and she can keep tabs on S.G.L. next year, so if she's involved, I know S.G.L. is in good hands.
I was ready to go home, excited about my free afternoon, when I got a message that twelfth grade was on.
The principal told me that if I had a problem keeping them under control I could just dismiss them early.
It didn't happen. Somehow the girls got onto the topic of my having been sick and they peppered me with questions.
I knew that the school didn't really want this, but the girls weren't giving up, and I answered all their questions.
The bell rang at five and nobody moved. I had to leave eventually, but I only walked out of that class at a quarter to six.
I had an amazing time. I never had the class as attentive as this before. They were so involved, they stayed 45 minutes late just to hear me. I'm so bowled over.
I know I'll probably hear it from the school, but right now I don't care. I'm so overwhelmed. It's a shame that the most interesting lesson I gave them all year was on the last day they had me.
Oh well. I had a great day.
Must've been my pink skirt. Thanks B.F.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Freeze Pops and Tests

Ok, the tests part is already boring. Tests are tests are tests. They're all the same. I had the big class first today, and they all finished their tests on time, so I gave them some free time to go to the roof.
I was worried about the small class and how many questions they'd have, but they also finished with 20 minutes to spare, and got time on the roof.
F.G. is a pest when it comes to marking tests. She always throws a fuss trying to get me to mark her test first. She did that today too. I don't mind it so much, but I laugh to see that some girls really haven't changed all year. Their personalities are exactly the same.
All the kids were pesty today. They all kept crowding around me to get their marks. I sat on the playground slide up on the roof marking and I had girls all over me, trying to shove their papers on the top of the pile.
Welcome to seventh grade. :)
S.G.L. still hasn't come back to school. She was suspended until she made up a certain amount of work that the Hebrew teachers laid out for her. My co is tutoring her with this and I'm waiting to hear how it went.
S.G.L. needs to come back to school soon. I don't like to think of what she's doing all day at home.
Anyway, the freeze pop was the funny part to my day. Now this only was able to happen because the principal is still in L.A. and we don't have to be afraid of her popping into our classes at any moment.
I'd eaten a freeze pop during recess and I really wanted another one. The bell rang as soon as I reached for my second. My co dared me to walk into class eating it.
So I did.
I explained to the girls that I was only doing this because my co asked me to. I ate the pop as they worked on their test. The girls kept having to stop working because they were laughing so hard.
R.H. wanted to know why I didn't dare my co to do this too. I told her it was because my co would never do it.
When I was all done, I asked G.S. to take the empty plastic and deliver it to my co in the other class. The class was in stitches.
The other class told my co that I was great because I always went off topic and had funny stories to tell them.
I love getting compliments.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Not Kvetching

I began realizing lately that writing on this blog has turned me into a huge kvetch. I thought about it for a while, and I decided that I will not kvetch about my day today.
I can't say I had the best day of my life, but I didn't have a bad day either.
I was off the hook for my high school workshop, so I was feeling relieved and carefree as I got to school. I hadn't bothered preparing last night, and I hurriedly read my notes during lunch.
The girls were awfully sweet today, especially my newspaper girls who were running all around school trying to collect articles from the girls in other classes.
Ok, R.H. is more of a pest than a sweet kid, but C.C.K. and E.S. are adorable. And C.S.A. and E.F.G. did a stunning job on their Dear E.T. Editors column.
I taught writing and literature today, and the classes both got into great discussions. Of course, 7b was more into what I made for supper last night than editorials, but I didn't mind.
T.K. followed me home after school because I had some of her notes sitting on my kitchen table and she needed them to study for tomorrow's test. I got a kick out of seeing her pacing around the front of my building with her sisters.
I hope you all read the comments my co and I left on "In response to my co's post." We both had good laughs about them.
My new school called my co tonight and she told the principal that she had already signed contract. The principal was disappointed, and so am I. I hope I have a good co next year.
I handed in about 10 pages to be approved for newspaper today, but because the principal is in L.A. with her mother, I had to fax them all to her.
The secretary kept coming into my class as soon as each page was approved. The students all cheered every time another one passed.
I worked like a dog on newspaper all night, and I got 22 pages done. I just have my editorial, some features pages left, and L.K. has to give me the covers. I let her have time off class to work on them and within minutes she had come back with some gorgeous designs. I showed them off to the class. I was so excited with them.
I think I'm going to make an early night tonight. It's about 10:20 now and I would love to shut this computer and take a break.
I think you'll agree I deserve it!

Monday, May 22, 2006

More Nonsense

Ok, nonsense is probably too light of a word for what I went through today.
Let me start form last night. I was asked to give a workshop to the high school on Tuesday, and I spent all of last night worrying and obsessing about it. (And I'm the one who teaches public speaking.) I even woke up early this morning to type an outline of the points I'd be covering in my slot.
I spent all day horridly nervous, and driving my friends up the wall, begging them for suggestions and pointers. Turns out, I won't be giving the workshop after all.
I was called down to the high school principal's office after school and she told me that she was afraid to put me up in front of a class to do a workshop because she was not sure how my points would hit some of the girls. The twelfth graders were dying for me to talk about my having been sick, and she was afraid of parents calling the school to complain about my exposing the kids to "those kinds of people."
It's a good thing I'm so full of myself. Otherwise I'd be so offended at that.
I happen to be very cool about my having had cancer, but I hate it when people treat me like a contagious disease. Funny thing, my workshop was actually going to be about treating other people like equals.
That was one part of the nonsense in my day.
My principal wasn't in school today, but she still managed to ruin my day. I had handed in 8 sheets of paper to be approved by her for the newspaper. Today, 6 of them were handed back to me. She wasn't in school to tell me what was wrong with them, she had just made an "X" over the entire pile.
I spent three hours so far tonight just typing and searching for replacement articles. And I'm nowhere near done.
Third thing today that has me annoyed my co having renewed her contract. It's not that I'm upset with her, it's just that she isn't happy herself. I don't care what she does, I just want her to be happy, and if she isn't, well that makes me feel kinda stuck.
In addition to my whole day, my husband is just making me feel like a sucker for still working on this paper. I'm not getting paid for it and the principal doesn't respect my time and energy, and he can't begin to imagine what I'm thinking.
Truth is, neither can I.

In Response to Co's Post

Hey everybody. I'm just as shocked as you are. I had no idea my co signed until she posted on the blog.
I have to say that I'm happy for her. I'm glad she made a decision and is finally finished with the in-between stage of wondering what her plans are for next year. I'm also really happy that she'll be getting a raise from my school.
Before I drove her crazy about looking for another job, my co would've stayed on here and not gotten paid for it. Because she put the principal on guard by preparing to leave, she was offered more money to stay. And the truth is, the money is what she wanted.
(Not all people out there are "teachers with heart." LOL)
Thank you to those of you who commented on my co's post on Friday. It's nice to know that people are interested in what's going on here.
Anyways, I'm really happy for my co and I'm sure that we'll each do well with our co's next year. (Although she's definitely going to miss out on the antics of the self acclaimed king of the world...yours truly!)
Anyway Co, glad you made your decision. Don't feel bad about it. We stand behind you all the way.
Keep coming back peoples, I'll post about my day soon.

Disappointed (Co's post)

Not me-You! You all out there are going to be disappointed. I signed contract with my principal today.

(I shouldn't really be telling you this, but I'm close to tears. I really hope I did the right thing. I don't feel like I did.)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Co Introduces Herself

Hi everybody! You know all about my life and I don't even know who you are. I decided to introduce myself personally. I currently teach in a local school and I have the most wonderful co. I don’t know for how long I can write the word currently. That’s exactly why I’m posting. I need to hear your opinions. I’m trusting you not to be partial and tell me to run to this new school just because you are all rooting for my co. Let me give you a clear picture of what is going on.

Pros to staying in current school- I’m prepared, I’m getting money, I love the teachers room-I have great company, I’m settled, I have my name, I am successful, Why should I change?
Cons to staying- I have a hard principal to work with. Let me make it clear-you are all brainwashed by jap. I don’t have it as hard as jap. I have maybe spoken to the principal five times between Sukkos and Pesach. We just keep our distance. And, because it’s not my first year in this school-the principal respects me. Last year-I would have left without the blink on an eye. This year-I don’t find her that hard. The attitude my co talks of-I just ignore it. It doesn’t bother me so much. It would be a pleasure to have a nice principal but for that I should reprepare from scratch and work like a dog?

Pros to going to the new school- MONEY. That’s it! Yes you can argue that I will have a wonderful principal (and I only realized the difference when I met her and I saw what a principal is supposed to be like- working hand in hand with a teacher. Not against her!) But, I wouldn’t travel an hour there and back for a wonderful person-I can find wonderful people in local schools too.
Oh, and how can I forget-The one and only most wonderful co. Yes, that most definitely pulls me.
Cons to going- Traveling, different style of teaching, the girls are different than what I am used to, repreparing from scratch-it’s starting all over again. I had enough of beginnings. Beginnings are hard. Why should I drive myself insane?

Even if I would leave my current school-I’m thinking of accepting a High School job. Why run all the way to yehupitzville for another elementary. I have a number of High School offers and if my school doesn’t offer me the money I want-I think I’ll accept one of these High School Jobs. One of them is actually working out very well- if I keep the first half of the afternoon here in and take the second half in another school-it may work out.

Those of you who have opinions-I’m waiting for comments! Please post!
Waiting for your reply.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Teaching Again, and a Hard Day for My Co

The kids were given time to finish watching the film they had started Tuesday. I was flipping about not having the time to teach again.
Just as I was thinking I was doomed to another day of doodling cartoons the CD broke. The girls were all upset as they went up to their classrooms. My co looked miserable, and I tried talking to her, but she claimed she couldn't talk.
I walked into class then, and taught history. I'm proud that I managed to finish the entire chapter 14 in just two lessons. If I could do that with chapter 15 too, I'll be more than right on schedule for my final. I'll even have a couple of extra days.
We did editorials too. Didn't get very far, but I got the girls writing something. My students think I have the most interesting life. R.H. and L.K. make sure to tell me that at least once a day. I don't know what I said today to make them say that, but they did.
I wasn't feeling all that great, and I was looking forward to recess to get to the teacher's room to sit down.
I had just poured some cereal and milk into a cup when I got a message that my co needed me to proctor her test.
I went up to proctor the 7a class. I sat in my chair and munched in cereal. C.O. had a good laugh but I was feeling sick and I didn't care. I had put four spoons of sugar in the cup hoping to boost my natural ADHD energy. Didn't work.
I left my cellphone in the teacher's room so that my co could use it to call my new school. They hadn't called her back yet. I was dying to know what happened, but she was busy answering questions in the other class.
Finally, 7a gave their tests in and I taught. After history I was feeling faint again, so I gave the girls mincha time and then a ten minute recess in the class.
I dragged myself up to do editorials with them, and then at the end of the day I ran to my co to hear what had happened when she called the new school.
My co said that my principal had called the new school today. She told them that it seemed likely that my co would stay here, but they should definitely offer her the job.
I think my principal just ruined whatever chances my co had.
I promised my co I'd talk to her later and I went down to twelfth. I have them one more time after today, and I was going to play a game with them, but I was feeling so bad, I just let them listen to a speech.
After class one girl came over to me and asked me if I would give a workshop to the 12th grade on Tuesday. I told her I'd ask my principal for time off during computers. I doubt she'll let, but anyway.
The girls told me that they were waiting for me to come up to the overnight. I was so disappointed. I had really wanted to go. Oh well.
I spoke to my co before about S.G.L. She had been absent for the past two days. Turns out she was suspended. This kid needs to get out of her home. It's not that she is the problem, she has a problem. We need to get her into a camp for the summer, but it doesn't look like it's happening. We're thinking of all the connections we have, but we didn't come up with anything yet.
And as far as a job for next year. My co is confused, but today's decision is that she isn't going to take the job in the new school even if it's offered. She wants it to be offered, just so that she has some options, but she doesn't think she'll end up there.
I know it's not my decision, and I'm leaving it all up to her. I'm not going to be selfish, and she'll have to do what's right for her. I hope she figures something out soon.
Also, the 7b class told my co a funny thing. They said I was strict. R.H. said that were I head O.D. in camp, she'd be terrified of me. I thought the girls viewed me as a pushover. It's nice to know they're a little bit afraid of me. I think that made my day.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Whistles

My open notes test on chapter 13 in history was today. I had made an announcement that I would not be answering any questions being that it was an open notes test. It was a dream come true.
I sat in my chair doing nothing most of the day, watching my kids work.
I only gave them an hour for the test and for the next half hour we were going to do our editorials. Both classes didn't let me get past my introduction to the lesson.
In 7b we ended up having a heated discussion about people with cancer. The girls are so fascinated by the topic, and they were actually quiet when I spoke today. I think it's the first time I had a class so into my lesson.
I'm not going to kid myself, I know my students know I had cancer. They'll never say it to my face, but they're all hoping that one day I'll tell them what it was like.
They can forget about that, but I don't mind talking about cancer in general.
The 7a class also got stuck on the topic of asking other people for their opinions. I stood up on a chair and declared that I was the king of the world. The girls laughed. M.R. wanted to know who had made me king. I explained to the girls that one person's opinion was like me saying I was king of the world. A good newspaper and a good editorial should have research done before it gets published.
The principal then came in to hand out whistles. The community had decided that all schoolgirls were going to get whistles on a keychain to hang from their collars so that if they were being attacked, they could blow the whistles for help.
This rapist in town is causing everyone to lose their minds.
What are they thinking? If I were an attacker, the first thing I would do when grabbing someone is cover their mouth. I don't know about you, but I haven't yet mastered the art of blowing a whistle through my ears.
Also, why would I be using my hands to get to the whistle? I'd probably be kicking and punching...That is, unless my attacker had pinned my arms first.
Whoever came up with this whistle idea should be shot. It's beyond me how this idea could make any sense.
In my opinion, every school should institute an hour a week of martial arts. Cut gym and cut scrapbooking , and cut computer class, and teach them to defend themselves.
Sometimes I can't believe I was actually raised in a school system like this one.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Used and Confused

It was raining this morning and it seemed everyone was in a bad mood. Myself...not so much. I didn't have a chance to eat breakfast at home so I took a Dixie cup along to school.
While I was eating, the other teachers were inspired and they decided to send me out to go buy and ice cream cake for a teacher who just came back after having a baby.
We went out in the rain to get her an ice cream cake, and guess who we met walking down the block? The teacher we were supposed to be surprising. She asked us where we were going in the rain. I showed off my fantastic acting skills by lying through my teeth, and we walked off laughing.
I came back to school to hear that I wouldn’t be teaching today either. Because of their cancelled trip, the grades were being showed some films.
I was asked to go get my laptop because the school's wasn't performing well. I brought it, but in the end it wasn't needed. I did consider using it to blog while my students were watching the film, but the school has no wireless internet.
So I was pretty much bored all day.
I ate ice cream in the teacher's room three times and totally made myself sick in the process. (I'm lactose intolerant, but I keep forgetting.)
Then, the eighth grade asked if they could use my laptop for the film they were supposed to see. I almost went into cardiac arrest just thinking of the idea, but I set it up for them and let them watch it while I supervised.
I got some day camp stuff done there, but mainly I kept looking at my watch, waiting for school to end.
I feel so used. I was in school for the past three days and I didn't teach a stitch. I'm being used. I saw the hogh school girls come back from their trip and they looked so happy, and they said they had a great time. But I had to stay in school to babysit. I'm not a happy camper.
One of the teachers got married tonight and I drove my co over to the hall. She told me that after school she spoke to the principal about her job for next year.
It turns out my new school wants to offer the job to her and they're just waiting for my principal to call them back.
My principal is more than just a little furious that my co is considering leaving to another elementary school. My co told her it was the pay that appealed to her. The principal said she'd try to match it. (Ok, not match, but give her something close.)
At this point my co is confused.
She isn't looking to run away from the chassidishe school like I am, she's even a little afraid of going to a school like this. She's afraid of not belonging, and not being happy in the school. She's looking for a permanent job; she doesn't want to take the risk of changing schools and then wanting to change again.
Transportation is also an issue. As long as I'm there I can drive her, but what happens later? I told her not to worry; somehow the teachers in that school always seem to manage.
My co claims that all she's looking for in a new job is pay. And if our school is offering it to her, why should she leave. I'm trying to tell her that the atmosphere is so much better in the new school, but she’s still unsure.
If this weren't an anonymous blog, I'd give you all my email address so that you can email me your opinions on what my co should be doing. She does have some legitimate points. Those of you who'd like to post comments, feel free.
One last thing before I go.
I was walking out of a second wedding tonight and I was stopped by two girls I don't know. They knew me though, and they came over to ask me if they could join our "million" contest. They said that the contest was spreading all over town. Girls and boys in other schools were writing millions all day for my class.
I am on so much trouble. The girls told me they heard I would give my class a free final if they completed a million. I told them that it wasn't I don't know who starts these rumors. The girls said that the entire community was up with writing millions for me.
I don't know if I should be touched or annoyed. My students sure know how to take things too far. I spoke to them about this already. Twice. I told them that I did not approve of the contest and that I wouldn't give them anything for it either.
But they keep going. They think it's funny, but I get in trouble from the principal and now of she hears that the town is up with this, I'm going to get kicked out of that building headfirst.
My husband thinks this whole thing is really funny, but I'm a little worried. What am I going to do with these kids? N.Y.F. actually had a great answer to that question. I'm going to put it in just because N.Y.F. thinks I won't. The answer N.Y.F. gave is I.D.G.A.S.
I have only one word. Whatev.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Teacher's Day

I was totally taken advantage of today.
My classes were given both scrapbooking and computers during my period. I didn't teach a stitch today. I actually ran home for a half hour while my class was at computers. I drew cartoons the rest of the time.
My co had taught and then she had a model lesson so she joined me in the computer room. The kids were hyper from the extended computer session and they kept asking us to leave. My co told them to pretend today was Teacher's day and make us cards. They did.
C.O. kept begging to leave and then she got disruptive and began singing reggae in my class. She paused for a minute and then asked me to go out to the bathroom. I told her to stay at her computer and to kindly stop singing songs by M------. The class was stunned that I actually knew what she was singing. They don't have to know that I'm the guy's biggest fan. As long as they're in school, it's not something they should be singing.
Here goes the "double standard" issue again.
The day was a total waste of time, and the trip for Lag Ba'omer tomorrow was canceled because it's supposed to rain. I have to get some teaching done.
The girls were extremely hyper today, I hope I get something in their heads tomorrow.
And by the way, I'm furious at the principal for keeping me back from the high school trip. Of all days to keep me in school. I'm MAD.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Book Fair

I had a free night last night because today was the book fair at school. The girls were finally going to show off their picture books. Their mothers were invited to come down and the principal came early to set up.
My co and I didn't prepare any material to teach today, and my co didn't even bring her looseleaf to school.
The girls were edgy, waiting to go downstairs, but we didn't have permission to go yet. Instead, the girls stayed up with me and interrogated me on a number of different things. They had fun, but they were excited to finally go downstairs and greet their mothers.
I went down to find that my mother had surprised me and came to see the books. She was amazed at what some of my kids managed to put together.
The book fair was mainly boring. The girls got bored very quickly and so did I. Who wants to read a bunch of books all day?
I think the principal had expected the book fair to be amazing, and was a little shocked at how it didn't carry very well. She sent the kids up to class at 11:30, and asked the teachers to teach.
I had not prepared any lessons. I was happy for the opportunity to teach because I realized that I barely had enough days to finish my curriculum in history, but I was at a loss for what to teach.
I quickly read the history book and taught the combined class two aims in 35 minutes.
It went really well, and I'm excited that I got two aims done.
I hope the rest of the week goes this well.
Now my co is giving a model lesson in another school. I'm still hoping that she gets the job in mine. ...But I do hope her lesson goes well today too.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Short Thursday and Disappointing News

It was a short Thursday because I had no twelfth grade. I was looking forward to today because it meant that the week was almost over.
I tried to have a newspaper meeting during lunch, but I had to cancel it because the girls were dying to go downstairs and cheer for their color war team.
Very few girls stayed for the meeting and then S.G.L. tried to walk out of it because she claimed I was only giving attention to the other reporter and not her. I yelled her back into her seat. She was pleased with the attention.
I went to the principal again to ask her about the high school trip, and she said she would talk to the high school principal and then let me know.
I got history done without too many problems, but D.T. asked a question about the Mormon religion, and I hope what I answered won't get me into too much trouble. In the other class, when I had to bring up the topic of polygamy again, the girls wanted to know what was wrong with it. C.S.A. made a comment that was so on target I had to turn to the board so that the class wouldn't see me laugh. She said that there was no way in the world a man could handle two wives. It was probably made illegal because too many men were driven nuts by their wives. Pretty astute for a 12 year old. (She's still 12, the youngest in the class.)
I made a spontaneous decision to do literature instead of writing today, and it worked out nicely. I read the story out loud to them as they followed along, stopping occasionally to write notes.
I spent 10 minutes in each class on newspaper, and I sent the reporters out to tell the classes the entry topic for this month.
I also changed R.H. and G.S.'s seats. I put G.S. near C.C.K. They're friends, and when I spoke to G.S.'s mother last night she suggested that G.S. would be happier near her friends. It happened to have worked out nicely for today.
The principal sent me a message to come see her, so I ran down to her recess time. She told me that she didn't let me go on the high school trip. I'm more than a bit peeved. It's not so much that I wanted to go, but she messed with my head all week, and then she still didn't let me go. My husband is more annoyed than I am. He was looking forward to his night off next week. I promised him that he could still have it. :)
My co had a miserable day too. The principal kept pestering her to make a decision about next year. My co insisted on getting paid a nice amount if she chose to stay, and the principal was giving her hell.
The principal stopped her three times today about the topic and then insisted on an answer by Sunday. Turns out the principal form my new school had called for info on my co (I take that as a good sign...) and my principal tried to take advantage of that with my co. She said that she would give good information to the new school if my co would allow her to begin looking at applications for next year.
My co left school feeling the way I felt yesterday. Oh, and she also had to go tutor C.O.
I hope she gets the job!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Double Standards and Feeling Bummed

To my friend N.Y.F. who was the inspiration for this title (and the winner of our bet), thanks so much.
I had a convesation with N.Y.F. today about double standards. This conversation was about a personal issue, but it ended up including school.
I feel guilty a lot of the time because I don't live a lifestyle my school supports. I teach my kids one thing and then I go home, and many times do another. Now what I do in my own home is not considered wrong by any standards, but I always feel funny thinking about what my students would say if they really knew everything about me.
My friend insisted that having a different standard of living than teaching is absolutely fine. The advice and the lessons we give to our students are based on them as individuals, where they are coming from and where they're going to. As their teacher, I may not necessarily have the same background or ideals. N.Y.F. claims that's 100% ok.
I do see the point my friend is trying to make, but I can't help but feel guilty. I know that my girls look to me as a role model and that they are too young to be able to make the distinction between the way I grew up and their backgrounds. I feel like I'm cheating somehow.
Anyway, I was in a pretty contemplative mood as I got to school. The G.O. had broken out color war, and the kids were screaming up and down the hallways. I was in no mood for that.
The water cooler was empty and the teachers were dying of thirst. That just added to my day.
The 7a class had this great way of cheering me up. We did editorials today, and the girls had such original ideas, and we exchanged funny stories during the entire lesson, I felt so much better coming out of that class.
I knew it was too much to expect that from the 7b. L.K. shot off her mouth about something as soon as I walked through the door, and when I sharply gave it to her, she folded her arms and refused to participate in my lesson. Instead, she tried to stare me down. She had no idea that she was dealing with the person who invented the unbreakable stare. I don't even need to tell you that she lost.
I made a snide comment to G.S. that I was still waiting for her spelling words. She had the grace to blush.
During history, I saw that the class had not bothered to review. I told them to take out a sheet of paper and I gave them a quiz on the spot.
I collected the quiz and tore it up in front of them. I told them that this is what it felt like when I had to prepare all night for their class and they didn't even bother to study.
G.S. laughed in my face.
I told the class that had the principal been there she would've had a lot to say. G.S. commented, "Good, I love when she wastes time."
I looked at G.S. and answered, "Well then, I'm sure she will not mind wasting your time now. Leave my class." G.S. thought I was kidding and refused to go. I waited for her.
After she left, she tried coming back in twice, but I put my foot down and insisted on a note from the principal.
Continuing with history, L.O. asked me if we could go slower. I told her that thanks to her classmates we were behind and that I could not slow down for her. The class groaned, but I think they got it.
I believe I have a love-hate relationship with T.K. One day she loves me and one day she can hate me. Today she loved me because I made copies of notes for her. She's leaving to Israel tonight for a week, and I gave her all the material in advance. She was excited during class today and even raised her hand.
We did editorials and L.K. and F.F. had not done their homework. I sent them both out to complete it. I refused to let them sit in class without having done the work.
The class got the concept of editorials quickly and they also had a great time thinking up reasons to support their opinions.
While they were writing, the secretary came in to ask me what to do with L.K. and F.F. I told her that as soon as they finished their homework they could come back in. As far as G.S was concerned, I wanted her to do history questions until the principal could see her.
The principal came to see me about G.S. I told her what had happened and glossed it in a way so that she would support me.
I told her that G.S had spoken freshly to authority and that she had said a disparaging comment about the principal. I said that to let her sit in class would show the girls that they could get away with being chutzpadik.
The principal seemed to hear what I was saying. I finally learned how to manipulate her and now I'm leaving. Shame, isn't it?
The day was finally over, but I was exhausted.
I walked home with some teachers and we had a lively discussion on the double standards. They were so into the idea. N.Y.F. would've been proud.
I came home, marked their spelling tests, and made up a history review for next week. I feel burned out and slightly bummed. These kids have no appreciation for the amount of work I put into their day. G.S. laughs in my face, L.K. stares me down, and H.W. refuses to write notes. The principal won't take my side, the kids all take advantage, and I still work until two every night.
On a brighter note, S.G.L. and C.O. both redid their spelling homeworks. I'm impressed. Also, my co gave a model lesson in my new school. They seemed to have liked her very much, and now I'm hoping and praying for the best.
So I had a bad day. I'm so bummed.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Cheating?

I had spelling homeworks on my desk when I walked into class. Before I even began teaching, I looked them over. The girls had all given me their looseleaf papers with the first 10 words of the lesson and their definitions.
C.O.'s paper was photocopied. It was not in her handwriting. She had white-outed S.G.L's name and put her name on top. I picked it up, made a face, and told her that I was not accepting it. It bothered me to no end.
How much of an idiot did she think I was? I folded the paper and went to show it to the principal when the class was at computers.
Problem was, the principal was viewing a model lesson being given by a girl I knew. She was busy all recess and then I had to go to my other class and start them off in computers.
In my other class I had another spelling copycat. G.S. had taken H.W.'s already checked paper and had torn off the top of it. She tore off H.W.'s name and the red check I had made on top. Then she scrawled her name on the bottom.
Without saying anything, I took that to the principal too.
I waited outside her office for close to a half hour, listening as she sided with a crazy parent against a teacher. Finally she was ready for me, and I showed her the two papers. She was upset, but she said that she would leave the punishment up to me. I told her I was fresh out of idea.
I had sent C.O. out and it didn't seem to bother her, and we both knew that G.S. wasn't affected by much. I told her that I wanted to fail them both this lesson in spelling. She didn't seem that happy with the idea.
She did say that she would speak to them and that we'd think of something to do.
As I was walking out, I asked her again about the high school trip and she began giving me excuses. I told her that in truth I'd only be missing Monday and that was a day where my classes had scrapbooking. So it really meant teaching 45 minutes in each class. I suggested she take two model lessons for those slots and then she wouldn't even have to pay a substitute.
She said that most likely she'd let me go, but she had to work things out.
I think she thinks she made my day.
I met a girl in the hall preparing to give a model lesson. I happened to know her and when she asked me about the school I was very honest with her and told her to run as far away as she could. She looked terrified, but hey, I think this is my divine duty. I need to protect innocent young seminary girls from falling into this mudhole.
I think you can tell I like writing.
Anyway, I just got a call from a girl who'll be giving a model lesson on Monday. I guess the principal is taking my advice.
So now that it seems likely that I'll be going on this overnight, I think I have permission to start panicking about the workshop they want me to give!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Not Taking Anymore

The principal has been after me to teach the girls to write editorials in our writing classes. I asked her for the lesson plans, and she kept saying that she'd get them to me.
I stayed for an hour after school yesterday to get the notes from her, and she never got around to meeting me. I told her that I was planning to teach this today, and she promised she would fax me the lessons.
I'm still waiting for the fax.
I called up the eighth grade teacher and asked her to fax me her copies, and she did. I looked them over and I was so upset. The lesson plans were really unclear and there was no way I would be able to prepare the lesson well in time for today's lesson.
This morning I googled editorials and I found the best lesson plans. They were clear and broken down very well, and I prepared the first lesson very well for class.
I ran into my co on the way home from an appointment and introduced her to a friend of mine who knows all about my co through this blog. I found that funny.
Anyway, my co and I got to school together, and as I was preparing history, the secretary came over to me to tell me that the principal had some writing notes for me.
I told the secretary that I already had them and that it was fine. She insisted that I talk to the principal.
I did speak to the principal. The principal told me that she had thought it over and decided that I should do poetry instead of editorials. I was fuming. I gave it to her on the head.
I told her that if she had decided to change her mind wouldn't it be appropriate to tell me? I said that I had already prepared and that the girls would spend a lot of time on poetry in the eighth grade anyway. I put my foot down and said that I wouldn't take anymore of her demands on my life.
I also asked her permission to go on the high school overnight and miss two days next week. She was not happy about it. She said that she'd have to talk to the high school principal about how much they really needed me there.
Now I really want to go, just because the principal doesn't want me to.
I taught a lesson of history in 7a, and then I was surprised to find out that they had scrapbooking today. There went my editorial lesson.
The principal came into the class to talk about the rapist again. It seems that in a community nearby a young married girl was raped. The schools were all worried that the crime was linked to the ones in our community. The girls did not take the principal seriously. They don't understand or want to believe that there is a real danger. I wanted to yell at them that for once the principal was right. These things happen, and that they can happen to any of us. But I could yell all I want. This community refuses to see outside their little narrow minded cage.
Because the principal had taken the time in the 7b class (who were taking a science test) I had to give up my lesson and proctor them after recess.
I didn't mind the free time, but I'm now a full aim behind in history. I want to give a review Thursday, but it doesn't look like the 7b will be ready for it.
When my co came in to answer questions, I went back to the 7a class. C.O. was acting extremely immature. She was showing off her index cards from the beginning of the year to other girls. She was disrupting my class and I told her to behave. She kept acting out anyway.
I sent her out.
I answered index cards. Nothing out of the ordinary, except for S.G.L. who decided I hate her again. She drives me nuts. I answered her that just because I didn't agree with her actions that did not affect the way I felt toward her as a person.
She took the card and immediately showed it to C.O.
Oh ew.
Twelfth grade was actually fun. I prepared a grab bag full of odds and ends, and had each girl come up and pick something out, and then speak spontaneously about it for a minute. The girls had fun, and then they challenged me. I had to speak about buttons, q-tips and tiles before they let me go. I'm glad to have gotten the lesson over with this early in the week.
With all I had to put up with I think I can still honestly say that I had a decent sort of day. I have a foot out the door, and at this point I refuse to let myself be affected by the stupidities of this school.
Whew, that felt good to say!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

On Three Hours of Sleep

As you've probably been able to tell from the time on my last post, I went to sleep really late last night. Waking up on time today was no easy feat.
I had nothing planned for class, but I had massive allergies. The tree pollen count was up really high today and I totally felt it.
In literally a half hour I finished history in 7a and literature took less. I chatted with the girls about the current events lesson I had never gotten to finish with them, and the bell rang just in time.
L.K. in the other class kept trying to come over to me to ask me for permission to come into class, but I was very firm with her.
When I walked into class after recess, R.H. pretended to forget that I had told her to get a note form the principal, and I had to ask her to leave.
T.K. made a show of being miserable and edgy all day, and she only gave me her apology note after class, so I had no opportunity to embarrass her with it in front of the girls. My evil side feels left out today.
The small class was such a pleasure without R.H. and L.K. L.O. was out taking a test and G.S. was absent. My class was terrific.
My friend had forgotten that I taught on Sunday and she called me during class. My cellphone had just gotten a new ringer with the mission impossible theme song. Before it starts there is man saying "This phone will self destruct in 10 seconds."
My phone was really loud and all the kids jumped a mile. So did I actually! I was so embarrassed!
We finished history and literature as well, and then we had a little discussion on ambidexterity. The girls were complaining how their hands hurt after writing so much, and I told them that they had to learn to write with both hands to alleviate their problem.
The girls claimed that it wasn't possible to write with both hands. I took a piece of chalk in each hand and wrote the same word with both of them. I did it in English and in Hebrew. The girls were amazed. I think they'll stop the millions now and start becoming lefties.
Except for C.O. that is. I heard from my sister that C.O. had enlisted all the neighbors into writing millions for her.
The kid makes me want to scream.
She and S.G.L. have been acting out lately. My co and I are going insane from those two. We took the classes out to the yard to play some ball, and C.O. and her newest pal were just chatting on the side.
My co was so frustrated. And she has to go tutor S.G.L. today. I have to get her to post her thoughts on this blog.
I waited for an hour after school to talk to my principal to get my next writing lesson from her. She wants me to start tomorrow, but she never gave me the lessons. I caught up with her outside the building and she said she'd fax me the sheets later. I don't' trust her so I made arrangements to get the eighth grade teacher's notes on the same topic.
I know I'm almost leaving the school, but I still owe them another 6 weeks. Why do they have to be so hard?
NowI could use a nap, but I really must begin preparing for my summer job and next year.
It seems I won't be getting much sleep in this lifetime.

I Hate This Part Of My Job

I just got a call from T.K.'s mother. She's the typical mother you'll find in this school. Overprotective, always standing up for her "can do no wrong kid."
She was all upset that I had kicked her daughter out of my class. I thought she deserved it. She wanted to know what had caused me to throw her kid out of class. I told her and she defended her daughter like no tomorrow. I always wonder how these mothers are able to defend their daughters if they weren't there at the time of the offense.
I told her my side, and she said that her daughter refused to come into school tomorrow if she had to go see the principal.
I honestly didn't care, but as you can see by the timestamp on this post; it's very late and I just wanted to get her out of my face, so I asked her what she suggested her daughter do.
She asked if her daughter could write an apology note instead of seeing the principal.
I agreed, but I wasn't happy about it. I think T.K. needs to be put into line.
My husband doesn't get me. He thinks I should've sent the kid to face the music.
Whatever. This job is wearing me thin.
I hope that my new job won't be this stressful. I wonder if it's the school or teaching itself that stresses me out. I know that this is not an easy job. I just never expected a teacher with heart to have to give so much heart!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Three Strikes and You're OUT!!!

My co was absent today. She left me to take care of the entire spring fevering grade. She had taken a day off from school because she was feeling under the weather and needed time to recuperate. Truth is, I needed that time too. But this school will never let two teachers of the same class be absent on the same day, and she beat me to it!
I hope she's feeling better, because my kids were HORRORS! I gave them my co's science quiz and her math work, and I had the principal drop by to keep my students in their seats.
She came in and then I told her that I had gotten the job. She seemed genuinely excited to get rid of me.
S.G.L. was called out of class for something and she came back in laughing. I told her that if she wanted to act this way, she could do it in the hallway. I think she's furious at me now.
I taught current events. There was big news going on now, and I wanted my students to know about it. We had a lively discussion where I thought I was going to lose my mind. R.H., T.K., and L.K. were so asking for trouble. They were sitting near each other and they kept disturbing my class.
T.K. in class 7a surprised me with a Microsoft power point presentation of her picture book. She wanted it to show during the book fair. The kid floors me.
C.O. wanted to know if my co would be tutoring her after school, so I told her to remind me after class to call her and see. She and S.G.L. were giving each other looks and turning around to look at each other the entire lesson.
After recess I attempted to teach history. I lost my patience halfway there, and kicked R.H. out. The principal was at a meeting so R.H. came back into class for literature even though she didn't have a note from the principal.
I warned the rest of the class that I would not hesitate to throw anyone else out.
T.K. and L.K. took me up on the offer.
I kicked them both out, and told all three of them that they were not welcome into my class without a note from the principal Sunday.
I totally don't care what these kids think of me anymore.
I'm so out of there.
Twelfth grade finished watching the film I showed them and then we discussed it a bit.
The girls were so involved in out discussion, they stayed through the bell.
Then they invited me to their Lag Baomer trip. It's an overnight trip up to a boys camp and they wanted me to come along and give workshops.
I have to think about it, but I sure had a great day.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

YESSS!!!!!!!!

My co called early this morning to tell me how her interview with the new school had gone. She set up a model lesson for next Wednesday, and I'm so nervous fro her. I'm dying for her to get the job. As I crawled back into bed after hanging up with her, my cellphone rang. It was the new school.
THEY OFFERED ME THE JOB!!!
I told them that off the bat I was taking it, but I would get back to them after I had discussed it with my husband.
They're paying me three times the amount my school is paying me now. LOL
I'm so thrilled!!
I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that nothing can bring me down today, because I have a feeling I'm in for it big time today, having the whole class together.
Anyway, just posting the good news and asking you all to keep me in mind today. I hope I can get through this day in one piece.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My Fault Again

I was so dreading giving this test today. It was on two chapters in history and I knew the girls were going to give me a hard time wit hit.
Hard time was not the word.
First, they made me shut the lights. There is something wrong with the lights in our class that makes them buzz. During a test, when it's quiet, the kids notice it more and they claim they can't concentrate with it on.
Problem is, there are always some girls who will object to closing the lights. Namely, F.G. She can be such a brat about it too. The class was pretty light even without the lights though. We had plenty of sunshine from the 3 windows.
Of course, just to antagonize the rest of the class, L.K. and T.K. closed the shades. I was not happy.
Finally, I got them to shut up long enough so that I could give out the tests.
I promised them that should I need to, I would give minuses.
That didn't stop L.K. from looking around the classroom to talk to smile at R.H. I looked up, and promptly told her to put a minus two on top of her paper.
L.K. still wanted to know why. I told the class that if any girl gave me even the slightest reason to believe that she was doing anything other than taking her test, I would not hesitate to take points off.
L.K. scowled, folded her arms, and refused to fill in another word for the rest of the test. I believe that when I marked her she got a 40....and that's without taking 2 points off in the end!
L.K. sat for the rest of the period just staring at me. She was trying to get me nervous. LOL As if!
T.K. did get me nervous though. She came up to my desk, as usual, with an empty paper, expecting me to give her all the answers. I played it very cool and got on her nerves that way. She sat back down very frustrated.
C.K. did the same thing with me. I did the same thing to her.
One by one, I had frustrated girls coming up to my desk. I kept calm and tried helping the girls, but I couldn't really answer most of the questions for them without it being considered that I gave them the answers.
R.S. was the first to give in her test. She made a huge show of it, claiming that she was going to fail because she hadn't written an essay. (Worth 20 points.) She had written "Fail" on top of her paper, and seemed very worked up for the rest of the period.
Since she had come back to school, she's been acting very strange. My guess, and my co's is that she was put on meds and it hasn't taken effect yet.
Whatever the case was, I was scared to set her off.
The recess bell rang and I had all the girls who had finished the test leave the classroom. R.S. refused to leave, sitting instead at her desk and talking loudly. I repeated my request to her numerous times, and she grew more frustrated each time. But she did leave in the end.
T.K. and C.K, refused to hand in their tests. L.K. refused to even talk to me.
I looked sharply at L.K. and asked her if she was ok with giving in her test now. She stared back at me and said that she wasn't. I told her that I wasn't giving her a choice. She refused to come up to my desk, But when I counted to three, as if she were in nursery, she came up and slammed it onto the pile.
I had T.K. and C.K. hand in their tests even though they had not finished.
I met the principal in the hallway, she wanted to talk to me. I asked her if I could talk to her first.
I told her that I couldn't handle the 7b class anymore, and I warned her that L.K's mother would be calling. I told her that I was planning to call every mother in that class. I was so annoyed.
Then, the principal told me what she wanted to talk to me about.
She was angry at me for having told the girls anything about the "million" thingy. She said that it was not my business to teach the girls about the holocaust and to give them a project on it was totally out of line.
I was furious. I tried explaining to her that this was not a project and that I was even against the entire thing. I had not promised them anything if they completed it. I was so upset at the situation. In the past 4 days all the teachers had confiscated some millions and we were peeved at the girls who kept trying to do it in middle of class. And now the principal had the nerve to blame it all on me.
I told her that is was not my fault the class was so stupid. She told me that I should've knows what kind of a class I was dealing with by now and been more careful.
She said that she had mothers calling her up to complain that their daughters had been up until 3 am writing millions.
I am so annoyed!! It's always my fault. I so need to get out of there.
The second class was amazing. They were quiet and calm as they took the test, and hardly had any questions. I managed to mark the other class' test during the class, and after class they all piled in to see what they had gotten.
T.K. had the nerve to ask for more time to finish her test, and even though she had gotten in the 80's I told her yes. I have no idea why. I told the same to C.K. She had failed.
R.S. had failed miserably, but I told her I was proud of her for trying even though she hadn't been in school all week. I gave her the option of taking it over Sunday. She has to tell me by tomorrow what her decision is.
I stayed late to finish marking the 7a tests, and many girls stayed with me to get their marks. I'm happy with this test. I feel that it challenged the girls on their level. Most of my marks were in the high 80's and low nineties. I feel that's where they should be.
My co called me that she wasn't feeling well and that she was taking off tomorrow. I guess I'm stuck subbing 32 spring feverish kids. And then 12th grade too!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Oh Yay, and Oy Vey!

I was so nervous this morning. I had not prepared for my model lesson a bit last night and I was so dead.
I didn't have a chance to prepare this morning either because I had a meeting I was supposed to go to. I took my notes along with me anyway just for some last minute prep.
I got to the school a bit early, and I was shocked when I walked into the new school's office and bumped into an old friend I hadn't seen in ages.
My mood quickly turned from there, as I met a couple of other girls I knew. I fooled around a bit in the office with them, and even took a peek at the class I'd be giving the lesson to.
Finally, the principal was ready for me to go in, and I confidently began giving my lesson. I stumbled a bit, and felt a little awkward, but I relaxed pretty quickly and got into the lesson. The girls were so participant and they were really yummy. I was debating the entire morning if I should just teach them my poem on the bill of rights, or do it in a song.
The girls were so cute, and they promised to sing with me, so we did the song.
I thanked them for being such a great class, and walked out.
The principal asked to speak with me, and told me that she was very impressed. She said that she had another model lesson tomorrow, and she would call me back by Wednesday or Thursday.
She offered me a salary 3 times the amount of what I'm getting now. I didn't even bother to ask for more. My smile lit up the room.
I spent time singing the praises of my co to her, hoping to get her open to the idea of hiring her...I'm doing the best I can to get my co a job together with me. I'm so selfish, but I want a good co next year!
I came back to my house hyper as anything.
I quickly signed on to messenger to update my friends on the current sitch, and I had a friend call me so that I could send regards from someone I met at the school.
I then had to run to school to teach my classes after recess.
I was so hyper. The teachers think that I forgot to take my Ritalin pills. I was smiling and laughing and jumping off the walls. I even had to laugh at myself!
After recess, my kids were as bad as I was.
The 7b class especially. (Surprise, surprise.) My co had to send out H.W. and I wanted to send out the rest of the class.
I have to do something about T.K. and L.K. sitting together, they're terrible! I also want to call T.K.'s mother about her attitude.
On second thought, I need to call all their mothers.
I stopped the class and held the door open for any girls who wanted to leave. That got the kids to shut up.
I said that if any girl was disinterested in my class, they were welcome to leave. I would not tell the principal, and I would not hold it against them. I wanted them to leave so that I wouldn't have to keep stopping my class.
No one left. They're stupid. I always took advantage of this offer in high school.
I made it clear to the girls that they had now all made the choice to stay and from there on if I needed to stop for any of them I would tell the principal and hold it against them.
That didn't stop T.K., L.K., L.O., R.H. and H.W.. I'm so at the end of my rope, I'm about to ask the principal to observe my class again.
I had made the mistake of telling the girls that if they were able to write the word "million" a million times, I would cancel tests for the rest of the year.
I've gotten complaints from every teacher so far. They've had to confiscate papers from girls trying to do it in middle of class. I'm mad. The girls have such nerve. My co had to confiscate papers from G.S. and I had to confiscate from R.S. H.W. L.O. and T.K.
My co also confiscated H.W.'s picture book.
I had an incident in class where R.H. mentioned something about taking pills to calm a person down. I was hoping R.S. didn't have to take pills, and know what R.H. was referring to.
I couldn't shout the class down so I just went with the flow, and then I dismissed them without telling them about their history test tomorrow. They went nuts. C.S.A. exploded. But other than that nothing else is new.
Oh, and picture books were due today!! Oh Yay!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Million

I only have time for a short post today.
I'll spend it telling you how angry I am. My students decided it would be a cute idea if they began writing the word million a million times. They have been doing it all day during other teacher's classes. I have not promised anything to them if they accomplish their goal (which they won't) and they're talking themselves into a huge reward.
I am so mad.
Are my students conscientious, very literal, or just plain stupid?
Anyway, tomorrow is my model lesson.
Like my German journalist friends says, "Keep your thumbs pressed for me!"