Monday, June 26, 2006

Still on My Case

I got a call today from the school again. The secretary and principal wanted to make sure that I had given in all the material the principal had ever given me. How annoying.
I had to call the principal back and list for her all that I had gotten and what I had given back. She also wanted me to go through every writing exercise I had ever done with my class. I made up some stuff and made her as happy as I could. Which, just like any other time, doesn't mean much.
When I was talking to her I got the creeps for a second. I had this thought that I had to please her or else my life would be miserable tomorrow in school. When I realized all of a sudden that I would never be teaching under her again, it was such a huge relief. I even laughed out loud. I'm so outta there.
I called my new school to set up a meeting, but the principal wasn't in, so I left a message and I hope she'll call me back tomorrow.
Other than all this, nothing much as far as school is going on. I'm preparing for day camp though, in a big way. For the next week, most of my time will be spent there just decorating, making up motions to songs, and sorting all the orders we made. After next Monday, anyone who sees me will be considered lucky. I'm seriously thinking of moving my mattress into my office. My husband doesn't think it's a bad idea. ;)
By the way, two days ago I got mail from T.K.'s parents. They sent me a nice thank you card for making their daughter's year so special. Like I said in my previous post, "A Teacher With Heart," things like these are what make us want to come back year after year.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Teacher With Heart

Last night I sat down to write an essay for college. It had to be nonfiction, and I wrote and discarded two pieces before I completed this one. I wanted to write about somehting close to my heart, but I did have a hard time epressing myself fully. I decided to post the piece, hoping to get feedback from all of you.
The paper is due July 14, but I will probably send it in a week early. It's not completely finished yet, there are a few bumps I still need to smooth out, but I'm excited about it, so I'm posting it now.
Enjoy reading and leave feedback please!

A Teacher With Heart

Most people do not have what it takes to be a teacher with heart. Truthfully, every teacher must have heart because the profession of education has nothing else to offer. There is no money in teaching, lots of tough situations, hardly any respect, and the good parts are few and far in between. Teachers without the requisite dose of heart are weeded out fairly quickly and even some of the ones with heart are turned off as well.

Many young girls in my community look towards teaching as the ideal job. Working in a school means an insecure girl never has to leave the environment she knows best, the environment in which she has spent the majority of her life so far. Teachers come into the school year excitedly, never dreaming this sort of job requires days as well as nights of preparation, giving up any other life one possibly may have had up until now, constant aggravation from students and staff, and of course, heart.

By heart I mean it literally. It is not enough for a teacher to prepare outstanding lessons and do her very best work if her heart isn’t in it. Truth be told, it is much the same in any other profession; the most successful are always the ones who have put heart and soul into what they’ve achieved. Teaching though, requires more heart than any other job.

We come back year after year because when the job pays off, it pays off in big ways. Nothing can replace the smile on a child’s face after she has grasped a difficult concept. There isn’t anything that can tug at a teacher’s heart more than a little note of appreciation from a student. And the uncommon kid who ends the school year with a grateful hug is what makes us want to do it again.

A teacher will need an understanding heart, a heart that will not lose patience with the ever struggling student, trying to do well, yet continually failing. A teacher will need to put in the time to sit with a struggling child, comfort her as she cries, and stay with her as she tries again. She will know that a failing student is not necessarily a mark of poor teaching skills on her part, but she will try with all her might to help her succeed nonetheless.

A teacher cannot be considered a success, without an accepting heart. Over the many years a teacher spends in a classroom, she will encounter different capabilities, backgrounds, problems, and types of kids. One must learn to accept them all equally, as every new concept and idea forms her into a better educator; able to better help the students she so dearly loves. An accepting teacher is the one who will congratulate the learning disabled girl on her passing grade as much as she will cheer for the child who won a scholarship award. An accepting teacher will never see failures, only learning experiences.

In this profession, a strong heart is a must because of the hardships one will inevitably face. It’s tough; constantly feeling underappreciated by students, parents, and the school in general. Along with those, a teacher will deal with having her heart taken by every single child, and feeling along with every one of their concerns. A teacher will ride stormy seas with her charges hopefully steering them to a better shore over the period of a school year. A teacher’s heart must be strong enough to ride the waves with her students while making sure to keep them, as well as herself, from drowning. A strong heart will put up with criticism, hardly any pay, and the occasional class that will try her patience to the limit.

A warm heart is required to ensure the students all feel the love their teacher has for them. The warm hearted teacher will praise the brilliant child while still finding the time to encourage the slower ones. A warm teacher is one with no reservations about sitting on the floor and reading to her seventh grade students, or playing a game of catch with students that may not be her own. A teacher like this leaves each student at the end of the year feeling successful and cared for. Warm hearted teachers may not always be appreciated, but their difference is always felt.

There are many traits a good teacher must have, but the one most needed by an educator is a heart with the resilience of a child. A teacher’s heart must rebound after the sting of a student’s sharp remark. A young at heart teacher can stand up and try again to touch the child afraid to reach out. She needs to keep going even when it feels like no one cares. A resilient attitude is important so that when a principal finishes bashing one lesson, an educator can go home and prepare a better one.

Every teacher needs to have a bit of a child in them to better understand the little people they are constantly dealing with. People in this field must remember what it’s like to be twelve, or even seven. They must put themselves in the shoes of the students who desperately need them to understand where they are coming from. Most importantly; a heart with the versatility of a child is needed so a teacher still has strength to keep coming back and make a difference year after year.

Teachers with all the right requirements aren’t easy to find. In my community there is a big turnover of young new teachers every year. But every once in a while a student is lucky enough to land in a class where a teacher is there to make a difference. Once in a while students are privileged to sit on the floor or play ball with the teachers they come to love; the teachers with heart.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Not Done Yet

I really have been way too busy with my day camp preparations to post the last two days. I plan on taking the time to write a detailed post about my thoughts and feelings coming out of this school year, my first year as a teacher. Until I have the time to do all that, I'll have to make do with just a short post on what's been happening.
My co and I spoke on the phone two nights ago analyzing our year. We both said that there was so much there we would've liked to still do, but we both agreed that even if we had another year to do everything in, it wouldn't get done. We were busy to the fullest possible extent this year. It's not because we were lazy that things didn't get done. I think that all readers of this blog can attest to that.
The secretary called me about 10 times to do my rating cards. I didn't pick up the phone and let her leave messages instead. I took my sister to the mall yesterday, and didn't go into school. It felt great to do my own thing for once.
My co's engagement was beautiful. She looked radiant, and I made her a nice present that really went over well there. I had made her an album and created cards with road signs on them. The album was called the "road signs to life book" and her friends all had to write messages for her on the cards based on the road sign the card had on it. I made 60 cards; they were almost all done by the time the night was over.
I spoke to my Hebrew cos at the vort, and they also had left the year with sour tastes. We walked home together and we discussed what in the school made the kids this way. It's a long discussion that we'll still need time to finish.
A girl I know from high school called me up for my take on the school; she had applied for the seventh grade position for next year.
I told her everything negative I had to say; I think I scared her off. In a way I meant to (MWAHAHAHAH!) but really, I just would feel so bad for anybody who had to go through all that. It is a catch 22 for this girl, and for any girl out there, because all the schools want teachers with experience, but no school other than this one is willing to give a teacher her first break into teaching. That's why a lot of girls, my self included, end up teaching in schools like these.
I gave this girl my blog address, I hope it helps her make up her mind.
I'll be back another time to finish up my thoughts on this year.
I'll of course try to keep this blog up next year for all you loyal fans out there, and even over the summer you can keep checking back to read some posts I'll be writing just to keep you updated.
Have a great one!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Last Day of School

I got up early this morning to write a poem for my girls. I wrote two lines about every student and was just finished when my co came over to finish report cards.
Rushing to school, we began doing the rating cards for the girls. We rushed through them and didn't fill in the comments for anyone.
When the bell rang, we both walked into class, and started the last day of school. I collected books and read my poem. Later, I made copies of the poem for each girl. I went up and down the rows to ask about their plans for summer. I also gave the girls time to come up and take pictures of me if they wanted.
I gave the girls my address and I asked them to forgive me if I may have done anything to hurt them over the year.
At two o'clock my co and I switched classes.
After recess, The classes joined and they gave my co and I both picture frames with a class picture in it. We were very touched, and the girls all lined up again to take pictures.
The principal came in and asked us teachers to go out while she viewed a short model lesson. I had no problem with that.
We gave out report cards after, and then my day went down the drain.
C.S.A. had a heart attack when I gave her an NI in "positive attitude."
T.K. cried about some averages, and now I have to recheck them and call her back.
R.H. was angry with some checks and I changed them all to get her off my case. Her comment reflected all that anyway.
C.O. was upset too, but her marks were all deserved.
G.S. had a mark on her report card she didn't deserve. I had to change that.
L.K. was livid about her checks. She demanded I change them all.
Everyone was upset about something or other.
As I sent the girls down to the closing assembly, R.S. began screaming, "I hate you! You want me to write to you, I'll write to you and tell you what an idiot you are! You lowered my marks!"
I was so hurt by that attitude. I know I shouldn't take it personally as R.S. isn't mentally stable, but it still hurts.
At the closing assembly, L.K. cried about her marks and I told her that there were two that I could possibly change. She refused to take that. It was either all or nothing.
I told her she had until the end of the day to make her decision.
After the assembly I asked her what she had decided. She ignored me.
I went around to her face, and told her, "I think I deserve an answer."
She didn't say anything. I continued, "Don't make me change my impression of you on the last day of school."
She sneered, "I don't care what you think of me."
I answered, "I know what you think of me, but I still don't think you want me to have a different opinion of you."
Again, she didn't answer.
I told her, "Care or not, it's still a matter of derech eretz, a teacher asks you something; you answer."
She made a face and said, "Well obviously my answer was 'no'."
"Your decision." I replied as I went upstairs.
L.K. is just like R.S. also majorly unstable. Looking through past posts on my blog, she has a history of anger in her behavior. I know I shouldn't take this personally, but I am.
In the teacher's room, the secretary yelled at me because I hadn't done the comments on my rating cards, and I hadn't done the whole satisfactory section either. She lost my end of year folder and because of that I didn't do my honor cards for my students.
She said I wouldn't get paid until I got it all done. I am so peeved.
If I would've gotten my rating sheets back on time I would've had the time to do it all properly. I walked out of the building determined to forget it all, and not to do it.
But school was following me home.
The secretary called me at home to tell me she had found my folder and that I needed to come into school tomorrow to finish it all up. My co is out of the question because her engagement is tomorrow, so it's all up to me.
Problem is, I'm going to the mall with my sister tomorrow to celebrate my first day of freedom. I can't go back in. I don't know what I'm going to do.
I'm home now, the last day of school, and I'm not as relieved as I expected to be.
I feel burned out, and depressed. The behavior of my students and everyone else today have left me with the feeling that all the work I've put in over the past ten months has been flushed down the toilet.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Trip Again

I got to school when the kids were already on the bus waiting to leave to their trip. I wouldn't have made it on time has my co not called me frantically to ask me where I was.
I made it to the hot stuffy bus in about three seconds flat, but it didn't matter because we didn't leave for another half hour anyway.
The girls were all hyper and more than a little disrespectful. They seem to have lost sight of the line that separates a teacher from a student.
First thing that ticked me off on this trip was the bus driver. The girls were all flirting with him. They were chatting to him in Hebrew and they seemed to be on a first name basis with him. My co had to push them al back into their seats.
Then, the girls kept peppering us with questions. They all wanted to know what school I'd be teaching in next year, and I told them to back off until tomorrow. But that didn't stop them from asking all sorts of questions.
The trip there took forever; the driver was taking the longest route possible, but we finally got there.
The girls all ran off the bus, except for C.O. and S.G.L. They were sitting in the back and taking their nice sweet time getting out of their seats. As they made it to the front, I told C.O. to close her top button (the latest trend is to wear an undershirt under the uniform and wear the shirts opened until the third button. I can't stand it.) and then I told her that unlike the last trip, she would make sure not to lag behind everyone else. She smirked.
Outside on the sidewalk, the class lined up as I led them to the bridge that would take them across the busy street to the warship we were supposed to visit. F.G. interrupted me to tell me that I was going in the wrong direction.
I was going in the right direction, and F.G. was really fresh about it all, so I turned to her and said, "I know exactly where we're going, and if you don't mind, please let me be the teacher today. You've tried taking me over all year. Enough." She turned red and was quiet for a while.
Across the bridge, I led the girls into the building, and waited while my co signed us in. We went first to explore a submarine, and that turned out to be very interesting.
After the tour of the sub, I spoke to my co about S.G.L. and C.O. They were going over to every man in the place and saying hi. I also had to tell C.O. to close her shirt ten times. D.T. was also wearing the undershirt again, and I told her to close her shirt too.
Inside the museum, I asked the girls which film they wanted to see, and F.G. tried talking for me again. I put her in her place again. Nicer this time though.
The class was going up to the upper deck of the ship before the movie, and I was waiting for the girls who were stuck behind taking pictures. C.O. and S.G.L. were holding hands the entire trip and calling wach other by nicknames. The pictures they were taking were very mushy and they were showing off to the entire class how huggy and feely they were. I was so nauseous.
The movie was very nice, except for M.L. who kept reaching over B.E.D. to touch me and ask me irrelevant questions. I tried not to get angry, and I don't think she heard me groan into my hands.
As soon as the lights went off for the film, S.G.L. and C.O. went down to the lower part of the theater (holding hands of course) to find other seats. My co was going to stop them, but in the end they went back on their own.
On the way home, my co was busy organizing a party for M.L. girls were all crowded around her as she arranged jobs for girls to do that night. M.L. heard her name, and A.L. shouted out to everyone that M.L. knew. How subtle.
We were back in the neighborhood, and some girls wanted the bus to drop them off near their houses. We didn't have permission to let them off and we refused to let the bus stop.
L.O. and C.K. were really disgusting about it. They kept yelling at me that it wasn't fair, and I kept telling them that it was not up to me.
C.K. made a real nasty comment, and I looked at her sharply and told her, "You must remember C.K that no matter what, I am not your friend, I am you teacher, and this is not acceptable behavior." She kept quiet.
Back at school we spoke to the principal about C.O. and S.G.L. and she was very cooperative. She gave me my rating sheets, and I went home all annoyed that I had to fill them out.
Once home,I spent time working on the present for my co's engagement party tomorrow, and then she called me when she was on the way over to the party at D.T.'s house for M.L.
We came there, met up with the rest of the students, and the Hebrew teachers. H.W. called my cellphone pretending that I was D.T. to tell me that they were at the corner. The girls got all ready to surprise her, and she was very surprised when they started singing.
The girls snapped a ton of pictures as we teachers were eating, and they were a little to chummy for my liking.
I had to leave early, but I heard later that I didn't really miss anything.
I spent all night on report cards. By the time I was done, my hand was swollen, and I was knocked out. I hope I got all the marks right.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ugh! How Inconsiderate!

I finished my entire day's lesson in 20 minutes. I wanted to take them up to the roof, so I sent B.G. to ask the principal for permission. The principal said there was no way it was gonna happen.
Instead, we had some lively discussions about summer plans, graduations, and stuff in general. It all went well until recess time, but then I remembered that I was supposed to have the class again for 20 minutes after recess as well.
I sent two girls up to the principal again, but she said I had to come talk to her myself. I got busy with some kids asking about M.L.'s surprise goodbye party, so I didn't get to the principal until after recess.
I ran into her office and asked her. To my face she told me no. I told her that I had been a good girl and had finished the entire curriculum for her; the girls really deserved a treat. She just countered with the idea of having them write one last essay for the year. I was ready to punch her.
I walked into class and broke the mews to them. They were ready to punch the principal too. We threw around some ideas for a while, and then we began to play pictionary with history scenes. It worked out great.
My co sent M.L. in to me while she told the class the details of the surprise party tomorrow. I held M.L. up by writing a long response on the note my co had sent, and then I told her that she should give it to my co and ask for an answer. That way, she would have to come back, and I could keep her with me again.
During the time she was in my class, she kept kissing up to me and whispering in my ear if she guessed what the girls were drawing on the board. I recall writing something about her behavior November/December time. She can get me nervous sometimes.
In the other class we also got the curriculum done, but no surprise, I didn't have that much time to spare. I heard that the principal wanted to talk to the class about the party, so I sent M.L. to the office to get my rating sheets.
The principal came in to the class and basically told them the party was off until further notice. I had kids burst into tears right there. If they were ready to punch her before; they were ready to rip her to shreds now.'
I was frustrated too, but I had no time to sit and talk about it in school. My sister was graduating saludiutorian in her twelfth grade class, and I had to be at her graduation. I took a second to run to the office to get my rating sheets. (The secretary hadn't given them to M.L.) Turns out, that even though I had given my sheets in early, the principal hadn't bothered to look at them yet.
I gave it to her over her head. I told her she was really taking advantage of me. She answered that she could only do so much at once. "Well, you never seem to understand that when I say it to you!" I retorted.
She promised she'd be in school early tomorrow so that I could get the sheets then and do all the marks in the morning.
Hello, this means that I'll have to be pressured for time. These cards have to be given out Tuesday in school. No Monday night for me. Also, my co and I will have to do them together. We don't have time to switch off. My co is very busy now taking care of her engagement party, she has no time to sit with me after school tomorrow to mark report cards. I am so angry.
Oh, and by the way. I missed my sister's speech. I think that while I'm at it, I'll just blame it on the principal too.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Last Teaching Day

Surprise surprise! Instead of tomorrow being the last teaching day, it turns out that the girls got permission to leave school early tomorrow as soon as they finish their science final. That means I don't teach.
Not only don't I teach, we're trying to arrange for me to take a vacation tomorrow! I'm keeping my thumbs pressed.
So I really had to work hard today. I had the girls all write their literary critiques and I marked them on the spot. The last half hour in each class was spent finishing up the assassination of Lincoln. The girls actually begged me to do history today!
B.E.D. and C.S. still need to hand in their critiques, but I'm not worried. I failed A.L. in writing this term because I still haven't gotten her editorial. I'm annoyed at her.
The high school asked me to proctor a test tomorrow morning and I told them it was not a problem. Truth is, I really would like to stay in bed, but I do need to get out once in a while.
I gave my rating sheets in and filled out the 20 page booklet I had to complete as well. I did the comments for the report cards and my co was all excited with them. They did come out nice actually. Very on target.
So tomorrow might be an off day, Sunday we'll be finishing the play in our literature books, Monday is the trip, and Tuesday is all parties!!!
By the way, T.K. got a 91 on her open notes history test. Whew, at least that's over with!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Rating Sheets and an Assassination

Ok, now that the title got your attention, we can go onto my day.
I taught for a half hour in each class today because the girls were taking a math final that took away some of my period.
In the half hour I had, I taught about Lincoln's assassination. The girls were all enthralled with the drama of it. That was nice; having them actually enjoy my lesson.
S.G.L. failed my final today, I have no idea what to do with her.
T.K. failed too, but after talking to the principal, we decided to giver her an option of either an open notes test or an easy test. I spoke to her mother, and T.K. will get back to me tomorrow.
My rating sheets are all done. I am just waiting for the marks of their critiques and their independent reading scores.
I have to do the comments tonight, but I'm not really up to it now, so I think they'll have to wait until tomorrow.
I found out that my classes will be going on a trip Monday, and that Tuesday is the last English day of school. That's a good thing.
Means that I have two days left to teach. Feels good.
Oh, and my new principal called this morning. She's so cool. Nice and laid back. We agreed to set up a meeting for the week after next. I'm excited.

Monday, June 12, 2006


I was pretty confident today because I was giving my history final. I already told the girls I would not be accepting any questions, and I thought the test would take up all of my day.
Turns out the test didn't take more than an hour and a half. That meant that the entire after recess session was still going to be normal. Because I had promised the girls a break, I figured I could just take them up to the roof.
While there, I marked the tests. Usually, the girls hang around asking me for their marks, and then they get pushy and they keep shoving their papers under my nose for me to mark them first.
Today I told them that no one was getting their marks until I had finished marking the entire grade.
Of course, F.G., R.S., and R.H. still came over to ask me their marks. I gave them really sharp looks and they had the grace to walk away.
The grade did well in general. I haven't figured out the average yet, but I'm sure I won't be disappointed.
I'm still waiting for a couple of test marks. M.L. didn't bother to study, and now I have to figure out what to do with her test. R.R. took her test at home and I need to wait to get it back form her. S.G.L. sat with the test all day and didn't bother to fill in a single answer. She gave me an index card asking me to take it tomorrow. I am ready to kill. T.K. and S.F.F. will take it tomorrow too. F.F. needs to print her essay out from the computer, but the school's printer won't be fixed until tomorrow. She had to type her essay because her finger is in a splint and she can't write. I feel like a cloth with a bunch of loose threads.
The kids were so wild on the roof, and half of them kept running down. Finally, I finished marking tests and took them all down to give them their marks.
I showed them all their marks, and gave back their index cards.
R.H. has been pestering me for ages for me to tell her where I'll be teaching next year. I have told her many times that I would not tell her until the last day of school because it was none of her business. Her index card today was more than a little chutzpadik. She wrote, "I know you're going to ________.What grade?"
I wrote back to her, "R.H. I told you that until the last day of school this is absolutely none of your business." I hope she gets insulted.
The secretary poked her head into my classroom to tell me off for taking the girls onto the roof without permission. I didn't even know I had to ask permission.
Then, the principal came in to tell me off too.
Any wonder the girls treat teachers this way? They see the principals doing it in front of the entire class, why shouldn't they do it too?
The principal really gave it to me, and I played cool and told her to back off. Seven days left to school, please get off my case. C.S.'s mother sent me a note today telling me thanks for calling last week. I wish I would've thought to wave that in the principal's face.
She claims I'm not a good, professional teacher. I told her that just because I don't suit her standards, didn't mean I'm not a good teacher. No matter what she thinks, or how unconventional my methods are, my students still gain and they love me for it. I wish she would let go of this childish jealousy she has. If it wasn't done her way, it wasn't done correctly. Oh ew.
The 7a class was so much more clam on the roof. They actually played a normal game together, and there was no fighting about teams or points. I was really impressed.
S.G.L. and C.O. were such babies today. I can't stand them together.
My co and I suspect that the only reason the principal gave her such a raise and ran after her to stay at the school was because she was going to leave with me. It wasn't the leaving part that bothered her, it was the leaving with me.
She has been meaner than ever to me since I said I was leaving. She's been doing it to the sixth grade teacher too. She needs to be straightened out. Seriously.
I saw a great DVD today about a teacher in Germany that taught an integrated class of 20 students. The students ranged from the gifted to the severely disabled. It was amazing. The classroom was run in such a great way; I was so impressed.
I know that my principal would love to see such a documentary, because this is the way she wants to run her classrooms. I also know that she could never in a million years get her hands on it. First of all, it is still in theaters and not yet on DVD, and second, it's from Germany-thanks to my German friend :). I would consider showing it to her, but I would rather just tell her about it, totally get her hyped up, and never give it to her.
I know it sounds lame, but I need ideas on how to go out with a bang. Comments please.
Oh, by the way, as I'm typing, S.G.L. called me to ask me to fax her some of my special notes. She's studying for my final now. She had better prove her worth tomorrow.

What a B(r)other

My little brother cried all he way to school. I think he thought I was sending him off and dumping him in a class and leaving him there all day by himself. He didn't get that I actually worked there. He calmed down when I let him punch in for me. He got so scared when the machine swallowed my card.
I took him up with me, and let him press the elevator button. He was happier after that. As I went around to the teacher's room, I was met by the entire 7b class. They were all shrieking away about a queen bee in their classroom and could I please come and kill it.
I had no problem and took my brother up with me to find the bee.
It was huge. As I smashed it with the stick from the window-shade, the entire group ran out screaming. I thought my brother was going to cry or wet his pants, but he was laughing. He thought the girls were funny.
He asked me why I called them my "kids". He said they were too big to be kids. He's so cute.
He sat in my chair coloring during class and the girls loved the distraction.
I had to go out with him for a minute to get him paper, and that was the minute the principal chose to walk in to my classroom. I think she was hiding and waiting for me to leave so that she could set me up.
One the class finished davening, I crashed coursed through their notes to tell them everything they had to know for the test.
Then we played a review game, thanks to the wonderful idea of B.F. The class was divided into two teams, and we had one girl from each team come up at a time.
The two girls stood at the board and I read a question. Whoever wrote down the answer to the question first, and got it right, scored a point for her team. The team with the most points at the end got a plus one on their test.
During the game, our dead queen bee began to move, and the class all jumped out of their seats and ran shrieking out of the classroom.
A very brave T.K. slammed it with her book, and we restored order.
After recess, the 7a class had prepared a table full of food for my brother. I was surprised that he didn't want anything. He just sat quietly the entire time.
In the middle if class he told me he needed the bathroom, and I ran out to take him. I was out for about 2 minutes total, but the principal passed me while I was standing outside of the bathroom. She wanted to know where my class was. I told her they were studying for a review.
If I wouldn't be halfway out the door I can only imagine what she'd be telling me. Thankfully, she left me alone.
My brother talked more in 7a, he said a bunch of cute things and embarrassed me. We played the review game there too, and they were so cooperative, each girl got about 3 chances to come up to the board.
D.T. had to leave early, and all she wanted was to take a picture of me and my brother. I let her. At this point I don't care anymore.
We're in the single digits. Starting with tomorrow, we have 8 days left to school.
T.K. in 7a took the test today instead of tomorrow. While marking her I noticed a lot of mistakes I made on the test. She did a lot of work she didn't have to. I felt bad, but she got a 95% anyway, so no big.
She took it in less than an hour. I'll be giving at least 2 for the rest of the grade. I hope I won't be stuck with a ton of extra time on my hands.
We'll see tomorrow I guess.
I photocopied my notes for S.G.L. I didn't make an easy test this time, and she'll be taking the regular one. I hope she does well.
Anyway, I'm going to go out tonight and have a good time. Who says I have to stay in and blog while my students are home studying?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

To All N.Y.F.'s Friends...

You can stop jacking up the count on my blog. Thanks to Y.A. I figured it all out. N.Y.F. is so busted and he won't be invited to my party.
And for all of you hitting this thing up; only come back if you're seriously interested in reading what a married teacher has to write.
I work hard on this thing. If I party, it's gonna be because other people are actually reading, not pranking.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Early to Rise

Up at 5 is considered early to rise. At least I think so.
My little brothers were up at 5:30, and that meant I had to get out of bed. After getting them of to school I had to go to the dentist. Again.
I came to school today still on novocaine. I brought along another heavy bag of books, and dumped them in the office. While I was there I returned some of the papers I had found at home that had the principal's copyright on it. I'm such a loser.
I had to talk to the rabbi from project Y.E.S. during lunch. I spoke to him even though I'm officially not allowed to do that in school.
As I walked out of our session, I bumped into H.W. She was in her jacket and had her briefcase with her. She handed me her editorial. It was all about how rainy days put teachers into bad moods and how that gets students into trouble.
I got the subtle hint.
I asked H.W. if she was just coming to school. Turns out, she was leaving. She's too embarrassed to face me in class today. :)
I was in tons of pain teaching 7a today. I gave up teaching for 20 minutes to have a discussion with the girls. They were telling me about the motions I do all the time. I brush my bangs away, and touch my face. I had to laugh because they were so on target.
I caught C.O. cheating today. She hadn't bothered to do her homework, and she just copied it off D.T.'s paper. I hate C.O. for doing that. She claims she hates writing, and that her mother writes all her papers for her, but to cheat right in front of my face? Ew. And D.T. of all people to let her cheat of her paper? What is this class coming to?
I should've called C.O.'s mother. I forgot. Maybe Sunday.
7b was not half bad. We actually got through history without a problem. I think it worked so well because I was a complete monster.
After history, we began writing our critiques, and that's when they all got rowdy.
R.H. thinks she owns the world. She honestly thinks that she has the right to call out and say whatever she pleases. I get so nervous when she does all that.
L.K., L.O., T.K., and Y.T. were horrors today too.
C.K. has been shaping up lately, and C.S. was a perfect angel today.
I think things went well.
The one thing that irked me today was that blogger was down for a few hours. I had to wait until a quarter to 12 to post. I'm dead tired and I'll probably be woken up in five hours. Gotta go to bed now!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Poems, Mothers, and My Co

I packed up a bag of books and took them back to school today. My year is ending. I want to return everything to school now. When I came into the office, I spoke to the secretary who asked me where all the sheets my principal had given me were.
I asked her what she meant, and she said that every single paper the principal had given me had to be returned. She didn't want me to pass her hard work to anyone else. As if. As if I would ever consider doing her projects in my new school.
I promised I would look for the sheets and bring back whatever I found. Blah.
My co came late today, so I was alone with the class at lunch. They were so mean to the lunch teacher, the teacher came up crying later. I was so upset.
In the teacher's room, the guidance counselor and some teachers were talking about how these kids thought they deserved everything. It was nice hearing that other teachers agreed with me.
I started the 7b class with mincha until my co showed up, and I really gave it to them. I saw some girls make faces. I ought to come in the last day of school and slap a few of them. It would be a good way to let my frustrations with this school out of my system.
Everything went smoothly today in the 7a class. We had a good time, got a lot done, and even had time for a 20 minute discussion.
During history in 7b all went fine. Towards the end it got a little out of hand, but not terribly. I told off H.W. for not handing in her editorial, and I told her I couldn't accept it anymore. She got very upset and began acting out.
She passed a note to L.K. who read it and passed it to T.K. who I took it from and put it into my binder. H.W., L.K., and T.K. went red as I put it away without saying a word.
We did some literature, read a play out loud together, and the girls were participating nicely. When the bell finally rang, H.W. came over to me to ask for the paper. I refused to give it back.
I took it out in the teacher's room and then I understood why she had wanted it back so badly.
Yesterday I had yelled at the girls and one of the words I had used was "chill out." H.W. had taken the words chill out and written a poem with them.
Chap, I'm better don't you see?
Help, you're not as good, go away from me.
I am better than all of you
Line up, I'm here
Look, me and you cannot compare
Out of here 'cuz I'm the best
Under over, you're a pest
Though I am Mrs. (my name) you see,
Chill out!
You don't want to be near me!
While I was quite flattered that H.W. had taken the time to write a poem about me, I was a little unsure of what to do about it.
I called her mother tonight. I made no mention of the note, only of the editorial. The mother was very cooperative, and told me she was thankful that I had called even so late in the year.
I know that she can talk to H.W. like a brick wall, but H.W. doesn't even listen to her. I called to confuse her. She'll know that I called her mother, but her mother will be yelling at her for something other than her note. I want H.W. to come to school tomorrow off balance. I hope that will set her straight. I also need her to see that I don't need a note to call her mother. But just in case, I still have the note as collateral.
Next, I called C.S.'s mother. I really have other mothers that I should call first, but C.S. is the one I'm most concerned about. I already wrote in a previous post about how I hope she won't be forgotten for G.O. next year. I called her mother just to give her a head's up. Of course, C.S. picked up the phone, and she was horrified to hear that it was me. She was waiting near her mother anxiously during the conversation waiting to hear what it was about. Her mother is the nicest lady, and I told her that her daughter is a great girl, but she should just be careful. Her mother was very happy I called.
I tried calling A.L.'s mother, but there was no answer. I figure I'll just talk to A.L. in school tomorrow. She's not a bad kid, just forgetful and lazy. I had given her notes two days ago to give to R.R. R.R. still hadn't gotten them by today. A.L. needs to be prompted.
I just heard that my new school hasn't found a co for me yet. The job is still open. I wish my co could still take it. I know she'd never break the promise she gave to my current school, but now that she's engaged, it's a much better place for her. And besides, I would be there too!
I wish my co would reconsider. My school would feel hurt for a day and then get over it. My principal sees us as her professional robots, nothing more. In this new school you're a person. They appreciate what you do, and tell you too!
Please, co, come with me.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Oh Brother!

Literally. I had to speak to the principal about my brother.
My parents are going away for a few days, and they're dumping two kids on me. Two boys, ages seven and four. The four year old has no school Sunday and I have no place to leave him. I had to go ask the principal if I could bring him in.
She wasn't thrilled. Far from it. She asked me if I could find another place to leave him. I said I'd try, but it didn't seem likely. She thought about it and told me to ask her again Thursday.
Aghh. I need to know these kinds of things now!
The principal also did a quick approval of the plansheets I created for the girls to organize the information they'd need to write their critiques on the literature novel we just finished.
Heard that? WE FINISHED!
I don't get the principal. That's nothing new actually. Today's confusion is about these critiques. Officially the girls are supposed to do a short book review on the novel. I went to the principal for some material to use, and she gave me this loooong list of requirements.
These students have every right to be upset.
I went home last night and broke my head to simplify it all for them. They have no idea what I do. In addition to the plansheet, I also broke down every paragraph in their essays, telling them what to write where. ...And I'm giving them class time to do this!
My girls were so inappreciative. The 7a class, was actually quite cute about it all. We went through the plansheet and discussed some interesting parts to the book. The girls made fun of me because my favorite character was a guy who got on the main character's nerves. They think I only like him because he was handsome.
I dunno where these girls learned about guys, but they were half right. ;)
I liked the character because he was good looking, funny, and smart.
Focus off me and back to class. The 7b class, were horrors today. T.K. has such a fresh mouth, I can't stand her sometimes. She was shooting it off today about the principal and her projects. She totally has no idea what I do for her.
She also wanted to take my final a week late. I refused. I don't care if she fails. At this point, I just want to mark them all, get the report cards out, and LEAVE! T.K. is so not part of my plans. :)
R.H. needs a good slap. My co agreed to this too. Problem is, she can't sit still long enough for me to give her one. She won't write notes, and she insists on jumping up, calling out, and basically doing whatever she wants in my classroom.
I would call her mother, but she's known to be uncooperative. I think I'll have to talk to the principal.
H.W. and A.L.'s mothers need to be called as well. I don't have either of their editorials yet. They were due a week ago. I don't have time to call the mothers; maybe I'll just leave that to the principal too.
L.O. and C.S. were acting up again today. Their mothers deserve a call too.
I'm not going to kid myself. I doubt I'll ever call these mothers. I'm so out of here, I don't have the time and patience to deal with their problems. Especially when there are only about 10 English days left to school.
I just want to make it through.
One more long aim in history to cover. I'm so excited. Chapter 18 will be done outside of the book, no test. After Monday, I'm free!
Gotta focus on the literary critique now and reading and analyzing a play in our books.
School's almost over baby!
Oh, I had a funny conversation today in the teacher's room. The teacher's were all hounding me for my manuscripts. I have a few I'm working on, some finished, and some in the middle of getting revised. They are so desperate to read some of the things I wrote.
They can keep dreaming, my writings are going under a pen-name so I would never let them see what I've already written.
I was thinking what would happen if I told the teachers that I wrote a blog. I wonder how many of them would read it, and I wonder how much trouble I could get into!
The Hebrew teachers know I have this blog, although they don't have the address. One of the Hebrew teachers was telling me how she wished she had something like this to keep track of the different patterns our students repeatedly act out. I told her it's definitely a great idea for next year, but it sure is a lot of hard work.
I enjoy it all though. And the part I enjoy most? Seeing the counter at the bottom of the site go higher and higher every day.
If I reach 500 before the end of the school year, I think I'll make a party.
Keep coming!

Monday, June 05, 2006


We didn't have school yesterday because it was isru chag to Shavuos. And today was a big day.
I finally managed to have a normal conversation with my co last night, but it was interrupted by another teacher calling to plan a party.
I hung up with my co so that I could plan her party. The other teacher and I agreed that we both didn't want to lay out money, because we never seemed to get any of it back.
We arranged that each teacher would bring in one or two foods, and that would probaly work out better.
I was up early this morning to go and buy fruits for the party. It turned out to be a bigger deal than I thought. By the time I finished cutting it all up, my kitchen was a mess, and I had quite a number of cuts. Did I ever mention I have no idea how to use a knife?
My students had gotten the message to me yesterday that they wanted to prepare a party for my co, and I had gotten the message back to them that it was ok.
Don't ask about the messages thing. It's complicated.
Once in school, I drew my co a big sign, and waited for the other teachers to show up so that we could set up the party.
My co came before the other teachers did. LOL. So like her.
It turned out very nice anyway.
The girls also outdid themselves on their party. They all got together in the 7a class, brought up the long tables from the lunchroom, ordered pizza, and organized it all very well.
T.K. and S.J. prepared two games. We only had time for the first one; mad libs. In this episode of mad libs I seem to have gained 48 pounds. The girls were embarrassed to read it to me, but I just laughed along. 48 pounds would be a nice thing.
We all had freeze pops, and the girls took pictures of me eating some. I think it became a class joke.
The principal is such a wet blanket. She came in to yell at the girls in the middle of the party for cutting up expensive paper to make confetti. I can't stand the lady. She spends so much money on stupidities and now she has a problem with a few sheets of paper.
After an hour of partying, the scrapbooking teacher came in for their last lesson of scrapbooking for the year. It was nice that they were combined, they worked together just fine.
Recess was spent cleaning up, and my co and I split the time after recess. I did the big class first. They were a pleasure. I got an entire aim done.
I got a little annoyed at A.L. for not handing in her editorial on time. This is not the first time she's done this. She does this with every assignment. I need to call her mother.
C.O. and S.G.L. were acting like huge babies today. They kept talking ot each other during class, and C.O. made a big show of chewing gum during the party. They both also refused to come over to me to get supplies for scrapbooking. My co and I laughed about it, but they are so dumb.
7b was not as good. They were hyper and wild. R.H. was a royal pest. She got annoyed at me right away when I told her off for not raising her hand. She ended up going out to the halls to fool around with some eighth graders. Then she put up a fuss when I gave her a 3.5 on her editorial. She claimed that I didn't give her a fair chance. I couldn't sit with her and fight over it, so I left her fuming.
C.S. in 7b also needs to be taken care of. Her attitude lately has been really horrible. It's a shame though, because we were planning to choose her to be G.O. next year. I hope she doesn't ruin it for herself.
I think that was all that happened today. What a long day for the first day back.