Thursday, September 07, 2006

My Fun-Filled Day

7:35 - Got yanked out of the cafeteria, my kids sent with another teacher. Interpreted meeting between a group of irate parents and the principal.

8:15 - Consoled principal. Irate parents did not get it that their issue was legitimately out of her hands and she agreed with them on every point.

9:00 - Noticed one of my students, Esperanza, is crying again. She started the year as an outgoing, engaging, sunny child. Last week she began crying at school, but said she wasn't ready to tell me what was going on. I decide to let her know that when she is ready, she can come to me.

9:30 - Reading lesson with an unusually misbehaving 5th grade class. Administrator entered the room during the literally five minutes I spent without something covering my tattoos and gave me the hairy eyeball. Goddammit.

11:00 - Reading with my kids. Esperanza had her head down and was sobbing and unresponsive.

11:45 - I tried to arrange it so I could eat lunch alone with Esperanza, but I had other obligations I couldn't get out of. I made arrangements for her to eat by herself in a peaceful place.

12:10 - I collected my students. Esperanza was completely freaking out and other students informed me that she was self-injuring by scratching her skin in the cafeteria. I took her to my classroom while the other students were elsewhere and attempted to talk to her. She broke down completely and said she wanted her mother and her grandmother and that she wanted to die and wanted to kill herself. I had told her earlier that the only conversations I could not keep private were ones where she told me someone was harming her, she was planning on harming someone else, or that she planned to harm herself. Since she went and suggested suicide and had been self-injuring, I took her straight to the principal.

12:20 - Conference regarding Esperanza.

12:30 - Watched Esperanza's former teacher from last year's class while he assisted with the situation in the principal's office.

12:55 - More conferencing re: Esperanza.

1:05 - Watched other teacher's class while he assisted again.

1:15 - Returned to my puzzled and worried class.

1:20 - Tried to catch my breath while other teacher graciously took over instruction.

2:15ish - Conference in the hallway with Esperanza's mother. Realized that, oh shit, my students were late for ancillary with The Republican. Sent them off with profuse apologies. Couldn't tell if he always smirked that way or if he thought I was an asshole.

2:30 - Got my class ready for Open House.

3:15 - Meeting with department. Got in trouble for not having my gradebook in compliance with instructional coordinator's specifications. Not only were these specifications never revealed to me, but when I looked at every other teachers' gradebooks, they were just like mine.

3:30 - Was informed by instructional coordinator that teaching novels was a waste of time and instead I should just use short reading selections followed by questions modeled after their standardized tests.

3:35 - Developed deeper understanding of why most teachers quit before 5 years of teaching.

4:00 - Thought about completely overhauling my lesson plans to eliminate novels.

4:05 - Thought about throwing a full on, kicking and screaming tantrum on the floor.

4:10 - Thought about weeping piteously while clutching a copy of Bridge to Terabithia in one hand, my lesson plan book in the other.

4:45 - Met with my partner teacher person and wailed a little. Was instructed to smile, nod, and keep doing what I am doing. Felt marginally better.

5:00 - Open House began.

5:30 - Not a single parent set foot in my classroom.

6:00 - Department breakaway. My department met with parents of our students. One parent dressed me and my partner down in front of everyone for sending her child home with difficult vocabulary words to study and having the test the very next day. Her child neglected to mention that we taught them the words, used the words in various lessons, prepared study guides, and went over the words again the next day during tutorials (all four to six of them, the horror). I informed her of the facts and she was still displeased, but backed down.

7:05 - I finally left the school.

7:30 - Home.


Blogger Venha Futuro said...

That was an action-packed day. In light of the events, you can be forgiven for not properly celebrating Brazilian Independence Day.

"Ezperanza wanted her mother and her grandmother"? In what sense? is there a word missing in that sentence? Either way, that can't be a fun situation to be a part of.

You know, I've been thinking a lot lately about how Republicans say (I remember J. Danforth Quayle holding forth about this in the 1988 debates...) that teachers shouldn't be paid particularly well -- it's too important a job for people to be attracted solely by pay. We need people who really have a desire, and an independent motivation, to teach.

Of course, congresspersons need to be well paid, because we want to attract the best and brightest...

9/07/2006 11:55 PM  

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