Wednesday, June 27, 2007


I said goodbye to a lot of people today, but the one that's catching in my throat is Esperanza. I'm happy to say that she has been promoted to 5th grade. All my kids were, in the end. After school we went and sat on the bench together and she put her arms around me and laid her head on my shoulder and just held on for awhile. I love that girl so much. I hope she makes it out into the world and has the best of lives. They say there's one every year who is just yours, somehow. Espi was mine. I hope I have a daughter someday, and I hope she's at least a little like Esperanza.


Monday, June 25, 2007

The End of Days

Today my principal and I were talking and the subject of identity theft came up. She used a phrase that immediately set off my Jeezer Alert System. Beep beep cashless society beep beep. Oh dear, I thought, here it comes. And then she said it: In the bible, before there was even cash money like today, they predicted this. This is all End Times stuff, right here and now. I wanted to ask her to name the verse. I also wanted to ask her why she was discussing this with me, her employee, an atheist, at work.

Despite some of the issues I've had on my campus, I personally like my principal. When I was a cult member, I was deeply hurt by people not accepting my faith. But it works both ways. She knows I'm adamantly not religious. But because of the work environment and our relationship as superior and subordinate, I have to entertain her comments. It's hideously disrespectful and I resent it.

On a totally unrelated note: Holy, shit, I'm watching HBO's Big Love, and this kid on the show is getting a straight edge tattoo on his back. I am laughing so hard. He's pressuring another kid to "pledge" straight edge. Giggle.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Sometimes I really wonder...

... how administrators can get away with some of the things they do.

Summer school, with about a week and a half left to go, has been a fiasco. I am teaching the class of bilingual 3rd graders who are about to enter an transitional, almost all-English 4th grade in which they will have to pass their standardized tests (Reading, Writing, and Math) all in English. The group I had last year were pretty strong in their English ability, but for some reason this group has maybe four kids who are anywhere close to ready for this transition. I am also, in the afternoon, teaching 4th grade reading for a group that includes a couple of enrichment students, a whole bunch of special ed. students, and a hell of a lot of kids who will fail the 4th grade if they don't do well in summer school.

It isn't going so well.

Because of this school's high turnover rate (I'm not the only teacher finding a new campus next year), they are having to interview to fill several positions. But apparently they are completely unable to conduct any interview that isn't being done by committee. In other words, for the first two weeks of summer school (which is a 20 day session), teachers were being pulled out of their classes every day, for hours at a time, to sit in on interviews. I had to watch other peoples' classes as well as attempt to teach my own, and my class is already at maximum capacity. They were scrambling so hard to cover the classes during these interviews that at one point, they had a staff member's fifteen year old daughter doing it. This week, without any warning, one of our teachers was pulled for a week-long conference in another city. They haven't found a substitute. I was given his class today. As well as my own. If I were a parent of a child who, if they don't pass the test at the end of the session, will be retained, I'd be raising hell.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Oh, yeah, I'm teaching summer school. Yes, I am a masochist.

How To Ruin My Day...

... in one easy step:

Don't hire a sub for a teacher who is out that day. Today sucked.