Monday, September 08, 2008

I'm baaaa-ack!

Well, it's been about a month since my last post. So nice of several of you to check up on me. I guess I took an informal respite from blogging for no real reason other than just barely getting back into the swing of things and feeling really tired and overwhelmed.

Let's catch you all up on what you've been a -missin'.

1. The school year started with the usual meetings and more meetings. THE buzzword in our district this year: Differentiated Instruction. Those in the know (those who drank the Kool-Aid) call it "D.I.". They are so cool, and obviously much, much better teachers than I could ever hope to be. (Disclaimer: I'm not opposed to Differentiated Instruction. I just hate jargon. I also hate the Bandwagon junkies. I'd rather adapt than adopt.)

2. Oh, and I'm now Department Head, which is no real honor since no one else really wants to do it and the 2 others who maybe would want to do it are "difficult", so our principal probably wouldn't have chosen them anyway. It's an unpaid position, it's mostly so that our voice is heard. Kind of like Puerto Rico in congress. I get to run bi-weekly meetings and attend Dept. Chair meetings. My mailbox is the first stop for all kinds of junk mail for Foreign Language teachers.

3. We have a new addition to our family: a brown and white pointer mix named Sookie (After Sookie St.James on the "Gilmore Girls"). She is a bundle of energy and loves my kids, is about a year old and loves us as much as we love her. Here she is on our kitchen floor. Don't mind the dust.

4. Last Tues. after Labor Day I thought we were all going to keel over from the oppressive heat and humidity in my room- seriously it was like 98º and very sauna-like. Anyone else teach in a building with no a/c? In true Iowa fashion, the temps. plummeted to the 60ºs overnight and the kids were all complaining about "the cold."

5. You know how dogs can sense that it's going to rain? Well, that's how teachers in my building are about fights. In between 3rd and 4th block today, I zipped across the hall to visit the baño, shamelessly shirking the hall duty I'm supposed to attend to between classes. Sorry, Charlie, Nature trumps. As I was washing my hands, I noticed a distinct change in the din out in the hall. I asked one of the girls who came in if there was a fight- she nodded her head. "It's really bad, too." I told her to stay in the baño until all the madness died down. There was a huge traffic jam, as the fighters decided to brawl right in the cross-roads that is our section of the hallway- oh, incidentally also in front of security cameras. It was insane- smaller kids were being picked up and shuffled along by the sheer momentum of the crowd- their feet not touching the ground. Lots of kids were really upset by how violent it was- one kid lifted the other off the floor and then slammed his head down, either into the wall or the floor. At any rate, he was knocked unconscious and there was a whole lotta blood everywhere. Someone called 911 (a kid, maybe) and admin was upset by that- not following protocol, don't you know. The nurse saw fit to send us an email stating that when a student is knocked out and might have to leave via the ambulance, the halls need to be cleared of all students and staff for "confidentiality". Oh yes, that will be quite easy to do, given how bloodthirsty our students are.


Blogger Adeline said...

thank god your back, i was jonesin on the reporting about goofy new words that the teachers are throwing around in order to show the administrators that they know the popular new words. Differentiated instruction huh?

i'm with you, its all stuff that we do, or ought to do anyway and i am all for new ideas

dept head is a good thing, congrats! too bad there is no remuneration.

cute puppy! man that fight sounds burly and all the "not following protocol, geez, i feel like i am back myself. thanks! (i think!)

9/08/2008 10:54 PM  
Blogger Liberal Banana said...

Welcome back! Your new dog is really, really cute. I love the brown and white look on dogs...(I would say I love brown and white dogs but I'm sure that there are a few nasty little brown and white dogs out there somewhere, so I don't want to generalize.) :)

That fight sounds awful! What the hell is making kids so damn ANGRY these days??

9/09/2008 6:50 AM  
Blogger Professor J said...

Oh Sookie, Sookie, Sookie. That is one sweet looking dog.

Welcome back--

Isn't that just like an administrator? Don't call 911 when a student is knocked unconscious--call the principal first. Jeez.

9/09/2008 9:12 AM  
Blogger HappyChyck said...

Has it really been a month? Time flies.

And Liberal Banana's back? What other revelations am I not aware of?

DI has been a term in my life for a very long time. I'm with you...adapt, not adopt. I went to a DI conference this summer to see if needed to learn more. I found out I know quite a bit. I should maybe just use it...AND I found out that sometimes I'm not organized enough to be Super DI Teacher. Uhm...that would be a lot of the time.

About the fight...I thought you were going to say that the nurse was going to tell you to glove-up before going near any bodily fluids lest you get Hepatitis or HIV. LOL. I'm worse than the nurse...

9/09/2008 6:02 PM  
Blogger Mrs. T said...

HappyChyck- actually, the nurse DID say that, she just didn't say it to the whole school. The teacher who helped the boy was an EMT in his past life. There was an unconscious boy laying at his feet bleeding profusely from the head. He applied pressure and helped the kid. Wouldn't it have gone against every fibre of your being to say "hold on a sec, I've gotta go get my gloves"?

9/09/2008 8:01 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

Welcome back! And with a pretty puppy, too! (I loved the Gilmore Girls, and Sookie was my favorite).

Okay, here's another reason I don't want to work in public schools; I don't know how I'd manage a fight. Shudder. I don't mind the blood so much, I can handle anything but puke, but I'd be afraid of getting hurt myself.,

9/11/2008 5:22 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Bluebird said...

I'm glad you're back...I missed you! As for the Teacher 6th Sense about, if that isn't true, I don't know what is.

The worst fights are between girls. I won't even attempt to break one up unless I have a firehose and can water them down.

9/15/2008 5:51 PM  
Blogger Bellezza said...

Me! Me! I teach in a building with no air! Haven't you heard me screaming over here in Illinois? It's absurd to have those conditions in 2008! Well, I'm grateful it's been a relatively cool Fall, and I'm glad you're back to blogging. You made me smile on the Dept. head thing. No one wants that "honor" in our building either.

9/16/2008 7:39 PM  
Blogger Nic said...

I'm dept chair this year, too. Last year it meant an extra planning period (which I thought was overkill, but now maybe not so much) AND a stipend. Both those perqs are gone this year.

I also got a letter in my mailbox Friday---congratulations! You're a "mentor" to three new teachers. Be sure to do (list of stuff) and they'll be each observing your class twice a semester!

Oh, well. Exciting year.

9/21/2008 11:22 PM  
Blogger Sojourner said...

Sookie is beautiful! Maybe she and Lucy can get together for a play date- I am in Nebraska.

I couldn't be a teacher- kids fighting makes me want to slam their little heads into their lockers. I would just make things worse.

9/29/2008 9:23 AM  
Blogger Mister Teacher said...

I SO understand number 2! I have been grade chair at my school for the past 3 years, and I HATE it! It is an unpaid position, really no extra authority, just a lot of extra responsibility. The only reason I've done it for the past 2 years was that no one else would do it, and I didn't want to refuse it because some of my team mates wouldn't be ABLE to do it right...

10/11/2008 11:18 AM  

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