Monday, January 7, 2008

Let's Talk A Bit About Accountability, Shall We?

Where to start with this one...

(deep breath)

Before vacation, my administrator, Ms. Weavilcious (a.k.a. The Weave) (a.k.a. The Moody Bee-atch) (a.k.a. Waste of Administrative Salary)...I could go on forever...and after all you've read about her, you probably could come up with some good ones too. Feel free to share.

But I digress...let's get back on track.

Before vacation, The Weave scheduled appointments with each of us to have a conversation about our upcoming observations / walk-throughs. Fine. We do them every year and honestly, we usually end up having a very nice conversation. Surface-y and fake, but nice.

(A bit of background - For the last three years, The Weave has followed up this meeting by MISSING at least two scheduled observations EACH YEAR. Yeah, she just doesn't show up, doesn't call ahead to tell you she's not going to show up and doesn't follow up with an apology. Instead I have to follow up, reschedule and type up a new lesson. -insert sarcastic tone here - It's awesome. Really. It makes me feel really important and valued. And like my administrator is as on top of things as she expects me to be).

My meeting was scheduled for today. I dutifully go down to her office five minutes early, but the door is closed. I sit and wait, and wait and WAIT as my precious free prep wastes away. A colleague passes by and informs me that The Weave is on the fourth floor in a meeting with our principal. A meeting that she has EVERY WEEK AT THE SAME TIME!!!

WTF??!?!?!

Does she need some basic calendaring or scheduling skills?? Should she start sitting in on my morning meeting and be the Calendar Captain?? Why would you schedule a meeting with a teacher who does not have a free second to PEE when you KNOW YOU HAVE SOMEWHERE ELSE TO BE?!?!?!??

I'm glad that I'm being held accountable to teach, accomodate, test and coach twenty children in seven subjects a day, five days a week while simultaneously maintaining relationships with parents and serving as the chair of a committee while SHE can't even KEEP AN APPOINTMENT! Hey, fair is fair, right?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

However, in an effort to Be Positive in 2008 (I'm sorry if this was your resolution too, because I'm slowly starting to realize that it is bullshit...venting is fabulous!), I calmly walk back to my classroom to salvage my last ten minutes of freedom to tidy up my room.

At the end of the day, I receive the an email outlining in what ways I will be held accountable in my classroom.

Here are a few tidbits (complete with her spelling and grammatical errors(And I promise you I'm not making them up.) (Really.) (It's shocking.):

* Rooms should be tidy. Any extra books or papers is considered to be a waist of student space and should be removed.

* Student work folders should be clearly labeled. I shouldn't have to ask you, "Where your folders at?"

* Bulletin boards should be labeled with a title and task card. People needs to know what the works is about.

Do I even need to say it?

IDIOT!!!!!!! HOW ARE YOU IN CHARGE OF ME?!?!?!?!??????

No, I didn't need to say it, but damn, it felt good.

A side note - doesn't it just warm your heart that our focus is on the room's APPEARANCE rather than any actual INSTRUCTION??? Not that my room isn't fab-u-lous with a capital F, but I do think this is a bit much.

Dog and pony show anyone?

Can I be the pony?

(sigh)

That feels better. Back to the whole positive thing...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Here A Penis, There A Penis...Everywhere A...Well, You Know The Rest

If you are a regular reader of my blog, congratulations.

Was that out loud?

What I meant was, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I have some serious field trip woes. From "canceled" buses (a.k.a. no one ordered the flipping bus) to administrative "snafus" (read giant, giant idiotic moves that surpass all imagination)...I have seen it all.

Friends, today I have topped them all.

Old Weavalicious is on a art binge. She is all about us making time for art, since we don't have an art teacher...or art supplies. But I guess that's just a technicality. For her.

She's lucky that I happen to LOVE doing art with my class. So I'm more than happy to take advantage of the extra time in our schedule. Evidently, Weavalicious' new flavor of the month is sending us to museums. Which, in theory, is a fabulous idea.

However...

Today we went to a large art museum in our city (Ha ha!! You thought I was going to give away where I teach...). The museum had sent the Weave a map and the corresponding teacher materials outlining a tour that would give children the opportunity to see a variety of animal statues from around the world.

Well, that's not all they had the opportunity to see.

And in all honesty, I can't blame this all on the Weave alone. (gasp) I've been to the museum before, years ago, and if I thought about it, I would have remembered that certain rooms were (from the 8 year old child's perspective of course) simply a field of...

penises.

(Penii?? Hmm....)

Yes, as we walked through the Greek and Roman statues on our way to see a sculpture of a lion, we passed beneath penis after glorious penis. Smooth bare behinds and perky bosoms completed the whole experience.

With one swift, expert "teacher look" (a.k.a. Look O' Death) I silenced the wave of laughter that erupted from my line, forcing my class to walk through the World Of European Penis silently. They all looked like their heads were going to explode.

Before our official stop at the lion, we had a brief chat about how the human body is often considered to be a piece of art and aren't we proud of ourselves that we can appreciate that art like adults, without laughing???

They seemed to pick up what I was putting down.

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful, although I couldn't help but notice the wide eyes, occasional snorts, and swallowed bursts of laughter as we continued our tour.

And, I'll be damned, when we made our way over to the African art exhibits, they got bigger.

Huh.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Rookie Mistake

Happy Holidays everyone!! As you may have noticed, I took a bit of a blogging hiatus over the vacation. But it was worth it because after my first full day back (sigh), I am actually (dare I say it?), feeling happy and re-energized?!?!? Quick, someone knock on wood because who knows how long it will last!!

I probably should have blogged this pre-holidays, but I was NOT feeling energized and refreshed at all as I hysterically attempted to pack gifts, wrapping paper and clothes to visit my in-laws for the holidays. Let's just say I was not filled with holiday cheer...but this little gem was stored in the back of my mind just WAITING to be blogged. It's good.

So, imagine for a moment the day before the holiday break. For those of you who don't teach, it's like keeping a lid on a boiling pot of insanely over-excited crazy people. We are sugared up, sleep deprived, over excited and counting the minutes until the end of the day. We have completed the requisite holiday-non-religious-or-overly-specific craft and are shining with a fresh coat of glue and glitter. Bags are packed, holiday homework packets are passed out and there are STILL fifteen minutes before I can bring them downstairs to be dismissed (damn!). Being FIVE minutes early makes you look on top of your shite, but being FIFTEEN mintues early to the auditorium makes you look like a strung out lazy jerk and you know I'm all about appearances.

And in that fifteen minutes, I made the fatal mistake of agreeing to opening my presents in front of the class.

Keep in mind, I have taught for seven years. I should know better.

Shame on me.

We gather on the carpet. Quite a few children have generously brought me a gift this year. Honestly, I don't expect much and would be very happy with a thoughtful drawing or something, but many of my parents are amazing and have sent something in. I even have one friend who saved his allowance for three weeks to but a gift for me. I mean, COME ON!

We are mid love-fest as I unwrap the usual mugs, scented candles, assorted lotions and soaps. Apparently I smell. But I am choosing not to be offended. Everyone is excited and giggly as I unwrap their gift.

And then I get to a beautifully wrapped shirt box from my friend who we will call Braids. (She always has them). Braids can barely contain herself.

Braids: Open it! Just rip off the paper!
Me: But it's so pretty...
Braids: I picked it out myself. For you...
Me: That's very sweet.
Braids: It's for Mr. Mimi too.

(That was a KEY piece of information. Also remember that she said she picked this out HERSELF.)

I pull out the box, and open the lid as Braids practically pees in her pants because she is so excited....

It's....

(Oh my God!)

(Are you sitting down?)

A BRIGHT RED NIGHTIE AND A BLACK G-STRING!!!!!

I am so serious.


It's OK. Take a moment. I had to.

Me: Wow!! How lovely!
(Which I managed to say as I scramble to put the lingerie back into the box a.s.a.p. so that EVERYONE doesn't have the opportunity to bask in this gift's inappropriate glory.)

Braids: My mom says you can use it to have babies.

Oh dear.

I guess it's the thought that counts?

Who's Peeking?