Monday, March 30, 2009

Like A Dog With a Bone...

I am not letting this most recent drama go. If you haven't read my post from yesterday, check it out, because it's juicy!

So. I go in super early this morning and try to talk to The Visionary. Over the weekend, I sent him a fairly specific email regarding how offended I am both personally and professionally. I mean, call me loud, call me blunt, call me obnoxious....but lazy?!? I am NOT lazy and now, it is WAR!

Me: Good morning. Can I talk to you about my email? Is now a good time?
The Visionary: No. I have a meeting to get to.
Me: Ok. Is there a time later today when we can speak?
The Visionary: I'm not sure. Speak to the Weave.
Me: Ok. I will. But I'd like to talk to you too.
The Visionary: There will always be drama. (walks away)

Uh, duh! Of course there's always drama. We're in a building brimming with women and thanklessness.

I am not going to let this go.

The Weave writes us an email (evidently it is easier to be an inconsiderate douche via email than it is in person...note to self) that says we simply misunderstood. The Bacon Hunter was simply advocating for us to be "transparent" and keep everyone "up to date" on our progress so that we are "alligned" across the building....

...basically it was an email full of educational buzzwords. You know, "transparency", "allignment", "standards-based", "data-driven", "horseshit". All those old faves which, when used together and in exactly the right way MEAN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
Seriously, she was one bullshit phrase away from asking me to "do it for the kids." ( And you know that it is a sure fire way to send me into a bit of a rage. I mean, I love the kids, but...well, we will save that discussion for another day. )

(insert yoga breathing here)

My Super Colleague, in a moment of sheer genius and unbelieveable balls, wrote a response to The Weave's email, acknolwedging the need for "transparency" and "accountability" and asking that The Bacon Hunter be held similarly "accountable" for the value she adds and be more "transparent" about her exact role.

Bam!

Shut the front door!

So the war continues. I am not going to let this die until The Bacon Hunter is forced to discuss this with us. I will be heard.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Back With a Vengence

Alternative Title for this post - I Think I Might Throw My First Punch Soon...

Oh man. I am angry. Angry with a capital P-I-S-S-E-D!

I was having this lovely little Friday with my friends...I introduced a group of super excited readers to a new character, conferenced with some writers who are really making progress and ended the day with a therapeutic session of water colors. It was lovely. Everyone was just tired enough to not stir up any trouble, but just awake enough to still get some work done. Even Big Boy and I had a nice day together. I mean, come on!

I dismissed my friends and went back to my sanctuary, I mean kingdom...I mean CLASSROOM to get some work done. My plan was to bang out some preparations for Monday through Wednesday and hop on the early train. Sah-weet! I was practically drooling at the thought of the Grey's Anatomy, Dancing With the Stars Dance Off and 30 Rock episodes waiting for me on my DVR. Hot Friday night, right?

I pause my productivity to check my school email. And there it is. A cyber middle finger waving at me from the computer screen.

I got an email from the Bacon Hunter. (insert dark, evil music here)

I will try to sum up her bullshit in a nutshell. (Please note that I am writing this post on Saturday, not Friday. Because on Friday, all I was capable of was long, curse filled rants, screaming and a little crying. Why do I let this idiot get to me?)

Like many schools around the country, our students were recently subjected to a battery of standardized tests. Many adults are needed to both administer and score these exams. In our school, that means that all the "extra" staff (read: out of the classroom losers....sorry, but it's true at our school) are used to handle these tasks. Bacon Hunter is one of these losers. As a result, she has not been available for our weekly formal Wastes of Time. And by weekly Wastes of Time, I mean the meeting my team is forced to attend so that we can talk about our instruction (read: poke at her to see if she is still awake, pry the bacon out of her hands and/or explain to her what good teaching is...it really depends on the day.)

Whatever, right? Not really her fault, not really our fault. But my team of Super Colleagues and I have continued to meet in her absence because we are amazing and have relished getting so much done. Seriously, the Bacon Hunter is a real drag on our productivity. When she is at the meetings we must repeat things multiple times so that she can take painful notes that serve no educational or professional purpose. I think she just takes them because notebooks make her feel important. Or perhaps she has confused her responsibilities with those of a stenographer. Or maybe she's just a worthless idiot.

Without her, we have rocked it out. We have planned some seriously rad stuff and our kids are totally pumped. Some of the things we were working on have re-energized my teaching and the way my students and I look at math. It's pretty hot.

So keep in mind that all this is going on while she is giving and grading exams. She never emails or speaks to us about her absences, nor does she ask if we need any of her "support."

AND THEN....we get an email from her informing us that she went to the Weave since we have been refusing to meet with her. She is all of a sudden concerned about the infrequency of our formal meetings and BLAMES US. THEN....oh THEN....this freaking moron actually accuses us of NEVER MEETING and IGNORING OUR PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! (Sorry. I guess I haven't gotten over the screaming....)

So because SHE is a lazy piece of dog poo, she assumes that WE are lazy pieces of dog poo. AND calls into question my/my team's work ethic and professional commitment to our administrator! As icing on the cake, she is demanding that we submit all of our lesson plans from the last month to HER so that we can prove to her that we were working in her absence!

Hold on. I have gotten myself all worked up. I think I need to put my head between my knees for a moment. (If it wasn't 9:30 in the morning, I would definitely substitute deep breathing for a cocktail.)

I read the email and stormed down the hallway where I found two of my other Super Colleagues in similar shock. I was pissed. Another Super Colleague was crying.

Happy Friday everybody! Try to be productive now!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Like A Breath Of Fresh Air

I woke up this morning happy for many reasons. It's Friday. I didn't oversleep. Mr. Mimi is coming home from a business trip today. And, it is FINALLY the first day of spring.

I heart spring.
I love teaching about seeds and plants and having all kinds of things growing around my room.
I love that my friends are still cute, but old enough to be almost completely indpenednet in our classroom.
I love starting to pull out my spring clothes and retiring wooly sweaters.
I love open toed shoes.
I love that it is still light outside when I come home.
I love long walks.
I love March Madness. (Somewhere Mr. Mimi is reading this and thinking, "liar!" And he's right, I really love the beer and wings.)
I love it all.

I got out of bed, started the shower and looked out the window.

IT WAS SNOWING. A LOT.

WTF? Aren't we done with this?

Ok, yes, I did celebrate the snow just a few short weeks ago when our school was gifted with a snow day. But now? Enough is enough.

So I put away my cute sleeveless top and pulled out a wooly sweater. Boo.

When I got to school, we talked about how crazy it was that it snowed on the first day of spring. And I was all set to regale my little friends with my I Hate Snow speech when one of them raised their hand.

"Mrs. Mimi, I think it snowed today because the snow wanted to say good bye to us for another year."

"Oooo...I agree! I think he (not sure why "snow" is a boy, but whatever) wanted to play with us one more time."

"I think the snow was crying, because winter is over and it's not his turn anymore."

And just like that, my day got better.

(I know, a fairly shmultzy post coming from yours truly, but I thought we could all do with a little cute to get us through the rest of March!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Heart Is Torn

I think I may have accidentally become Educationally Slutty. I mean, in my real life, I'm a loyal person...no trouble there. I heart me some Mr. Mimi. However, recently in my professional life, I feel as if my heart is being torn in twain.

You see, I have always held an educational flame (imagine me listening to sappy music, holding a Sharpie and swaying back and forth alone in my classroom) for my Original Teacher Crush, the math genius. He is smart, helpful, attentive, critical yet supportive...all the things you fantasize about a staff developer being. He has been the George Clooney in my love starved classroom drama.

But last week, last week friends, I was led a bit astray. Not that my devotion to my Teacher Crush has subsided...nothing like that. No. I just met this new person, this amazing person, who rocked my world. In social studies.

At first, I was a bit stand offish with this new person. After all, my heart belongs to another. But like a young, brash, movie star, this person managed to turn my head. Within the first ten minutes, I was hooked. The conversation was thought provoking, the ideas were brilliant, the resources were mind blowing. In short, my thinking about teaching social studies shifted in very positive ways. I was learning. It was awesome. Intensely nerdy, but awesome.

And get this...my new teacher crush is a woman.

Whatever you think of my newfound love, so be it. But I am putting it out there, because for the first time in a long time, I feel as if my abilities are being challenged and I am growing as a teacher. And that, my friends, is worth all the dirty looks and hushed whispers.

So, evidently, I swing both ways professionally. Which is kind of hip I think.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Stop Raining On My Snow Day Parade

I had a snow day today - me and every other teacher on the East Coast. It felt like Christmas. I was so giddy I actually had a hard time falling back asleep, but somehow, somehow, I persevered. I know. I'm amazing.

Actually, the whole morning was quite dramatic.

5:27 a.m. My alarm clock went off at the usual time and instead of my normal routine (which involves some intense snooze button action and a lot of cursing of the morning), I hopped out of bed and ran to the window. You see, I had been harboring some hope for a snow day, but was too afraid to jinx the possibility. I even wore my pjs inside out.

5:29 a.m. After determining that it was indeed shitty outside, I ran to my computer (which I had conveniently stowed next to the bed for an immediate update on the weather...I said I was afraid to ˆjinxˆ my snow day, I didn't say I was afraid to ˆmonitorˆit. Big diff.

5:30 a.m. I scoured several news websites and...nothing. Damn.

5:35 a.m. I checked my school's website. Nothing. Damn. Maybe I should take a shower? Am I (gasp!) going to brave the elements?

5:50 a.m. I'm out of the shower and back on the computer.

5:51 a.m. I check the news website for school closings. Damn.

5:52 a.m. I check my school's website. Damn.

5:53 a.m. I take a moment to stew in my own anger. Every school district around my house is closed. Every school district around my school is closed. WTF? What are we? Mailmen? I don't remember taking that oath...

5:54 a.m. I check the weather. It says it is going to snow all afternoon. We might get 10 to 12 inches. And sleet, don't forget the sleet.

5:55 a.m. I realize that, after my hour long commute which necessitates several forms of transportation, no one is going to be waiting for me at the door with a trophy. And, I will most likely only be greeted by a list of names of co-workers (who live much much closer) who have called out.

5:56 a.m. That's it. I'm calling out. I open a word document and begin to write sub plans. I open up my cell phone and scroll to find my school's absentee number.

And then....

5:57 a.m. I receive a text message from above. (Actually it was from one of my Super Colleagues, but whatever.) SCHOOL IS CLOSED!!

I leaped up in the air. I wrote several aggressive text messages back to my Super Colleague demanding to know her sources. After all, I want to be d-bag who doesn't show up for work claiming, "I thought we had a snow day." And of course, my cynicism is unfounded. She is right and we are free.

6:00 a.m. I run to the bathroom, put my pjs on (still inside out, just in case) and jump back into bed.

6:15 a.m. I'm still awake. Too excited to sleep.

6:30 a.m. I begin counting backwards from 100...

8:30 a.m. I wake up.

Skipping down the stairs, I made a lovely breakfast for Mr. Mimi and I to actually eat TOGETHER. I linger over my morning coffee, blogs and TV. I change into real clothes around 11.

And then...

Mr. Mimi and I decide to take advantage of his home office day, and my snow day and get our taxes done. I know, it doesn't sound like very much fun to me either, but it needs to get done and I love crossing things off my list. So we go.

The person preparing our taxes (who was a VERY loud talker by the way) said, "Lucky you, with the day off. Teachers always want a day off...never want to work."

Um, hello? Drive-by! Who do you think you are, person who really only works during tax season? First of all, who doesn't want a bonus day off every now and then? Second of all, snow days are one of the bonuses of being a teacher...just like expense accounts, squashy office chairs and unmonitored bathroom breaks are the bonuses of other people's jobs. Let me have my bonus please. And third of all, screw you for insinuating that teachers never want to work. Just screw you.

As I opened my mouth to let her have it, Mr. Mimi (recognizing the signs of an impending explosion...hey, he's been around awhile) quickly made a joke and changed the subject.

She was lucky he was there...

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