Friday, March 21, 2008

If There's Tension And You Know It, Clap Your Hands...


Maybe it's just that time of year, but doesn't seem like every year that once spring comes, patience and positive attitudes go? Everyone is SO ANNOYED with everyone else (and no, I'm not talking about the kids, I'm talking about the numerous adults that I want to snap in half).

Example #1:

The vice principal sends a snippy-pants email to everyone demanding that we update our substitute packets in the office stating that it is unfair to "dump" children on our colleagues without work to do when we are absent.

Um, pardon me, but isn't the administration that is doing the actual "dumping" without notice rather than getting a sub or (gasp) putting together a schedule in which the out of the classroom teachers cover the absent teacher during their MULTIPLE free periods a day?

And, just another small point, I do seem to remember having students "dumped" on me without a sub packet on many occasions despite my personal knowledge that said teacher did leave a packet of work behind. And when I asked the administration for a copy of that packet, I was told (and I quote), "I am not dealing with that. It's your problem."

Of course it is.

Example #2:

I am sitting in a committee meeting. We meet every month. We are supposed to do something. My colleague, who was absent for four months on maternity leave, was shocked to see that in four months time, we had accomplished absolutely nothing. That in fact, we were having the same argument we were having four months ago.

Perhaps that is because our meetings are run by an outsider from a near by college. A "facilitator" who is charged with "keeping us on track" because clearly as adults in possession of multiple advanced degrees, we can not be expected to facilitate ourselves.

Way to go sister friend, way to facilitate that progress.

Example #3:

I am mid-brilliant mini lesson. Seriously, I should have been taping are engaged, turning and talking with their partners and my teaching point is oh-so-relevant. (Side note, I have never been that afraid of tooting my own horn).

I am about to utter the words that will pull all of their thinking together, magically connecting it to their work when....




Is that the phone?


Oh, someone had better be on fire for this to be a worthwhile interruption....


"This the nurse." (I'm not kidding...her statement was totally lacking a verb).


"I need a phone number."

"They are in the office filed under my class number."

"I don't want to get up and walk there."

(Are you kidding me?)

"Well, I don't to stop doing my job just so I can start doing yours. Check the office."


"I'm so sorry friends, as I was, we are , um... (damn! I have lost my train of thought! What was I teaching?? Oh yeah) today, when you go back to your seats, I want you to..."


(I am so going to kill this woman).


"Aren't you going to answer that Mrs. Mimi?"

(Oh, I'll answer it sweetheart.)

(Through gritted teeth) "Hello?"

"Ya, this is Mrs. Copylady. Your copies done."

"Ok....I'll pick them up when I drop the kids off for lunch. Thank you"

"No. You need to pick them up now."

"But I'm in the middle of a lesson."


(Is she freaking serious??!?? )

"I can't, I have kids."

"Send one of them."

"You want me to send a child to pick up the copies? I put in copies for the whole grade for an entire unit."

"Yea, it's like 500 copies."

"And you want me to send a small child, who is supposed to be reading, to pick them up. And why is this so urgent?"

"Because they're done."

(I suppose you'd like me to send down a cookie or small trophy with the child as well?)

My list could go on and on for days, because sadly, we all want to kill each other right now. Thank goodness for holiday weekends.



17 (really 15) more years said...

The only reason I know we don't work in the same school is the phones in the classroom (which clearly, I can do without).

Now Mimi- why should out of classroom teachers actually -gasp- cover classes? You really can't expect them to actually work for their paycheck, do you?

And I can't even remember the last time I covered an absent teacher and had work left for me to do with them. That's just a dream.

Anonymous said...

Phones in the classroom - ugh! Kinda makes you wonder if they actually intended for you to teach, or if they just want you to babysit. :-P

We don't have phones, but our school secretary interrupts class to make announcements such as, "School pictures will be made Thursday during 1st and 2nd periods." or "Teachers, if you have collected any money in the last week, please send it to the office at this time as we will be making a deposit this morning." or (my favorite) "Non-contract personnel will be required to attend a meeting at 7:45 tomorrow morning." --Excuse me, did she just interrupt 1500 students & teachers to make an announcement to less than 30 non-contract employees? Arrgggghh!

Love your blog -- it helps me laugh to keep from crying. :-)

Edna Lee said...

Don't you just love how they treat our classrooms more and more like offices? Just call whenever you want. I'll just be sitting in my cubicle alone, working on paperwork and listening to my iPod.

Actually, not! I'm desperately trying to maintain the focus of 30+ children for more than a nanosecond with my current competition for their attention, a gnat, trying his damnedest to win them over. He's in the lead, but the way.

Jen said...

The phone call mid-teaching is almost as good as the day I was being observed by my principal and during the one lesson (about 45 minutes) that he was in there we had three buzz ins on the intercom. On the third he actually shook his head and put it in his hands for moment. They never can interrupt when you're just about to say something stupid, huh? :)

Blair said...

i work in a very collaborative school and have been there for 5 years. i love the power and control the staff has but it makes for long staff meetings and months and months (gosh, maybe all 5 years) of arguing about the same topics. just when things finally seem to be going smoothly, we're asked to "revisit" a prior issue.
i hear ya!

Cathy said...

i would want to kill those people too! lol

if it's not the kids driving us crazy, it's the adults! can't win!

Anonymous said...

Happens to all of us. I hate it when the office forwards a parent who wants to discuss their child. I am in front of a classroom full of children including their child. You really want me to talk about this now?
Where are their brains?
Oh, and CLAP! CLAP!

Blair said...

I've tagged you to help create a teacher's passion quilt. Visit my blog for the directions.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but your school really sucks. I cringe every time I read these stories about your administration. What the hell are they doing working with people.

The Teacher said...

I was thinking of your post when my classroom phone rang about 500 times today.

Great blog, by the way.

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, there have been worthless idiots at all of my jobs. They are everywhere, which amazes me. How do these people manage to get hired?????

I always enjoy your blog!


Anonymous said...

You make several great points, that I am sure all teachers agree with. I love your blog.

Mary Louise Brooks said...

I share a room with a literacy coach who does absolutely nothing except eat, gossip, troll the halls, gossip, eat, gossip, troll the halls ... you get the idea. Since we can't make calls to the outside, we have to use the phones in the office. When LC makes a call, do you think she promptly returns to the room? Of course not! Let's just say I should have gotten something for Administrative Assistants Day because I'm constantly answering the damn phone for her! In the middle of class! When I tell the person on the other end that I'm teaching a class, they insist on leaving a message. I've come to the point where I "take the message" if you know what I mean. There are also times when she's sitting on her fat ass and the phone's ringing and ringing and I'll have to stop teaching, answer the phone and - surprise! - it's for her. Her response? "Is that for me?" No, you waste of human flesh! It's for Santa Claus.

Anonymous said...


Who's Peeking?