Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why I'd Like To Be Kosher...

....Or....How One Person Has Totally Turned Me Off Bacon (which takes a huge display of idiocy as bacon is the food of my people...really, it's our way.)

Of whom do I speak? Take one guess....you got it! The Bacon Hunter!!

Now, I realize that it has been quite a while since I have regaled you with tales of her uselessness, because I thought to myself, "self, how many times can those lovely people in the blogosphere listen to such ridiculous tales of slovenly behavior?"

Friends, I can not NOT talk about this one.

Where to begin? Where to begin?

OK. The Bacon Hunter is SUPPOSED to help us improve our abilities to teach math. In previous years, she "developed" our abilities by forcing us to meet with her once a week so that she could rattle off a list of things we were to do. The tasks on said list ranged from absolutely demoralizing (cleaning out closets because she didn't feel like it) to totally mind numbing (transferring the data from one assessment onto three different types of graphs). Needless to say, we revolted. And by revolted, I mean went to the principal and bitched like a group of whiney six year olds.

Whatever, it got the point across and she got a "talking to." (Sucka!) As a result, the proverbial pendulum has swung and she now takes on a near lifeless form in our still mandatory weekly meetings. Seriously, there are times when she can barely open her eyes, respond to a question or lift her stupid face off her stupid binder. (Yes, I am getting more mature by the second, I know....)

This past week, she managed to bark at us that we are to complete a ridiculous series of checklists once a month on each student. Perhaps our principal coerced her into tearing herself away from the newspaper and actually finishing a sentence with promises of thick and meaty egg and cheese sandwiches. I can't imagine how else he got her to lift her head off the table....

Last year, we dutifully filled out these same checklists (despite our better judgement) to see if they really did improve our instruction. And, um, yea, no they did nothing. Except give me headaches. And take up my time. And cause me to burst into spontaneous rages over the wasting of my time...so, yea, they did all THOSE things, but improve my teaching? No.

So this year, we spoke up...and gave articulate and well-thought our responses to her query. We talked about which checklists help us craft our lessons and which feel like a waste of time. We talked about how our team is growing and becoming smarter about math instruction and therefore, our assessment tools need to evolve as well. All in all, we were brilliant. (I mean, duh...did you think for a second that we wouldn't be?)

And in response?

Blank stares.

"Um, did you hear us?"

Blank stares.

"Bacon Hunter? Can we at least think about it and come to a decision in our next meeting?"

Blank stares.

"Ok...um, yea. So I guess we'll just sleep on that one. Maybe we can think it over, talk about it in our next meeting and come to a decision."

Blank stares.

"Will you tell the principal what we talked about? I think he needs to hear our concerns."

Blank stares.


Blank stares.

"Do you want some bacon?"

Fast foward to the end of the day. I go to the office to check my mail box. What do I find?


Um, hi...DID YOU HEAR ME???? Were you not LISTENING??? Evidently she went straight from our meeting, disregarded everything we said and made the damn copies. And I"m just supposed to roll over and fill them out without so much as the promise of a measly bacon, egg and cheese sandwich? Oh sister friend, you better get ready, because Mrs. Mimi doesn't roll over for anybody!

I now have a better understanding of the phrase "talking to the wall."


Invisible Teacher said...

Many years ago I had to fill out checklists for each child. We had 9 PAGES! I will pass on a tip that another, more seasoned, teacher gave me: Do 1 set. Make copies. End of story.

No one looked at them, anyway!

I am not saying that you should skip assessments altogether. However, we all know that these checklists are a waste of time.

Em said...

I'm supposed to fill out a sheet for each child on each weekly math assessment I give. This sheet lists each problem on the assessment and I am supposed to mark whether or not the child got it correct...for each child...

I don't do it. I grade the tests, make a mental note of things I need to re-teach, record the grades, move on.

Anonymous said...

judg·ment [juhj-muhnt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1. an act or instance of judging.
2. the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, esp. in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.
3. the demonstration or exercise of such ability or capacity: The major was decorated for the judgment he showed under fire.


note spelling:


You need an English Bacon at your school.

Anonymous said...

I have learned a lot from some STD's (haha) but there are times when I think the position has been developed to get people like The Bacon Hunter out of the classroom when they have tenure and can't be fired.

And who needs an English Bacon when random people too afraid to leave their real name will happliy drop into your private life to check spelling. That was probably written by a woman I used to work with!

Mimi said...

Hi anonymous,
thanks for the English lesson....typos happen to everyone. You may now step down from your soap box and relax.

Ms. P. said...

I'm glad that you are trying to stand up for yourself and your team. There are too many instances of teachers having to do "busy work" that does nothing to help us help our kids. Don't give up! Keep trying because if you don't,who will? :^)

Veteran Teacher said...

I understand completely your frustration regarding paperwork. Every teacher needs a full time administrative assistant...or one less administrator who creates useless checklists and/or other busy work.

Anonymous said...

Mimi, trust your judgement - even though the little red line comes up - both variants are acceptable. Even more -- read this from alphadictionary.com:

"To remain on the side of the orthographic angels and help our children learn to spell words in the language more accurately, alphaDictionary.com is committed to as much consistency in spelling as the English language allows. To spell judgement without an "e," while spelling abridgement, acknowledgement, arrangement, engagement, and the 40 other words in English with a soft "g" before -ment with an "e," is an act of bewildering inconsistency that makes learning the spelling system unnecessarily difficult."

"It is not a new problem; both spellings have trailed this word throughout history and all English-language dictionaries assure us that both are acceptable. However, we are offering a reasoned resolution to the dilemma that allows us to spell all such words accurately and consistently, making our kids' task of learning the language just a bit easier. We should use the "e" after "g" and "c" (e.g. "advancement" when they are are soft and omit it when they are hard (e.g. segment, pigment). By the way, we have William Shakespeare and all our British brethren on our side. Not bad company to keep."

But thanks for your help, "anonymous"! So glad you're here.

Kathleen said...

May I make a suggestion?

Every year we were required to inventory EVERY storybook in the class. Second grade. Massive amounts of books.

I had amassed my own set of classroom library books which I allowed the kids to take home. I also had books with cassettes.

Quite frankly, the kids (always) preferred my material anyway (ie material I had selected and paid for myself).

I did not allow them to take home the school's material unless they got "very special permission" from me.

When it came time to do that massive inventory- I fudged it! LOL.

I was not about to spend a week counting and inventorying storybooks in the dog days of June while the class was bouncing off the walls.

Nobody is going to bother to check that inventory! ;o)

Karen said...

OMG - I have one of those people at my school! I totally relate! She has brought things up at department head meetings that the rest of us then shot down, umm...discussed and decided to do a different way - with the principal agreeing to it all - and then she still tried to get teachers to do it her way! I am a department head AND in the department she was head of at the time, and I called her on it - can you say DEATH STARE? We have also gone to the principal to "clarify" things (read: she's trying to do things her way again!) and it seems as though she has been talked to. We call her the Great Delegater because she never does anything herself - she always asks people to do HER job!

Anonymous said...


Who's Peeking?