Another delightful day spent fighting with kids. How I love it! I'm going to drink myself into oblivion while watching the liar's state of the union address. I'll pound one each time he mentions no child left behind.
I try to unwind with music after my stressful days of teaching. Some good stuff on my playlist right now is The Gossip - Standing in the Way of Control, Dinosaur Jr. - You're Living All Over Me, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers - LAMF, and Sleater-Kinney - Call the Doctor. I found the Dinosaur Jr. in the used bin at my local record shop. What a find! Why the hell didn't I buy this great record when it came out in 1987? I should have been playing the hell out of it in my car and on my radio show. I was pretty broke as a college sophomore, then, that might explain it. I'm making up for lost time now. Do yourself a favor and buy all the aforementioned records and turn it up to 11 rookie schoolteacherstyle!
Why in the hell did I want to teach in the inner city? Oh, yeah, to make a difference. Difference? What difference am I making? My kids throw sh*t at me, yell curses, flip over desks, throw books, beat the sh*t out of each other for nothing, and refuse to do any work. I'm sick of it. Why did I choose to do this job? I went into debt to go back to school to get a new degree in education just to teach at this nuthouse where I work. I need to go to the nuthouse. I really have a few screws loose.
I'm most likely getting a bad review for my efforts. My principal thinks that my classroom management skills are lacking. Well, I view it this way. At least I'm not a lazy city employee hiding behind my desk. I'm in there working my ass off the entire time. Everything I touch might burst into flames but I'm not giving up or giving in. I give 200% every day. That bad review is proof that I'm in there every day trying to do my job.
At the moment it's hours since I left for the day and I could still pick my desk up and throw it out the window. I'm that angry. My students are horrible. Whatever I try to get things to work better just blows up in my face. I'm sick of my students cursing me out, etc.
I'm so sick of working in a place where no one is wanted, no one wants to be, and no one cares. The kids are miserable, the staff is miserable, and even the building is miserable. What is the point? I hate it. I hate this. I hate what I have become. I must have racked up one hell of a lot of bad karma to end up like this. I'm trapped inside of a nightmare. I'm trapped so deep that I'll never get out.
I was watching Stupid in America on 20/20 last night. I only caught the last 20 minutes but it was more than enough. John Stossel blames the teacher and the public school for all the problems. His thoughts are to privatize the schools, give vouchers, and eliminate the unions. This holy trinity will change everything resulting in fantastic grades for all. Is he serious? He's not the only one with these ideas, of course, but has he met the students I teach? Sheesh. He wouldn't last five minutes in my classroom. Comparing charter schools with public schools isn't fair. Charter schools can cherry pick the students. Public schools can't. Charter schools aren't performing any better than public schools anyway. Strangely he didn't mention any of that. I need to write a letter to ABC.
I was cleaning out papers and sorting things today and came across some student notes. "Suk my dick!" "Kak me hard!" "Your mam f*cks you brother. Write back if you can." I feel sorry for my students. They can't even spell the insults.
I've been back at work and too busy to write. I'm taking a break from my lesson planning to post this for my lovely readers. Hope your holidays were wonderful. I can't wait to pay my respects to MLK on Monday. A great man and also a chance to catch up on my paperwork. I used to do service on MLK day but teaching is so hectic that I can't spare the time.
Writing lesson plans sucks, especially at my school, because the administration reads and critiques them each week. I just get them done and it's time to write more, or so it seems. Our school is always under the gun. We teachers are observed all the time. Our plans, rooms, and work lives are picked apart for all to see. Worst of all the literature says that this micromanagement doesn't do any good anyway and will in most cases have a detrimental effect.
In other news, I jumped into the ocean on New Year's Day. It was cold and delightfully refreshing. A new tradition has been created. I went to Trenton on the 31st to watch the reenactments of the Battles of Trenton. Awesome. The Colonials, let by George Washington, fire a cannon at the Hessians and chase them through the streets. Car alarms go off everywhere with each cannon blast. I've been meaning to check this out for years and I'm so happy I finally got to see it. I'll be back again.