Wednesday, October 29, 2008

World Serious

We finally won the world series. I couldn't be happier. I'd love to take off for the parade and maybe I will. Everyone will know where I am and that could pose problems with the principal. The kids will know, too. That will pose problems with discipline. I'm supposed to be the example. IT'S THE WORLD SERIES! Oh, well. We teachers have to uphold the virtues of responsibility and accountability.

I'm happy we won because it helps out a rather awful week. We're deep into the workload. My kids are way behind in everything and the administration wants us to fill out those graphs, spreadsheets, and reflections. Hours of time to do this. Almost all of those hours are unpaid and spent at home at night. We teachers have it easy, though.

My kids are horrible the past few days. They just keep talking and whining. It's getting old. It's hard to adjust to your new class each year. This class is not a lot of fun. They whine too much for me. I have little patience for whiners.

I have little patience for excuses and the people who make them. One of our administrators has changed this year. Last year he was all about accountability from the kids. "Kids need to do their work, maintain discipline, and get passing grades." That was last year. This year he is all about excuses. "These kids have lots of problems. Their home life sucks. Can't you give them another chance? Can't you give the student more time to complete his test? Can't you give a simpler quiz?" Everything is the teacher's fault and not the parent or child's. This excuse making is setting them up for failure. The world doesn't care that Joe has an IEP that says he can't write a paragraph. Making excuses doesn't do any favors. This administrator is changing everything in midstream. It's confusing everyone. No one knows the rules anymore.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Go Phils! Down with stupid paperwork and ridiculous meetings!

I'm so busy with grading, report cards, and stupid meetings. Our administration just wants to use up our available time. I have to be in the classroom teaching all day. Then I'm up all night for days in a row putting grades into the computer until my eyes cross and my head hits the keyboard. Every day this week my principal has meetings for me. Today I went to two. Everything needs to be done now. Let's look at benchmark results. Let's meet about last year's test results. Let's meet about strategies to integrate technology. Let's meet about strategies to improve metacognition. Let's meet about .... How about you let us teachers get our work done? I have about 15,000 little boxes to tick on the stupid computerized report card. I also have lessons to plan and write. I have a stack of papers to grade. I have detentions to supervise and write up. I have parents to call. I have a teacher I'm mentoring. I have lots to do. Let me do it!

Why do administrators forget what it's like to be a teacher when they become administrators? It's some law of human nature. It happens in all professions. Rare is the boss that remembers what it was like to be a grunt in the trenches. If only they would remember. The world would be so much more pleasant. So maybe paperwork would take a few extra days to complete? The world won't mind.

On another more pressing matter, GO PHILS! Cole Hamels pitched a gem tonight. If only we'd stop leaving people on base. We could have scored a hell of a lot more runs. Thank goodness 3 runs did it. Tomorrow I'm teaching in a Phillies cap and a strategically placed rally towel. So comfy. My principal is going to love it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rollin' Maverick-Style with Obama/Ayers.

I'm really tired of hearing about William Ayers. McCain was talking about it yet again in last night's debate. It's one of the few things he's got at this point. I first learned about William Ayers when I took my first education class at Drexel. My professor assigned the book To Teach by William Ayers. I read it, got some teaching insight, and moved on. A few years passed and I read a review of the book lambasting the author for his time with the Weathermen. I looked it up and low and behold the guy was in the Weathermen. Strange coincidence. I moved on again. More years have passed and now Obama is a terrorist sympathizer because he knows this guy. I guess I'm a terrorist sympathizer because I read his book and got a few teaching insights? Is Teachers College Press at Columbia fomenting terrorism? Drexel University? Professor Brown? I don't think so. Any thinking person wouldn't. Thank God thinking people are concerned about actual issues. The economy is in the tank. My paltry 403b plan is getting carpetbombed. McCain is down double digits. Watching that creep squirm as I watched the playback of last night's debate before work was just delicious.

Perhaps Obama was being a little too maverick for the maverick by hanging with Ayers? Am I? I still have this book. I haven't thrown it on the bonfire. I am so maverick.

Obama in Philly

Here are some photos of Obama I took last Saturday in Philly. I took the family up to Progress Plaza in North Philly to check him out. It was awesome. Lots and lots of nice people were there. I'm very hopeful for the future. I had a picture of William Ayers French kissing Obama but it didn't come out. Sorry. (Wouldn't a pic like that make McCain's Republican base explode? It would have lots of their favorite flavors of red meat: French stuff, homosexuality, terrorism, hippie residue, and a union teacher.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cole Hamels for President/Shane Victorino for Vice President!

Go Phils! National League Champions! Kiss it, McCarver! This beer-soaked Rookie Schoolteacher is blogging live on the street at Broad and Pattison with thousands of others. It's been a long time coming! Too bad there's school tomorrow. Perhaps a day off when we take the World Series?

Monday, October 13, 2008


I hate Tim McCarver, Randy Newman, and Manny Ramirez like poison. I'm watching the game and correcting papers at the same time and just thought you ought to know. I'm going to throw a beer bottle through the TV if they play that damn "I love LA" song again. Could Fox have given us a worse pair of announcers than Joe Buck and McCarver? They never have anything good to say about the Phils. I still haven't forgiven McCarver for his lack of respect for the '93 team during their playoff games. Shut up, McCarver! Stop playing Randy Newman, Fox!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Notes from the right side of my mind.

I was referencing the ALA website list of 100 frequently banned books 1990-2000 and a few other related pages on their website when I wrote the last post. I should have included it last night but left it out. Forgive me, I was drunk... drunk on Phillies 2 in a row over the Brewcrew Baby!!!!!! Also I wrote as I was yelling at the TV during the Vice Presidential debate. That Palin sets my teeth on edge. Sorry.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Happy Banned Books Week

Happy Banned Books Week to you and yours. I love reading and love reading those banned books. My classroom is stocked with quite a few - Harry Potter, Captain Underpants, Judy Blume, The Giver, How to Eat Fried Worms, Ulysses. I'm kidding about the Ulysses. Their brains would explode on James Joyce. I had a good discussion with my kids about banned books. They got it. "I would punch them in the face if they took my books!" It warmed my heart to see them run to Harriet the Spy when they found out it was a banned book.

What's your favorite banned book? Mine is The Autobiography of Malcolm X. It's very hard to choose. So many wonderful books have been banned. Feel free to write in with your fave banned books.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


My kids were just horrible today. I'm not sure why. Lots of whining, talking, blaming, tattling, and laziness. I'm not sure why I haven't gone to bed. I'm exhausted.

I give a math test and a science test tomorrow. I'm thinking there's going to be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Perhaps they'll pay attention when they get their grade and it sucks?
We'll see.

Sometimes you just wonder what it's all for.
(Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on