Saturday, November 22, 2008

Coloring instead of rioting.

So we're doing an art project in the classroom and the kids are coloring and talking and things are going well for a change. Peace has broken out. Students are working together. Then...."If Obama had lost we were going to the Gallery to burn it down. Yeah, we were going to bust windows up on Lehigh Avenue and take a big television. My Dad was going to shoot some people. Oh, snap, if he hadn't won we were going to set everything on fire. We weren't coming to school on Wednesday." Oh, if only teaching wasn't so full of life lessons and challenges that crop up at every goddamn minute. "Excuse me. I need your attention. I'm not going to sit here and listen to this. If your candidate loses then you feel sad and try again next time. Feeling sad is normal. Feeling sad isn't an excuse for burning down the Gallery and running off through the mayhem with a plasma screen and Air Jordans tucked under each arm." And so it goes. The teaching and reprogramming continues. Reprogramming. Just another job that I do as your friendly neighborhood rookie schoolteacher. Oh, and it's on me. I can work for free without a union to watch my back. Just remember my reprogramming might be the only thing saving your plasma screen. Isn't that important when my contract is up?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm in the doldrums.

Teaching the entire year is similar to playing the entire baseball season. It's long and tiring. I'm in one of the low patches in the year. I'll get out of it but it's just paperwork, paperwork, and more stupid paperwork combined with unruly kids, unavailable parents, incredulous administrators, and stupid sh*t that keeps me from doing what I was hired to do - teach.

This week at school we're doing all sorts of spirit stuff for school spirit week. It's like color wars at summer camp. We should be preparing for benchmark testing but instead we're wasting miles of colored paper to make hall decorations and floats. It should be fun and it isn't and I'll tell you why. Almost all of the time the kids wear uniforms and there's no fun, not even candy, allowed in the school. It's depressing. The kids are miserable. It's like jail without the drugs. Anyway, this spirit week comes and now we can wear different clothes, we don't do much schoolwork, we do art stuff, and the kids go f*$%ing bananas because they don't know what to do with themselves. Fun is sort of a foreign concept to them. They don't have fun like everyone else. I'm not trying to condescend, they don't know what it is. Fun isn't laughter and good times. Fun for a lot of the students is calling each other ugly, poking each other with scissors, and stomping on the floor like it's a step dance competition. Needless to say, the fun I'm having is mostly reigning in the kids and trying to keep people from getting into fistfights. This spirit week crap is going to be the death of me. I hope we never do this again. I know, I sound like an old bitter grandma but damn it, this stuff is tougher than teaching. I'm running out of energy.

Thanksgiving can't come soon enough. There's only about 20 teaching days left for the year. Not than I'm counting or anything. I've got to recharge. I've got to recharge.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Do I have to?

I've been off and it's been nice. I so don't want to go in tomorrow. One of my teachers on my team is out for the rest of the week because of personal business. That means her class may or may not have a sub. If there's no sub the kids will be split into my class and other classes. That will create complete chaos. My class will show off for the new kids introduced into mine. Her students will show off for everyone because they will. I'm dreading it. Do I have to go?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes we can! Thanks America!

Thanks America! Thank you for electing a man who can speak and think. An author. This man writes his own speeches. He writes books. Thank you for electing a man with a brain. He actually uses the brain in his head. Thank you for electing an African American. We finally did it. Everything is possible in the United States of America and this election proves it.

Yes we can and we did. I really am inspired. Now I have to go teach the meaning of that word to my class. Get out your vocabulary notebooks....

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I voted early and often.

I've been voting all day and it seems to have paid off; at least in the tri-state area. I'm hoping an Obama win is in the cards. It's looking great at 9:41 pm but who knows? The last 8 years have been a shitstorm of dirty tricks from the trickiest bunch to ever occupy the White House. We'll see. Satan, I mean Karl Rove, said it was over hours ago and gave it to Obama. Let's hope he's right.

I'm going to drink myself into oblivion if Obama loses. I'm not going to be in any shape to teach if that happens, regardless. I won't be the only one in a horrible hungover state at school tomorrow if Obama loses.

Do I really want to go into my inner city neighborhood to teach if Obama loses? I might want to wear my WW2 army helmet. There might be some anger.