Posts In Category Summer
There was much muttering in the halls of the school. Teachers gathered in small groups to discuss the latest mandate from the Powers-that-Be. Teachers were not happy.
Excerpt from the E-mail Received in April 2013
It is highly and strongly recommended that all language art teachers in the district attend the National Writing Project two-week workshop in July. The workshop is from 8AM to 4PM Monday-Friday. Failure to attend any portion of the workshop will result in loss of credit.
Our building’s teachers’ union representative was overwhelmed by questions.
- Can the district force us to give up two weeks of our summer vacation without compensation? (compensation = $$$)
- If we can’t attend, could we be fired? (Texas is a Right-to-Work state; firing is always an option.)
- What about doctors’ appointments? (Teachers traditionally save routine physicals for the summer.)
- What about summer school and other part-time jobs teachers take on in order to avert economic disasters? (Summer school would end the week before the workshop began.)
One of my peers is due the second week of training. Surely, childbirth would be an adequate excuse not to attend.
Another comrade has scheduled her honeymoon for those two weeks (a cruise through the Mediterranean). The non-refundable tickets had been purchased over Christmas break.
After the furor died down, I was left with one question: What in the heck is the National Writing Project?
When does summer end?
Is it when I set my alarm clock?
Does it end when my alarm clock goes off?
Is it over when I climb into my car?
Is summer over when I enter the building?
Is it over when I begin setting up my classroom?
Is summer finished when my classroom is ready for students?
Does it finish when that first bell rings?
Does it end when the first child sits in a seat?
Because it definitely ends before the calendar says it does!
At least it ends for me.
The squeal echoed from the hallway into the faculty lounge. The sound of a bounding teenager followed.
The gaggle of teenagers eating lunch in the faculty lounge started talking.
“Oh, yeah. The teachers are having training today.”
“Be nice. The teachers only have an hour to eat and we have two hours. Let them have the microwave first.”
“I had Ms. C last year. She made me come to school.”
“Yeah. Me, too.”
“She didn’t like my class. We made her mad all the time.”
“She hated my class, too, because she didn’t always get to eat lunch and she’d come to class all cranky. Teachers only get half an hour to eat and sometimes they don’t eat and get all mad for no reason at all.”
I continued listening to their conversation as they drifted from topic to topic. I pondered. What did she do to make them come to school? From the sound of it, they appreciated it but what did she do?
They continued talking.
“I’m going to come out to my mom this weekend.”
“Yeah! Do it after church on Sunday!”
“My mom will freak! Can I pretend to be your girl?”
“That depends. Are we bi or gay?”
Just three months ago, these were 8th graders. Listen to them now.
“Bi. Jordan will join in.”
“Jordan H. The one who came to the pool party.”
“Ew! He’s gross. Can’t we have a better bi guy?”
As I listened to them debate the attractions of the various Jordans in their lives, I wondered, ‘What did Ms. C do to cause them to come to school? Can I do it, too?’
Teachers need to connect with their students. We need to remember what it was like to be a child in school. My connection with my students is my absolute dread of school.
That’s right: I don’t like school.
Don’t get me wrong; I love my students. I love teaching.
I just don’t like school.
Signs of the Upcoming Apocalypse:
Christmas displays at Hobby Lobby Halloween candy displays at Target Back to school sale commercials on TV
School is at hand.
Bowing to the inevitable, I have begun my planning. In truth, I don’t know why. We’re getting a new principal (whom I haven’t met). We’re getting new assistant principals. (We learned this last week; the going-away party is this weekend). The district overhauled the new curriculum this summer. The counselors haven’t released the master schedule so we don’t know what we’re teaching.
Rumors from the End of the Year:
New assistant principals
- I would lose one of my two classrooms. No news.
- No Read180 No news. The school counselor said we couldn’t afford the loss of a teacher and classroom to provide this service. I reported her statement to my superiors who said the state of Texas, NCLB, and the district believe otherwise.
- School uniforms for students and teachers No news. I hope this one is resolved soon. Tax-free weekend is in 9 days.
Frankly, don’t do well with indecision. I want answers. I want to plan!
I just don’t want to go to school….
A fellow teacher posted on Facebook that teachers have two weeks before reporting to the building. I’ve been in denial. I haven’t been keeping up with my e-mail. I haven’t visited my classroom. I haven’t visited any teacher stores. The only books I’ve bought have been for my summer reading. Summer is my time.
Sure, I have to take several days of training.
Sure, I have to think about setting up my classroom.
But not now!
Only it is now.
So I went online to look at my school email.
There are times when I wonder what the school board is thinking. Our principal accepted a job at a private university as a professor. And, for some strange reason, the school board thought it would be a good idea to move all assistant principals in the district to new buildings. This means that our building will not have any administrators who are familiar with our building, our teachers, our staff, or our student population.
Last year the district shifted all of our staff managers to new buildings. The shift was immediately apparent in the quality of cafeteria food when our cafeteria manager of 14 years was moved to a different building.
I don’t handle changes well yet I haven’t any choice. Wish me well!