Apparently every Wednesday after school there’s an all school staff meeting. We all meet in the cafeteria and principal Belstead gives a lecture on something. Then we do this thing called “Kudos” where teachers stand up and say something good or nice about another teacher. Like, “I have kudos for Mrs. Litchman, she stepped in to handle a rather unruly student of mine so I could continue my group.”
Stuff like that. I didn’t get any kudos, but Connie did welcome me as one of the new teachers this year. Well, technically, she said that I was filling in for Mrs. Halloway and that this was my first year teaching.
Then we met with our grade level teams to plan some more. I also have to learn all of the teachers last names. Dania’s is Jeffers and Betty’s is Wyatt. So, to my students it’s Mrs. Jeffers and Miss Wyatt.
Dania basically told Betty and me what we would be doing for science. She apologized for telling me that I was on my own, she said she has enough stuff for us all to do. She was just upset because Mrs. Halloway apparently did all of the science lessons and since I’m filling in for Mrs. Halloway she thought I could do it.
I felt pretty shitty already. But she made me feel even worse. I’m not confident that anything I’m doing in my classroom is right, and now I’ve let my team down by not pulling my weight for planning.
But everything takes so long to do! I wanted to read a book to my students, but then I had to plan an activity to go with it which means I have to write up a lesson plan and make a worksheet and then make copies of that worksheet.
Copying worksheets is much more ruthless here than it was during my student teaching. There’s only ONE copier! Every time I’ve gone in there to make copies there has been a line.
Oh, and my kids today! Holy crap they were SO NOISY! I keep telling them it’s too loud and they’ll stop for a second and then they just keep on talking.
And Tyrese today apparently smelled bad, so the student next to him said something and Tyrese slapped him! Right in the face. It was, “Oh, man, Tyrese, you smell really bad!” and then SLAP!
So the kid doesn’t tell me, the kid shoves Tyrese and at that point I scream at both of them to stop it. I write both of them up and send them to the office. I have these behavioral sheets that I found in Mrs. Halloway’s desk.
I send both of them down and they’re back in 10 minutes. They don’t have a pass, nothing was signed, I have no proof that they even went to the office. When I asked them what happened they said that Mrs. Belstead wasn’t in her office and the secretary took their behavior sheets and told them to go back to class.
And I’m not even sure if I’m allowed to send students to the office. I assume so. But maybe that’s really bad. On my second day I’m writing students up. They probably think that I can’t handle them. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that there was a zero tolerance for fighting, but clearly it was tolerated or otherwise something would’ve happened.
I guess every school is different and it’ll take time to get used to this one.