“I’m Sick. Again.” Wednesday November 30, 2016

MjAxMy0zZmUxZGY4YjZkNjE5NjlmUgh. I feel awful. Clearly some of my students brought back something when they returned from break. And this weather isn’t helping.

I would take a sick day except I don’t feel like writing up sub plans. My plan is to just take a lot of Day-Quil and tough it out. I’d rather take a sick day when I’m well enough to enjoy it.

Besides, I know if I get a sub for tomorrow I’ll wake up and think, “I’m not feeling all that bad, I could’ve went in.” And besides, if I do go in the only people I’ll get sick are my students and I’d love it if a couple of them stayed home.

Why is it that my worst student is always in class?

“I’m Not Sure What I’m Supposed to Be Doing” Tuesday November 29, 2016

200There are hours of the day where I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing. My team does a nice job of planning math and literacy. We have a set schedule with math and literacy assessments that are directly lined up with our math and literacy lessons.

But we also have blocks of time set aside for science and social studies. These do not have any common assessments and other than a vague topic, my team doesn’t plan those together. We decide that December is a good time of year to talk about “rocks and minerals” and that’s about it. Some of the other teachers like to say they have “good stuff” for our science unit, but rarely do they voluntarily share any of that “stuff.”

And social studies works a lot like the seasonal aisle at Wal-Mart. Last month I threw together some stuff on Pilgrims and Indians and this month I guess I’m covering different holidays.

I suppose on one hand it’s nice to have the freedom to be creative in my lesson planning, but on the other hand it’d be nice to have free time instead of planning everything the last minute.

Also, since we only take grades on the common assessments, I don’t take grades for science or social studies. I mean I try to incorporate our literacy skills into science and social studies and hopefully my students at least get practice reading during that time, but it feels wasteful to me.

I’m also not sure how to teach writing. I don’t get it. We’re supposed to be writing “realistic fiction” right now. I told my students they couldn’t use themselves in their stories because that’s not fictional, but they don’t seem to get it. I don’t get why I have to teach a certain type of fictional writing when most of my students can barely write a sentence to describe one thing during morning journal.

It’s frustrating because I feel like the goals for my students are unrealistic, and since my students are so varied academically, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to teach to the entire class. But, hey, that’s my job I guess.

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“My Students Actually Missed Me!” Monday November 28, 2016

giphyI did not sleep well last night. I had bad dreams about going back to school, then I was paranoid that I was going to oversleep so I woke up at random hours during the night thinking that I was late for work.

I woke up feeling shitty and that put me in a shitty mood. However, my kids weren’t all that bad today. A lot of them told me how much they missed me during break and they also missed each other.

I know my class is loud, disrespectful, and unproductive but we somehow have developed a little family environment. I think they feel comfortable in my room (too comfortable), and I can imagine that they like feeling as if they belong.

I think we all had a stressful Thanksgiving and were sort of happy to fall back into a comforting routine.

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“I Don’t Care About Your Wedding!” Sunday November 27, 2016

The weekend went by too fast! I’m still80433-fishing-for-compliments-attent-2r6L annoyed about Zander’s engagement. Now I’m friends on Facebook with Claire so I get to read about all the people showering them with love and congratulations.

Also, apparently I’m in the bridal party. I’m included in this fucking group text so I can give my opinion about dress color and shoes and centerpieces and invitations and photographers and where they should have the reception and the ceremony and the bachelorette party and all that happy-dappy crap that goes along with getting married.

I mean, the wedding isn’t until next summer, they haven’t set a date, and already my family wants Zander to have one of his single friends be a groomsman so I’ll have a date. Fuck them! They think I won’t have a date by next summer?!

I guess I’m a little bitter. I was supposed to be the one that’s engaged by now. I was with Johnny a lot longer than Claire and Zander have been together.

Oh, speaking of the devil, he texted me last night. He asked how my Thanksgiving was. I told him that Zander got engaged, although I can’t imagine he’s that far removed from my family on Facebook to have not figured it out considering the hundreds of posts that have gone up featuring said engagement.

He just said “cool.” Then he told me that his grandfather is really sick and is going to go on hospice. That’s a downer. Although he’s been in a nursing home for a long time now, and it wasn’t a very nice nursing home.

I don’t like that we’re texting. I think the reason I’m so upset of Zander’s engagement is because that could’ve been my engagement if Johnny wasn’t such an asshole. And I’m not going to get over it if he keeps harassing me!

And Colin hasn’t texted me, so I don’t know what his deal is. That’s also pissing me off! And I have to go back to school tomorrow, so that’s also got me in a bad mood!

Everyone just leave me alone!

“Being Single Sucks” Saturday November 26, 2016

0060-0806-2517-3721_Fat_Bride_with_a_Skinny_Groom_clipart_imageFirst of all, I don’t get it. Do you ever look at a couple and think, “how does that work?” Because watching Zander and Claire last night made me think that a lot. Claire’s a really nice girl, but I just don’t get how Zander is attracted to her, you know? I mean, I sound totally vain, or whatever, but she has rolls. That’s not attractive.

Also, I’m jealous of her! I don’t consider myself a supermodel or anything, but if nice guys like Zander are falling for girls that look like that, what chance do I have?

And Zooey brought Patrick, and my other girl cousin my age brought her boyfriend. Suddenly, I’m the only single girl in the family.

And everyone’s talking about how happy they are that Claire’s going to be apart of the family, and they’re going on about love and marriage and I just drowned my sorrows in alcohol like a tired cliche.

And then it got worse because then people noticed that I was drunk and jealous and tried to cheer me up.

“Hang in there! You’ll find somebody!”

“If it can happen for me, it’ll definitely happen for you”

“There’s plenty of fish in the sea!”

“Have you considered prostitution?—you’ll make a lot of money”

The night wasn’t as fun as I thought it’d be. I had trouble being nice for them because I honestly don’t see it lasting. I will tell you this though—either Zander is going to get fat or Claire’s going to get skinny. Zander’s an active guy. He likes sports and jogging and stuff. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe that’s Zander’s plan all along. He found a girl with a great personality and now he’s going to get her into shape. Of course! That’s gotta be his plan. She has a symmetrical face, not a bad move.

Anyway, still no word from my dad. It figures, I’m not surprised.

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“Impromptu Engagement Party!” Friday November 25, 2016

I figure I better write this now because I have a feeling I’m going to be out late tonight. I decided to stay at my mom’s house another night. I texted my dad and let him know where I was in case he was planning on visiting me in the city. I didn’t hear anything back from him.

Anway, we’re all going out as a family to celebrate Zander and Claire’s engagement. I think it’s going to be a good time! I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow 🙂

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“Happy Thanksgiving… Dad??” Thursday November 24, 2016

cu_deadbeat_resizedMy dad emailed me today. It’s hard to describe my father or my relationship with my father. He’s a very charming man, he’s always involved in various “businesses,” and randomly pops up in my life.

The last time I saw him was at my high school graduation. He showed up and gave me a check for $1,000 to go towards my college tuition. He called me once while I was in college to ask me what my major was and if I needed more money. Even though I could use more money, I didn’t really want any money from him.

My dad didn’t treat my mom very well and left us when I was 3 years old. Apparently he was into drugs and while he mailed us a check once a year maybe, he wasn’t around.

Which is why I got a strange email from him today on Thanksgiving of all days. It was remorseful, for sure. Basically my dad has settled down with another woman. This woman has a daughter that’s about my age. And apparently being around this woman and her daughter has caused him to realize how he missed out with being a father to me. Then he gave me his phone number and address and told me that he’d like to come out and visit me tomorrow.

I suppose that’s what the holidays will do a guy. He has a family he doesn’t see and probably thought it’s never too late or something. Honestly, I don’t care one way or the other if I see him. But, I suppose he his 50% of my genetic material, so I gave him my address and phone number and told him he can visit me whenever he wants.

That’s kind of exciting, I guess.

In other exciting news, my cousin Zander is engaged! He and his fiancee were at Thanksgiving. She’s nice. She’s also fat. I’m sorry, but I was surprised. I feel like Zander’s a good looking guy and I’m surprised he’s going to marry her. Zander is Zooey’s brother, by the way, and Zooey is also very surprised. But whatever makes him happy, I guess.

Oh, I also overheard my mom and Uncle Roger talking. I think Roger or Fran might be sick or have cancer or something. I overheard them talking about tests being done and chemo. That’s a little freaky.

I also had to deal with the awkward questions about where Johnny was from some of my more distant cousins. I wasn’t ashamed to say we broke up, but I don’t particular like it when people respond with “awe, that’s too bad”

Really? I don’t think so. What? Did you like him or something? I think I’d like it better if they told me “good job” and then went on about how shitty of a guy Johnny was.

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“Institute Day” Wednesday November 23, 2016

dd45cdfb7f8267e3fd39428bb9918086Today was a pretty good day. My team and I planned everything up to and after winter break, so that’s exciting. I just have to make a bunch of presentations for stuff and find worksheets and make tests, but at least I know what we’re covering.

The morning of the day was an entire staff meeting for our professional development hours. We broke into groups and had scenarios that we had to solve. For example, our scenario was something about a child has been telling other children about his religious beliefs and telling them that their religion is wrong. We were supposed to come up with an intervention lesson and a preventative lesson to accommodate our scenario. I think the trap was to teach the class about religion. We ended up demoing a lesson on respecting other people’s beliefs. It was actually really cute, and I’ll give credit to our gym teacher—he came up with the idea.

Basically we used folktale like story where the animals of the forest were explaining where the sun went every night. There were three different opinions (my favorite being that the Sun turns into fireflies at night) and first they started arguing with each other. But then the wise owl points out that until somebody can prove or disprove a theory, all theories are valid no matter what you believe.

We got a good reaction from the staff and I think I developed a little crush on our gym teacher. We were flirting through the whole thing. Although he’s wearing a wedding ring and is probably pushing 40.

Anyway, it was nice to have a good day, finally. I feel like I haven’t had a good day in a while.

And now that things are sort of smoothed over between my family I’m hoping Thanksgiving will be fun this year 🙂

“Battle of the Bathrooms II” Tuesday November 22, 2016

ecd564c321ebe90a86f62b209330eeaa524e0238ff4d170b91f9e04250e36278I get the feeling that some students are just testing me. Consciously. As if Princess woke up this morning thinking, “my mom spoke to my teacher about letting me go to the bathroom whenever I want. Let’s see if it’s true.”

Because the first thing she did this morning was ask if she could use the bathroom. I left her mom a detailed message explaining that students can’t go during instruction and have to finish their work before they can use the bathroom. In the mornings we have morning work and journaling.

Most students are reluctant to use the bathroom first thing in the morning because then they won’t be allowed to go again until lunch. I don’t think Princess realized this. And since Princess was the first one in and some students were still hanging up their stuff, I told her she could go if she was really fast about it. She went. She wasn’t “fast” per say, but it was tolerable.

Well, sure enough by the time math time rolled around Princess’s “emergency” silent signal shot up. I told her “no.” She asked, “why not?” I said because she already went this morning. She started crying.

That’s right, crying. Like I had just told her that her dog died.

This isn’t the first time that Princess has cried. She cries when she gets in trouble, she cries when someone teases her, she cries when work is too hard for her, she cries when she loses something, she cries when she doesn’t get her way.

Now she’s crying that she doesn’t get to use the bathroom and she’s fully aware of the “once in the morning/once in the afternoon rule” so she has no argument. It’s ridiculous.

I have one boy in my class who has never used the bathroom pass. In fact, this same kid cut open his finger and was bleeding and opted to just wrap a tissue around it instead of going to the nurse. And one time he was dancing around like he had to pee (because that’s what kids do) and even when I asked him if he wanted to go to the bathroom he chose to stay in class.

I suppose if Princess was better about crossing her legs and hopping around like she had to go I might believe her. She doesn’t even use her water bottle.

Hopefully this battle is over for now. Tomorrow is an institute day and then it’s Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday.

 

 

 

“Battle of the Bathrooms” Monday November 21, 2016

tumblr_inline_mravngxfLJ1qz4rgpIt seems as if everyday is a struggle. My students and I are in constant control over the classroom. Even into November, they still can’t concede that I make the decisions. Case in point: the bathroom.

We have two silent signals students can use—one to ask if they can use the bathroom and one for an emergency.

The emergency signal was a bad idea. Students caught on quickly that a “no” to the normal signal turns into a “yes” if they change it to an emergency. So now every request to use the bathroom is an emergency.

I don’t have a problem with students using the bathroom for its intended purposes. I do have a problem with students using the bathroom as a personal break from class.

At this point, I can only trust about 6 or 7 of my students to use the bathroom honestly. All of the others use the bathroom just because I let somebody else use the bathroom and whenever one kid gets to do something everybody else wants to do it too.

I have a strict system. Students have to sign out and they can only use the bathroom once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Tyrese can’t use the bathroom at all because I always tell him he has to finish his work before he can leave and he never finishes his work. This is also true for other students. This is where the struggle comes in. The students who don’t finish their work don’t understand why other students get to go and they don’t.

This is particularly true for Princess. Her mother left me a voicemail of concern that I’m not letting her daughter use the bathroom whenever she wants. Her mother is concerned that Princess will develop bladder issues or wet her pants.

I know exactly the issues she’s upset about. Last week Princess used the emergency silent signal during the middle of a math lesson and I told her to wait two minutes so I could finish explaining the lesson. Well, Princess made a big fuss and whined about it so I told her she was no longer allowed to go and would have to wait until she finished her math work. Princess rushed through her work and wrote random numbers. I didn’t let her go to the bathroom at all. We had to go to special and I told her she’d have to go then.

My purpose was to teacher her a lesson that whining doesn’t get you what you want and that work comes first. I suppose I should’ve just let her go, but she was being a bitch. She didn’t wet her pants, and I’m not convinced she even had to go.