“I’m Almost Glad I Don’t Have a Position Next Year” Tuesday January 31, 2017

giphyI don’t understand how teachers do it! I don’t have a family or any other real responsibilities and I feel like I don’t have any time on my hands. I’m exhausted every day from work and then I spend every evening working some more.

Let me explain how hectic my life is. I get to work about an hour before the students. This gives me time to set up my classroom, make any last minute copies, check my email, and so on.

Then the students come and I teach for most of the day. I usually have two or three breaks depending on my student’s specials. I get time to myself when they’re at gym or art. I use that time to grade or hand back papers. Or, I sometimes I have meetings with my mentor.

During lunch I usually don’t have any time because I’m almost always keeping at least one student in as a punishment for not finishing work.

Then after school it takes me a good 45 minutes just to put my classroom back in order. That means picking up pencils and papers off the floor, returning supplies, unplugging things, wiping down the board, and so on.

One day a week, the students are dismissed an hour early. Technically, that’s supposed to be our PLC hour to plan as a team, but it almost always turns into a staff meeting because some policy is changing or something. That means we usually end up staying even later to plan as a team.

On average, I usually stay until I’m too hungry and need to go home to eat. If I brought my dinner I would probably end up staying later. Why? Well, the obvious stuff would be to grade papers, create worksheets, and make copies. What’s less obvious is our literacy lessons.

We basically cycle through the Common Core second grade literacy standards. It could be comparing texts, point of view, perspective, author’s word choice, etc. We create these electronic flipcharts that project the book that we find can be used to teach that skill. The program allows us to highlight text and move stuff—it’s very useful.

The problem is it takes on average 45 minutes to create one lesson’s chart. Our lessons are 20 minutes long. It takes even longer to find books that match the skill. Usually I go on ReadingAtoZ or find something online. If I find a physical book, then I need to take even more time to scan it into the computer.

img_5993We have a book room, but it’s usually picked through and not very extensive. Plus, incredibly disorganized. I sometimes go to the city library. Once or twice I even wrote my own book just to avoid having to look for and read a bunch of texts.

I have to create those for everyday. I also have to prep my math, science, and social studies lessons. Fortunately, my team shares worksheets, but I still have to make my own class copies and grade that shit when they’re all done.

And this is on top of all the behavioral paperwork I have to fill out on a daily basis. Plus calling and emailing parents, I write a newsletter for some stupid reason, and somewhere I’d like time to relax.

At best, I can relax for an hour each night. That’s usually when I write this stupid blog while the television is on. You might think that writing in this everyday would be a chore, but it’s actually therapeutic. It makes me feel better knowing that if this job kills me there will at least be documentation and people will understand why.

There should be freedom in knowing that I won’t be at this school next year. I shouldn’t feel any pressure to work hard enough to be rehired. I can just slack off. But I know that’s wrong. I actually feel like I’m doing the minimalist effort I can, which is frightening. If this is how teaching always is, I see myself burning out after another year. They say the first year of teaching is the hardest. That means that next year should be easier.

We’ll see. Good night!

 

“What Does a Kid Have to Do to Get Expelled?” Monday January 30, 2017

ch881229I hate that I complain so much about the same three students, but Tyrese is unbelievable. He negatively affects the education of every student in comes in contact with. He actively destroys the property around him. All of the pencils at his group’s table have the erasers ripped off. After explicitly telling him to not waste tissues (because we’re running out) he has used up the entire tissue box at his group’s desk.

Today he stole another student’s mechanical pencil from his desk. The student asked Tyrese nicely to give it back and Tyrese said that the pencil is his. So I made Tyrese give it back and Tyrese started calling me racist and spent the morning accusing me of of stealing his stuff.

Tyrese drank out of another student’s plastic water bottle, which I had to throw away because of germs. Now that student lost his water for the entire day.

At lunch, the students were waiting in line to get milk when Tyrese used both hands and shoved a girl out of line. The girl fell and started crying. Tyrese kept saying, “I din’t do nuthin’! I din’t do nuthin’!” I had to apologize to the girl for being shoved and then I called the office to have Ms. Baker come down. She was unavailable so Principal Belstedt came down. I told her what Tyrese had done and she took him to his office to eat his lunch and call his mother.

I don’t know what happened but Tyrese came back to class after lunch. He didn’t do any of his classwork the entire day. Instead he wandered around the classroom and knocked into the pictures on the wall and the back of students’ heads.

I followed his behavior plan verbatim. “Tyrese, you’re not in your area. You lost a point.” “Tyrese, you’re not doing your must do. You lost a point.” He eventually lost all of his points and then lost his chance to take “a break” at the end of the day.

But after losing all his points, he now has no motivation to turn his behavior around. We already called his mother. We usually call his mother. She makes a good show of yelling at him, but everyday he’s still an asshole.

The other kids sort of like him, I think. He keeps the class entertaining. Anytime I ask a student to pick a volunteer they actually do pick Tyrese to come to the board.

I don’t give a shit about Tyrese’s education. He belongs in a class for children with behavioral disorders. But my school has an “inclusion” policy for special education students. That means all students are educated in the same classroom whether they have physical, mental, emotional, or social disorders.

I don’t understand why he should be allowed in my classroom. Not only are the other students losing out on attention and time, but several have been physically harmed by Tyrese. Please, God, get rid of this devil you sent!

“How Your Worst Kid’s Absence Is The Best Day Ever” Friday January 27, 2017

58985001Tyrese was absent today. Today was a good day. I think maybe I’m getting used to his behavior, but the class works so much smoother when he’s not around. Just think, if he was out of my class everyday would be like today.

There were moments in the day where my students were working and not one student was talking.

We transitioned between specials and lunch without having to stop and do it again.

When my students moved between their desks and the carpet, they did it without knocking into each other.

No students cried. Nothing was stolen. All of the sharpened pencils kept their tips.

One student really can make all the difference. I hope he crawled back to hell where he came from.

“Bring Back Recess!” Thursday January 26, 2017

My kids need recess. And more than just the 10 minutes they get at lunch recess. They need a good 15–20 minute break every 2 hours. And an indoor recess doesn’t cut it if it’s in the classroom. Then need a place where they can run and scream and let off their child-steam.

I think my kids are crazy all day because they don’t have enough time in the day to really cut loose. They’re kids! They want to play and socialize. My school is so focused on academics, they’ve forgotten about basic human development.

Seriously, there is a block of time without a special where my students are in academic groups for 3 hours and 15 minutes. No breaks. It’s bullshit. No wonder my kids are fat assholes.

alrinfographic_activekidslearnbetter_jan2015

“Copy Room Etiquette” Tuesday January 24, 2017

banner_mainCan I just say that there are some decent people in the world. I was way behind on copies this morning and, as always, there was a line of people at our only copy machine. However, the teacher in front of me was actually really nice. He didn’t let me cut, but he asked how many copies I needed. I needed two class sets. He offered to copy them for me and drop them off in my room when he was done.

I think he’s one of the fifth grade teachers. Anyway, he was true to his word and dropped off my copies in my room. Usually the person at the copier is like, “I’m so sorry. I only have 1,000 more copies to go” and usually is an asshole. This guy was cool. Thank you, office hero! I never learned your name.