...But I'm Kind Of Over It.
Alternative Title - The Downtrodden
Today, it happened. I had that moment when I realized that, despite loving my students and enjoying each day I have with them, I am over it. Period. O-V-E-R it. I am already cleaning out files, reorganizing closets and thinking about what I'm going to do over the summer to get ready for next year.
Let me tell you about the actual moment, the precise minute when I realized that my head is just not in the game anymore.
It was first thing in the morning. Everyone was settled in and working on their morning math warm up. I was meeting in the back of the classroom with my friend who truly struggles in math. We have done this routine each and every day for the last 158 days. We are good at it. Or perhaps I have just broken their little spirits and they simply are sad creatures of routine. I do loves me a good routine.
The announcements come on. The Weave gives her standard greeting and introduces the pre-kindegarten student who will be leading us in the pledge. Without thinking about it, we all automatically stand and painfully make our way through the pledge as this four year old butchers every single word. We can practically hear the snot adhering itself to microphone. Then The Weave makes a few announcements but I'm only half listening; I'm really just waiting for it to be over so I can call my friends to the carpet. She has become the background track of our mornings. She never knows what she is saying anyway.
The announcements are over and I'm about to call the kids over when...
The announcements come on again. This time it's Ms. Cocktails Before Noon. She says good morning to the school and introduces a kindergartner to say the pledge. Like Pavlov's dogs, I watch my whole class automatically stand again, not even really acknowledging that we JUST DID THIS and say the pledge. Granted, this kindergarten friend does have a slightly better grasp on the words, so it is a much more pleasant experience. Then Ms. Cocktails Before Noon makes a completely contradictory set of announcements and signs off.
(sigh) Whatever. I figure that Ms. Cocktails Before Noon has yet again been hitting the bottle before breakfast. Time to come to the carpet. I open my mouth and am about to name the first table to join me when...
You guessed it - another round of announcements!! Third time's a charm, right? This time it is Mr. Suave, the debonair male (gasp!) teacher who stands in for Thing One and Thing Two when they are unable to fufill their announcement duties. WTF?? How do I get that job?
And, just like I was ringing a bell for them to salivate, my routine driven little friends stand up and put their hands over their hearts. No one seems to be questioning that this is the THIRD TIME we have done the Pledge. What are we doing to these children that they are so ready to respond repeatedly to a cue?? We go through the pledge yet AGAIN, this time led by some kid who has clearly confused speaking into the microphone with sucking on the microphone. There are more announcements, which interestingly enough, directly contradict all of the previous announcements made by both the Weave and Ms. Cocktails Before Noon, and Mr. Sauve signs off.
In that moment, I realized. I know why they are just standing up and doing it, without so much as a smirk... My kids are over it. The administration is clearly over it (or drunk). And I am over it too. I didn't even have the energy or snarkiness to send my typical sarcastic note chock full of snark about the announcements to my close colleagues.
And I always send the note.
Let's continue on with the rest of my stellar day, shall we??
I lost my free period. AGAIN. And, AGAIN, the teacher who is supposed to provide us with our preps (a.k.a. an out-of-the-classroom teacher, no offense to those of you who rock out there, but in my little world, "out of the classroom" is a dirty word) is not required to leave subplans despite the fact that she is a TEACHER who is PAID AS MUCH AS I AM. So not only was there no coverage, I got to pull a lesson out of my bag of tricks (read "my ass") at the last minute. Nothing new you say? Well, how 'bout we take the announcements, raise you a missed prep and throw in this...
A meeting with the Miracle Worker (my principal, who I normally revere) in which he informs me that next year, despite all my previous success with my methods of teaching content, I must now adhere to the way HE says to do it. Because other people suck and haven't been able to get through everything in a given year. Let me say that again...even though I am doing everything that is required of me (and more!), I am being punished because OTHER people can't handle their shite. Sweet, right? When I attempted to speak up, I was silenced. And now, despite the fact that the Miracle Worker has NEVER seen me teach any content this year, I have to shut up and do what I'm told. Putting that Master's Degree to work...
Wait? Not extreme enough to qualify me as "The Downtrodden"? Not yet?
Ok...AFTER my meeting with the Miracle Worker, I recieved an email from the Bacon Hunter with a laundry list of "things I need to get to her" before the end of the day.
Where do the students fit in all this you ask? Where do I fit in all this?
The answer is NOWHERE. FREAKING NOWHERE.
And as the cherry on my sundae, I ended my day with a doctor's appointment. If that wasn't sweet enough, I was correcting papers in the waiting room when my name was called. And she had the balls to say, "Oh look, you're correcting papers, isn't that cute!"
I wonder if it would also be "cute" if Friday I run screaming from the building and bury myself face down in a cocktail?