Saturday, May 24, 2008

It Ain't Over Til It's Over...

...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?

13 comments:

Emily said...

Wow...I hope you get out soon! You need a break, sista friend! Yikes! I especially love the mandate from the Miracle Worker stating that you have to change the fabulous way you teach to a crappy one. Lovely... Definitely time for summer...

superdeens said...

My class is doing art for the rest of the year. No joke. If I have to read another Open Court story I will vomit.

17 (really 15) more years said...

Are you sure you don't work in my school?

I think I'll do my own stupid annoucements story today- and mine is a doozy.

So. Very. Done.

BarbJ said...

Wow! I teach K in rural MO and even my 5 and 6 yr olds wouldn't have put up with 3 rounds of Pledge/Announcements!

As for the Miracle Worker, I swear all the administrators have been drinking the same Kool-Aide because my principal and his trusty assistant not only want us all teaching in the same style, they want all 6 K classes doing the same activity or worksheet at the same time on the same day. And let me tell you, if Class A is playing an addition game, Class B is doing an addition worksheet, and Class C is acting out addition stories all at 9:05 and either of the principals happen to walk through the rooms just then heads will roll! I wish I were exaggerating, but we have been called to the office as a team more than once this year to explain WHY we can't seem to stay on the same lesson plan when we KNOW this is what they want from us! We, the K teachers, often mutter that we will soon be replaced by robots who can be programmed to follow the schedule regardless of class/student needs. Good little robots who will never dare have an opinion, will keep all 20+ K kids in a silent straight line in the hall, and who will shut themselves off when not in use to save the school power.

Thank God summer vacation started yesterday!

Katie said...

I can't believe your kids never questioned the three announcements! My kids never miss anything...unless its something important like reading or math. z
I'm definitely over it too, starting cleaning the bookshelves today.

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Someday you're gonna have to write a book called "55 Things Administrators Can Do to Justify Their Existence." ;)

Holy moley...You are cursed in one sense, yet blessed with such rich content to write about! :)

Have a great summer. You sure as hell have earned it.

Hugh

amazeingteacher said...

I've been out on summer break for a week already and by the time it got here I could NOT have taken another day in that school! I was over it as well...this is the reason we have time to 'detox' over summer! Think of everything we do during the school year? We're simply amazing people! Good luck with your last days and enjoy your summer!!!

J said...

god, what an awful day!

and what do you mean--announcements *aren't* supposed to take up half of each period? *eyeroll*.

here's hoping you get to summer break in one piece and mostly sane. :)

Mary Louise Brooks said...

Fourteen more days and it's over for me! I've been done, literally, since Memorial Day. I finished teaching my last unit (#30) last week, grades closed Monday, and I've started cleaning up my room. But, wait, there's more! The district is coming around today to observe us! They came in December, the week before break. They were supposed to come in February but cancelled. Then in May but cancelled and now today. Our principal told us not to pack until next week, out of respect for the observation. I already started in May because I had a car (my parents were on vacation). As you can tell I don't own a car and I don't want to rent one on the last day of school. Also, I have to move my entire room to the 2nd floor next year (my 6th move in just four years) and last year the moving crew managed to lose a couple of boxes, chairs, tables, etc. I stored my crap in my garage. And ... I might not have a position at this school next year due to low numbers so ... what would you do? That's what I thought. Those wheelie luggage bags are great. Hey, if the TSA is going to bang-up my luggage, I might as well put it to good use!

carah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Ahh the end of the year! I teach a Behaviour Class and I can guarantee you that WE are done! (I just booked a last week of school fieldtrip to make it a little more bearable)

Northern Neighbour

Alyssa said...

I just found your blog and I'm laughing my ass off. Are you sure that you don't work in my school? It's like you are a fly on the wall of my classroom from the scarcastic notes to colleagues, the "out of classroom" teachers that have it made, to hearing crazy things from your students.

I love your blog!

雪花 said...

福~
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語‧,最一件事,就。好,你西.............................................................................................................
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