Out of Bounds

Posted on May 8, 2009Filed Under open house, Teaching, testing | Leave a Comment

I know it’s been a week since our last session. (Wait a minute! That sounds waaaaay too much like what we were taught to say in confession back at St. Mel’s: “Bless me Father for I have sinned; it has been _____ weeks, months, years since my last confession…” I’d always end up committing more sins right there in the confessional by lying about how long it had been, and leaving out lots of stuff. Shudder.) But what a week it’s been:
1. STAR testing.
2. Open House.
3. I received most of the kids’ research topics, and there aren’t any cute animal or “history of” topics.
4. Our IST department disabled flash drives district-wide.
5. I complained district-wide.
6. The assistant superintendent sent me an e-mail saying that I was “out of bounds with basic human behavior,” and that he would be “pushing all the buttons for an appropriate discipline.”
7. I was told not to use “reply: Everyone” for IST matters any more.
8. Our IST department re-instituted flash drive support. (5 and 8 are not connected. I know much better than that.)
9. It was “Teacher Appreciation Week.”
10. We had chicken barbecue for lunch Wednesday (OMG, it was tasty) and bacon cheeseburger day in the cafeteria today. (Sometimes it’s the little things.)

Details:
1. We tried a new schedule this year. We knocked out the seventh grade testing in two days. It did mean that I had to spend an inordinate amount of time with one particular class over that two days. OMG. I felt like Caesar, the dog trainer guy. I had to nip at more than a few of them more than a few times. In the cost/benefit analysis, this one was close, but I liked getting testing out of the way.
2. Open House is a pain in the heinie (I always miss Survivor…), but also kinda fun. Every year we (teachers and administration) try to get the message across that Open House is for showcasing the school and the students, NOT for discussing why Camille has a D-, which is “totally unacceptable in this family.” But you all know how that goes. That’s exactly what you end up doing at least 1/3 of the time. This year’s theme for those conversations: “_______ is laaaazy. (S)he’s going to be the smartest kid to ever flunk my class. ” I must have said that (and been agreed with by the parent) 15 times. This year’s highlights: Lots of drive-by’s from former students and parents of former students and siblings of current students who were former students (I think that’s a misplaced modifier.) I did roll Grammar Rock (all 9 videos) all night, and demoed the clickers and the timer. The superintendent gave me his traditional drive-by to “see how you’re doing.” (See #6.) As always, more fun than I expect it’s going to be.
3. More on this soon, but I’m liking the theses so far. Try saying that word out loud. Theses. Too much like, well… you teach school, you know what I mean. I just say thesises. Like I tell the kids; I’m an English teacher, I get a license to make up words.
4. A “worm” at several schools, evidently propagated by flash drives, prompted a knee-jerk clampdown. The notice was given on a Friday, to take effect Monday. Somehow, our pricey virus software was unable to scan flash drives (or something; they weren’t exactly forthcoming with details), so like the Department of Defense did awhile back, they pulled the plug.
5. I was not alone in complaining. Several people gave very well-reasoned responses. I agreed with them.
6. We’ve crossed paths before, and I think this was the proverbial last straw. I would like to say more, but it’s probably best I don’t.
7. See #6.
8. If they had just said it was probably a temporary thing, and we’re working on a solution, things would have been fine. But they didn’t. But now with a software update, it’s all good, as the kids say (but probably not for much longer – the kids saying that or the goodness).
9. Just kinda funny to be threatened by one of the big dogs during your “special” week. Not haha funny.
10. With fries. Mmmmm, bacon.

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