Thursday, September 23, 2010

I wigged on the cafeteria lady

Man I'm a cranky pants today. I knew it was a "bad pancake day" when I woke up. If I didn't have to write sub plans every time I don't go to work, I would have called in. Working when I'm sick or really cranky is just easier than trying to write plans for what ever person ends up in my room. I know that there are really good subs out there. I've had a few. BUT, the majority of the people that end up subbing in our areas are stay at home moms who want to earn a little extra money and have the same schedule as their kids. They treat subbing as "day care" and have no skills what so ever to be in a classroom surrounded by manipulative ten year olds. (And don't get into me for calling them manipulative...they are...especially to subs...they smile and flirt at first and by the end of the day they have the sub teaching them how to make paper airplanes and skipping homework for the night.)

Back to my "wig out" on the cafeteria manager. For starters you should know that every teacher in the building is required to take a lunch count/tally every morning and send their "numbers" down to the cafe so that they can prepare the correct amount of food (with some extras because kids come in late or a parent surprises their kid to eat with them at lunch). I've been teaching at my school for six years now. For five of those years I've had last lunch. At least once a week my kids get the shaft when it comes to lunch. We get down to the "cafe" and the "number 1" choice is all sold out so my kids have to deal with getting "number 2" or yogurt and bagel. Guess what happened today. Yup...they ran out of "number 1" again, and "number 2" was gross. I'd had it. I woke up cranky, I was hungry...and dammit...I ordered "number 1" and  I really didn't want "number 2". (Did I mention I was cranky?) Anyhow, I lost it. I walked into the lunch line and told the server off. She needed to keep a tray with the correct amount for my class to the side and not give it to the other classes no matter how much they whined. I went to the cafe manager (who's new) and told her that I didn't care that her cash register software wasn't working. That it was her first responsibility to feed my kids and that her letting kids change their minds and get "doubles" with out ordering doubles in the morning count caused my kids to not be able to get what they ordered. I told that it was unacceptable and I wasn't going to put up with it. I walked into the main cafe and turned off the lights to signal silence. I laid into the kids about their lunch choices. I told them how my kids won't get what they ordered because they weren't getting what they ordered in the morning. That there wasn't enough for them so that they had no choice but to get the yogurt and bagel and how the rest of them need to be more responsible and remember and get what they ordered. I then went to the Assistant Principal and gave her my sob story. She said she'd try to fix it. She agreed that it was wrong and shitty. I went and ate my yogurt and cold/soggy bagel in my room and let Elvis croon me back to my sanity. Then I did the walk of shame back to the cafe and apologized to the cafe manager. I handled it wrong. I needed to work with her to solve this problem and not blow up at her.

I'm such a freak. Of all the things to blow up about. Come to think of it...I should probably email my AP and make sure she doesn't think I'm phsycho..

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Seriously, the only thing I taught today was math

Today was a mess. Not really a mess, but it's days like today that make NOT like my job.

Every year we have to test every single child on their reading. It's not a big deal when they're little. The stories are shorter and what is expected of the student response is WAY less. In fifth grade they have to do a reading survey, have a running record done, then have to read a "short" story and respond to it in a 3 page packet. And, of course, they can't all be done at the same time. I have to look at last year's final score and "guesstimate" what reading test is best for them and go from there. Each kid takes about an hour or so to complete the process. I got 7 finished yesterday and 8 today. That leaves 7 for tomorrow. I don't spend ALL day doing this test. Most of it is done away from me (the comprehension/response packet) but I have to give them uniterupted time to get it done. They have to finish it the day they start it. I hate testing. The only good thing to come of all this testing is that it does make setting up my reading groups a bit easier. It's more accurate than my guessing.

Writing was boring for me. They're working on finishing up a prompt, so it was "get out your writing folders and get working on the should be on your rough draft/edit/revise step by now". I turned on some Elvis and watched them write and revise and edit. I helped them when they needed it, but I'm a big fan of stepping back and letting them find their errors. They usually do if they take the time

We had a guidance lesson instead of science (and a fire drill the ensured that I had NO time to review for their quiz later this week).

I did teach math today...and it was a pretty good lesson if I do say so myself (and I do!). I love teaching area. Talking about painting walls and showing kids a picture of an ugly wall in my house makes it fun. Tomorrow is more of the same, but with a focus on triangles (dun dun dun...triangles always throws them, but we'll get there).

On top of all that the chicken nuggets today were tough and chewy. Enh...where's my Ben and Jerry's?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The first week is always the hardest (and thank goodness it's over)

Actually, I've just completed the second week of school, but I didn't have the energy to write about the first week on its own. No matter how experienced a teacher you are, the first two weeks are always "fly by the seat of your pants" with paperwork, planning, meetings, kids, parents, schedules, and routines.

I teach fifth grade. It's my fourth year teaching fifth grade. I've also taught first and second grades (what a disaster that was). This is the first time in 3 years that I've taught the first quarter in fifth grade. Last year I was on maternity leave from the first day of school until the end of October. The year before that I was in second grade, and the year before that I was in the first grade, before that I was in fifth grade.

Fifth grade is my favorite by far. I could teach any grade, and I really like the curriculum in second, but the kids in fifth grade are so much fun for me.

So here it is, the day before the third week of school. I've gotten to know my kids. The "honeymoon" period is over. Some of them are going to annoy me all year. It's just who they are. I like them, but they are honestly annoying. I would never say that to them or their parents. I have more tact than that, but you should know that I'm human and it's impossible for me to like everyone the same. Some kids are just annoying.

I have about equal number of girls to boys. Some of my girls all already knee deep in DRAMA. I try not to get into it with them and let them solve it themselves, but I've already caught myself trying to help them solve their petty little arguments. My boys are just boys. They talk, play and either ignore the girls or pester them. They're typical ten year olds. I've learned to deal with ten year old boys. I like them, don't get me wrong, but ten year old boys are like aliens to the planet...or in an alternate universe...they're just odd...