Friday, March 03, 2006

Still employed; not yet institutionalized

So, yesterday was a much better day. I read some more of this book on bullies that some lovely people gave me. Although I know that I can be guilty of bullying behavior, I am much more likely to be the pushover who bullies seek out to kick around. Lots of good tips about body language and responding verbally to all kinds of things from comments to physical space encroachment. I did a lot better with my classes all morning, which was good. I did yell at one kid who had his feet two feet in front of his desk and in my tiny space between their desks and the board. With 30+ kids you can't have too much room between you and the front row otherwise you end up having to give binoculars to the kids in the back rows.

The best interaction of the day went something like this:
Me: (after working through a few problems on the board) Why don't you have any paper out?
Student: I don't understand.
Me: Well, I'm explaining-- why not follow along and take notes
Student: But I wasn't here last time. I don't understand.
Me: We took the briefest of notes and the other students looked over this but that's it. You missed almost nothing.
Student: But I don't understand. You need to teach me.
Me: What do you think I'm doing? Get. Out. Some. Paper.

Argh. Almost as good as I was sleeping because I didn't understand.

So, the bell to end 7th period rings. Deep breaths. I walked outside and stood in front of the door with my arms at my side and my feet apart. Oh, and I was wearing my three-inch skinny heel boots. Make me feel assertive and I needed the help. Defensive Teen Mother walked through the door without looking at me. Princess Refuses to Move walked up and I handed her a pass to go to her AP. I greeted the other students and a few I whispered a small apology to and that felt more appropriate than a blanket lecture to the class. And it was personal so I didn't have to tell the bad kids I was wrong for telling kids to be quiet and do some freaking work.

True to expectations, the girl returned from the AP's office maybe 20 minutes later. I told her to bring me her form and he gave her Saturday detention and sent her back to class. My blood started to boil, but I just let it go for then. I made it through the class period without killing anyone, which pleased me.

I sat through a painful meeting after school. More on this in a later post. If I hear the phrase, "common lessons; common assessments" I will lose my mind. I ran upstairs and hid in my room and put on my yoga pants and then raced to Pilates class only to find out that the instructor was stuck in traffic. We left after 45 minutes. We figured that the workout gods had deemed us not yet sufficiently over our bronchitis. I did get a nice chat in with Ryan. And he gave me his latest gift to me. He asked me if I wanted to see something painfully cute. Of course, another internet steal:

Kate Spade Olivia in demi plum. The front and sides are tortoise with purple on the back side to make them a little lighter against my face. A-dorable. I love, love, love them. And I think they look great on me. And they were a steal. Now I have to make an appointment to see the fabulous eye doctor. We loooooove her. And then I'll take the frames and get some cheapo place to get lenses made. I am lucky to have a fairly easy prescription and don't need my lenses to be designed by NASA like poor Ryan does. Hopefully his special hard contacts will keep working for him until we can buy him some new corneas. Truly.

Today was a better day as well. My morning physics classes went well. They did a hall sweep after the tardy bell at 4th period and it sounded like a stampede with kids running from the authorities. Running. Fast. Unfortunately not off campus, so they did get caught eventually. During our academy meeting we brought in our students of the month and said nice things to them and gave them juice and cake. We just started doing that this semester since we realized we were spending lots of time bringing in the kids who are bad and didn't spend nearly enough time praising the good ones. I don't tend to have the cream of the crop in my classes, but one of the kids is really bright and probably should be in a pre-AP chemsitry , but I won't argue with a sweet, smart kid being in my room. :)

8th period was a joy. Both of my troubled girls were talking constantly and the one from the other day didn't even take paper or pencil out of her bookbag even though I kept telling her to do so. I was sitting at an empty desk in front of her helping one of her friends and I told the girls around to pay attention and a few of them did. The one girl's phone started vibrating and I told her to put it away. I heard them laughing about the wording to the discpline form I wrote, which pissed me off. I told them to be quiet in a tone letting them know I wasn't having any of their mess.

About five minutes before the bell I looked up and the one girl had her phone out, open, and in front of her face. For quite some time. I told her to bring it to me. The kids aren't allowed to have cell phones on and/or out and it's a constant struggle. She said she didn't have her phone out. Um, do you mean that's someone else's phone in your hand or do you think I'm blind? Then she said she was looking at the time. I said, you're facing the clock on the wall. Plus, you don't have to OPEN the phone to see the time. I repeated that she needed to give it to me and she asked me if I was going to take it to the office. Now, the first time if the kid willingly turns it over I'll often give it back after class or maybe after school. But if they get pissy, I follow the letter of the law and take it to the office and they have to pay $15 to get it back. Anyway, she refused to give it to me and I said, fine, I'll just write you up. And then the bell rang.

I decided to try the nice tack when approaching her AP. I said I got her form when she came to class yesterday and would follow up on the Sat. detention. Also a way to tell the principal that's the pathetic response I got. And I said what happened today and how she was still causing problems in class. And thanked him for all he does. Maybe I'll catch a few more flies with honey and all that. Although I've been told a short skirt would help, too. I refuse to go that far.

Anyway, I was leaving and saw my fellow teachers and said I'd meet them at happy hour. I got out to my car and rummaged in my huge bag and couldn't find my keys. I was talking with two other teachers about another troubled student while still rummaging through my bag. They gave me some good tips on how to help her since they've known her longer and let me know that she's apparently just going through some things and it's not just me. This was the week of taking things WAY TOO PERSONALLY.

Anyway, I walked into the building and searched my classroom and then the teacher's classroom I teach physics in. And then out to my car to see if I left them there. It was locked so I knew I didn't leave them inside. I came back inside and searched my room. I checked the room where we eat lunch two different times. I searched the AP's office where I'd had a meeting earlier in the day. She helped me paw through my bag and we pulled everything out. She didn't comment on the liquid cold medicine, thankfully. Again, my luck that the one day I have something verbotten an authority figure searches my bag. I totally didn't mind and it was very kind and helpful but I did laugh. A little, while trying not to panic.

I called Ryan and told him. I was freaking out by this point. I knew my friends were going to be worried. And Ryan was set to lead Stations of the Cross at church in 45 minutes. He suggested coming to get me before and I thought that might be good. Maybe. Although I said I could wait in my room until he could come get me.

I checked the front office. I checked my car again. I checked my room again. I "tumped" my bag over and went through everything. I walked to the front office again and desperately hoped that some keys had been turned in or they would do a call for keys. I remembered that I had gone into the library to quickly copy the discipline form for that girl right after school and thought maybe I set them down there. I borrowed someone's keys and went in and there they were. Ryan called me back and I told him to turn around and go to church.

I got to Happy Hour almost an hour late. They had been worried about me and I told them the whole story. And I ordered a large frozen margarita with salt and a petite cheese quesadilla. The woman spent quite some time making sure there was a really nice, even, thick coating of salt and filled my glass with some extra on the top like an ice cream cone. Jeez. I was trying to keep it from melting and POURING all over everywhere. Hee hee. After hanging out and talking for nearly an hour an a half I realized we didn't have many meatless choices at home and I could use some more time to sober up, so I walked to Kroger (the parking lots are adjoining). I bought a cheese pizza and some fish sticks. I am a freak and I kind of like fish sticks. With tartar sauce. I drove the two and a half miles home and settled on the couch. With the new ultrasuede cover we just got. And some throw pillows. It was something we got at the IKEA As-Is section with some wedding money from my parents, so we're still at least 1/2 to 1/4 of a normal sofa price. That pleases me.

That's me wearing my new glasses with the plastic lenses because I'm a dork. I'm the kid who always wanted to wear her shoes home from the Stride-Rite store. Although in my defense, there was a time there where I only had one pair of shoes.

Anyway, note the fabulous green couch cover with the new pillows. I really like the purple accent pillows. It all looks great against the newly-painted periwinkle walls and dark red IKEA window panels. And of course, Ryan's photos. And yes, the pig was watching TV with me. Next to my right knee is one of my new books and the fabulous glasses cover that came with my frames. Very Kate Spade. And fabulous. I am a sucker for packaging. BTW, yes, that is the Cute And Tiny Pig next to me. After a long hard day of sleeping he was up for a little lounging and TV watching. And throwing imaginary fluff poo at people. Just in case it wasn't clear-- we're insane. But that's why ya loves us, right?


dmd said...

I love fish sticks too! I almost feel guilty eating them on Lenten Fridays because its not like I am actually giving up something. I gave up chocolate this year. Its torture.

Kate said...

Glad it's not just me. We also decided that sushi was totally not in the spirit of the whole Lenten Friday non-meat since it's sucj a treat for us.

I couldn't give up chocolate.

dmd said...

I could give up sushi very easily. I've tried and tried to like it (mostly because it is so pretty), but I just can't seem to get there.

zydeco fish said...

Wow, what a long post. I need a margarita.