Monday, September 18, 2006

You have foresight and imagination*

Another delightful week of school down. I love those little buggers, but it's fabulous birth control. Most of them are really good, but the ones who are not...

I walked up to a girl who was facing away from me and not doing any work. I said you need to do your work. She says that she's going to. Um, 30 minutes into the class period, silly me! So she pulls out her binder and pulls out her pictures. Sweetie, no. When I told her to put them away she starts yelling and telling me she's getting out her worksheet. It's in her booksack. Ah... That explains everything.

I got her to sit in the front by me and then last week I let her use my "chalkboard" and she loved it. She's kind of growing on me. Like mold. Some of the other New Orleans kids as well. I mean, when they're not bitching about my attitude when I do things like check their ID and novel when they walk in. We're in week six now, people, don't act like it's a surprise. You need them. If you do not have them, you do not come in. And I do not care what anyone else in the entire world is doing or not doing.

Dang it. When did I become an old woman? I pin my hair up and wear glasses and tell people to watch their mouths. I do have my moments, though. I want them to be excited about science and learning and become good people. I don't need for them all to think that I'm cool. But I do enjoy the moments when they admire me and tell me so. Last week we were talking about atomic structure and elements and the names that they have. I was telling them about word origins and Latin and Greek and why those languages were the languages of learning. I also told them about why knife is spelled with a K. One kid said, "Miss, that's so cool! How do you know all these things?!?" My head swelled up so much, I almost fell off my stool.

Oh, and in other good news, Punctual Patty got herself removed from my class. And even better, she didn't get switched into the class of another teacher I like. She was supposed to be going to tutorials for an hour twice a week after school. I suspect that she's not keeping that up. Honestly, I don't care. I hope she passes her TAKS test and graduates. Just not in my room. I have my hands full enough with other children.

And if the kid stuff wasn't enough of a challenge, there are a few grown-ups who are driving me up a tree. Lesson Plans Format, Round Three. Third school, third fight about what the district policy is. Have I mentioned that the district is the same, so the policy should be the same, right? Oh, no, no. I think we've gotten the format issue resolved, but I am having a difference of opinion with a colleague regarding the order in which we teach things. We have a set curriculum, which in chemistry mainly boils down to certain objectives we have to cover and the general order we need to cover them in. This is "non-negotiable."

Although it's an entire UNIT, a certain person said she's not going to review atomic structure since the kids should already know it. Um, I thought atomic structure was important to chemistry. Silly me. Then, she told me that she is going to teach naming compounds before the periodic table and before that, spend a week teaching isotopes. ISOTOPES for a week?!? Maybe it takes so long because they don't spend two days reviewing... atomic structure. Our last meeting to discuss the general calendar was unsuccessful since I was not about to agree to such an bass-ackwards way of teaching chem.

Fast forward to today. I send my lesson plans to the principal et al. and get a response that we need to talk about me following the calendar. I responded to everyone that since there is not yet a calendar, I will follow the curriculum and no, I will not teach naming compounds before atomic structure and the periodic table. I hope this doesn't get me in more trouble since I basically called her out for not following the curriculum. But then, when you're already in the cross-hairs, can you really make things worse?

Got in Himmel! The periodic table is a thing of beauty. It is the source of all knowledge chemical. You might even say that its order and structure is in fact, a proof of the existence of God. How can the universe be random when there is such a neat and orderly way of arranging everything? I know that you can argue that and science is about disproof rather than proof, but you get my point, right? Of course, this is probably a large part of the reason I dislike physics so much. Do any of the laws actually work on earth? Krrr. Anyway, we'll see what happens. In the meantime, perhaps I won't have to hear about all the things I'm doing wrong:
grade book
grading scales
classroom management
issuing textbooks
labs
tests
etc. etc. ad infinitum

I need to let it go, right? What's wrong when a third-year teacher is someone that you feel a need to be threatened by? I need to remember to quit before all I have is seniority. Maybe my fortune cookie tonight was right and I need to just concentrate on my writing!

*We had Chinese for dinner tonight.

1 comment:

dmd said...

I'm telling you, I just ignored her last year and it made my life SO much better. If it makes you feel any better, at least you're not suddenly floating with 3 preps and having to find your own rooms. Have I mentioned how much I am loving life lately?