Saturday, January 30, 2010

last week of January: or "why I am leaving this school"

Just to help me keep track of what got done this week;

Monday: mila's class: oil pastel and watercolor resist quilt squares using a shoo-fly pattern left over from Kinder quilts

Elenor's class: finished found object weaving and were required to do a chunk of tabby weave
trying to remember....I think kids who were done early did free draw. (look at how clean my tables are from detention students having to wash them)

3rd and 5th(6-8th graders): glazed Greek pottery with clear glaze and worked on mosaics....all week long. They hate the mosaic project (note to self) getting them to work on it is like pulling teeth and is leading to a lot of unpleasant behaviors. I am making every kid finish one though. I had dreams of doing a real mosaic with them but I don't see that happening any time soon.

Life skills: Mary's class...Line is a dot that goes for a walk wax resist painting...same as kinder last week. Had to go talk to teacher about sending ALL the PARA's to assist, that one could not "stay behind" to do her paperwork. GRRRR

Life skills: Joe's class....cut out tissue paper painting turtle shell, add body parts, glue on ocean colored bloto paper. Cut out oatmeal starfish and added to ocean. I returned students TWO min early and got nasty attitude form the new life skills teacher who asked me, "couldn't you stand in front of them and wave your arms to entertain them?" "NO, we were done with our project, it is hard to time how long it takes with this group of students and I AM NOT a babysitter!" I shot back and walked out. I am the ONLY art teacher in the entire district (we are a huge district) to provided art to low functioning life skills. I am happy and proud to do this, but I will not be used as a babysitting service. Grrr.

Tuesday: 4th grade, one finished their paper plate weaving....about half turned out ok, thank god weaving is now over. The other 4th grade started their Tar Beach story quilt squares.

6-8th same as day before. 5th period received and extensive lecture about minding your own business and let people deal with their own art and life instead of telling them what to do or how it is...amazing how one new student can rock the boat so much.

3rd-Masi: Had a much better attitude and received choice day.

3rd- Hunter: five kids were not allowed to come to art, had a very peaceful class time, did crayon resit quilt blocks.

prep, 5th period to a Celtic music concert, 5 period work on Mosaic...gets another lecture. 1st grade Drew and painted half circle birds. very very cute. Then took kids to a globe trotter assembly with one solitary Globe Trotter named Dizzy who was in desperate need of a microphone. Chaos.

5th grades: Danielle's: made some painted paper for collage and worked on circle weaves...some turning out right. Told them to take what they had done and give themselves a pat on the back for trying something new.
Kori's class: started story quilt drawings. Turning out nicely.

3rd period (6-8th) making good progress on mosaics...some ready for grid drawing

5th period (6-8th) new 6th grade student that I have been struggling with knocks 8th grade girl in head and calls her a fucking whore under his breath(I learn this later)...she tries to let it go and tells me it's ok(the knock to the head I observe)...till he starts chanting whore, whore, whore! louder and louder till I hear it, girl rushes out of class sobbing, runs into a class of kindergartners who are very distraught that a big girl is crying so hard and several start sympathy crying. Try to kick 6th grader out but can't find anyone in administration (they leave all day long on Thursdays for a out of school meeting, leaving teachers with no back-up plan). Have to keep student in my class. Am so mad I could spit. Bark out that no one is to talk till end of class. They obey. Later a 7th grade teacher comes to me and tells me the students are saying I became unglued. I tell him that is a kind way to put it and they are lucky I didn't flip out even more.

FIRE DRILL just as I am trying to excuse 5th period... it's been a miserable enough class, but no...have to take them out for fire drill. Two kids are kicking each other in the shins, one 8th grader is rolling on the ground like a puppy, five "behavior program" kids are brought over to my line because no one can find the teacher who they are supposed to be with. Like I don't have problems already!

Drill over...drill takes up the 6 min "break" I have to change the classroom from a middle school to a lower elementary room. Am still ushering middle school students down the hall on my way to tell second grade teacher I need five min. Oh look she is already at my door with her incredibly wild class. I say I can not have them yet, I have been outside with another class, I need her to take her class back to her room, get them calmed down and then bring them. she tapes her watch and says, "its past 1:20, they are your problem now" and walks away (unbeknown to me the principal was standing behind me...where did he come from...just half an hour ago they told me he was out for the day! WTF! and watches her ditch her class on me, he tells me this when I confront him at the end of the day about the timing of the fire drill and why it can not be done during passing period times, however, is he going to say anything to her?...that is yet to be seen)

Take wild 2nd grade class into room, turn off lights, put heads down and practice calm breaths, till the class PARA and her student that she shadows show up. With a second set of hands we do a guided line drawing of a bird and paint it. my heart rate has almost returned to normal by now.

last class of the day also 2nd grade: has a sub, one of our building subs who is not afraid of the kids, keeps about five kids who are misbehaving so we have a quiet class of more bird drawing and paintings.

Friday: Kori's class-work more on story quilt drawings.

3rd-demo grid drawings. a few get started, others are still working on mosaics.

5th period...despite my referral and notes to both the vice-Principal and SMS the 6th grader who called the girl whore yesterday comes sauntering into the classroom and gives me a good smirk. I march over to the SMS who says she has been to "busy" to get to it. Yes busy having her DOG go around to the classrooms to announce who had good behavior at lunch this week(***). Anyway doesn't matter because 3/4 of my class is either absent or at an assembly for high school next year. I have a small enough number of kids that I can put one at each table, tell them they can not get out of their seats or speak to anyone aside for me or the people at their tables with them...aka no one. We work in quiet as I fume.

*** (I have watched this women tell a 14 year old that the dog (Flag, a poor border collie who spends his days in a crate in her tinny office or in the back of her truck) can read and write. When the student pointed out that he was a bit old to buy that, she turns to me and asks me to back her up that the dog can read and write....I give her what I think can be described as a perplexed look and declare that I agree the dog is smarter that some of people around the school. (meaning her. The kid got it...she didn't) She just beamed and said that yep the dog could write letters....roll eyes)

***yes I am bitter that I am no longer allowed to bring my dog to school on Fridays and had to get rid of my class pet's because a new district no animal rule but she has decided she doesn't have to follow it because she is the SMS and her dog is her "therapy dog".****

Where were we....oh Friday afternoon, the crush of kindergarten. I am tired. I have good a good art teacher and painted with them the last two weeks and done the really complicated quilt project. So I read them "Don't let the Pigeon Stay up Late" and we learned how to draw birds (pigeons) and decorated them for bedtime. All the kindergarteen teachers have commented on the cute rianforest birds we made...whatever. For once I was not in tears by the end of all three classes.

If for some miraculous reason I forget why I want to switch schools...all I need to do is read about this week and be reminded that the school I'm at is NOT the right match for me. They can get some brand new teacher who is desperate for a job and doesn't know better to put up with their crap next year.

1 comment:

  1. I read this and flashed back to a school I once worked in which was clearly not for me. Now that I'm a few years past the experienc I realize that I can teach any mad, crazy insane kid because. . .if I taught THOSE kids I can teach anyone. Seriously. I FEEL your pain. My kids were just like that. . .And our school was temporarily entirely in trailers because of some bureacratic madness. The art trailer was the last trailer out on the back 40. It was in the woods. We had a creepy neighborhood dude who would perch in a tree and stare at the kids (I swear he was salivating). I had no ability to call a VP or P (and they wouldn't of been helpful had I been able). We also had to walk the kids every hour to the bathroom trailer bc they were such little vandals. My favorite was a note -signed so nicely- from a student that addressed me as "The gothic lookin hoe," and said "art is gay and dumb." LOL. He later robbed the gas station door down from the school and to bring me a valentine. Yup. You've gotta some killah life experience going on there!!