Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day #17

video

[I took this video during the typically hellish last-period class. I was reading the first Bluford book to them, Lost and Found Chapter 6, and they were dead silent for 23 consecutive minutes! At 2:35 the bell rang and they were asking if they could stay and read chapter 7. "it's gettin' good!" they pleaded. Chapter 7 tomorrow, my pretties. If you earn it again. I uploaded this only because no one is identifiable in the dark with their heads in books and from behind.]

Today I walked in at 7am to find a special ed meeting form on my desk. "This needs to be filled out and returned to my mailbox by 8am," it said. I filled it out and put it in the special ed office mail box. At 1pm a special ed officer came into my room and told me I did the form incorrectly. "You need to sign off on the form as a team following a detailed meeting," he scolded. My first response was to consider frontin' like one of my ED students: "You best not be rollin' up in my grill like that, muthafucka!" I restrained this impulse and simply laughed. "I got this form at 7am. Teachers aren't even scheduled to arrive until 7:35. Kids arrive at 7:40 for homeroom. You needed the form by 8:00. When exactly was I supposed to have a team meeting? You want a team meeting, you give me a week's notice." He started unloading a bunch of procedural and legal requirements on me and I said "I understand these requirements. But you got the form to me late, it's on you. Don't blame the teachers." Then I mentioned the legal requirement that each class with more than 20% IEP students is supposed to have a special educator in the room at all times, and how I was teaching two classes with 30% IEP students with no help whatsoever. Suddenly the special ed officer was less keen to continue berating me.

The kids were a mess today, but only for about 1/3rd of the class time. This is a substantial improvement over last week. I'm pleased to do less shouting because I am sick as a dog, and feel like I might be getting worse. Tomorrow is back-to-school night, too, so I'll be in the building for 13 hours! Friday is a PD day, and I mayy use sick time because the kids are off.

I got a notice that the few remaining quiet and sharp kids in my classes are being transferred to the IBO program on the first floor. Mr. Buzz, the IBO language arts teacher, was just teasing me yesterday about getting all my good kids. "Ima leave you the bottom of the barrell, G! Sorry 'bout that." Jocularity!

And speaking of humor, a student took it upon herself to add a couple items to the dry-erase board where I keep reminders to myself. Because I got a good laugh out of it, I didn't crank on her too hard when I caught her in the act.



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