Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 83

I can't believe we are still not quite halfway through the school year. UGH!

Today we met with the family of the kid who pushed me. As expected, the administrators failed to file the paperwork Friday, so nothing happened. What should have been a 45-day suspension is now down to 3 days because of delayed paperwork. Next time the Big Cheese gets all up in my grill about not completing my data binder or changing my bulletin boards on a schedule I'ma say "Yo, you didn't do the paperwork on that punk ass bitch who put his hands on me, and it turned his long-term suspension into a long weekend." This kid is liable to put a chair in someone's cranium because he got away with it this time.*

I kept several kids for long detentions yesterday and today. Yesterday I made them listen to Hindustani classical music--flute and sitar ragas, vocal ragas, long tabula solos--and the same punks were back again today for more. So today we listened to 45 minutes of Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys. Tomorrow I'm thinking Frank Zappa, Sun Ra, or John Denver. Or Penderecki.

The kids are really chaffing under the "teach to the test" stuff we're doing. The Maryland State Assessments are in March, and the school big-wigs are in a tizzy about raising scores because our school has failed to meet No Child Left Untested standards several years in a row. If we don't improve substantially this year we can get zero-based, which means the administrators get shit-canned and the teachers have to re-apply for their jobs. Of course we don't have any administrators: our "principal" is really an acting vice-principal who is retiring anyhow this year, and our only true vice-principal was shit-canned from the Book last year after failing to stop the bleeding over West Side. We have been doomed to fail because we are short about 20 special educators and nobody is giving us the funds we need to hire up. But still the higher-ups run around with their hair on fire making sure I'm re-teaching main idea and literary analysis skills for the billionth time to kids who can't read or write grade-level sentences. Kafka couldn't script this shit.

*His father and mother to their credit made their son make eye contact and apologize to me, after he tried to lie and say he didn't do it. The videotape proved otherwise. The father hugged me and thanked me for how I handled the situation.

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