Yes, well, sometimes, state departments of education decide to visit low-performing schools the week before Christmas break. For three days. A team swoops in and observes classrooms with the expectation that the teachers and students will be demonstrating best practice and best behavior and best planning and best data whoring.
On a full moon.
Which is a naive myth to all of you superior people who have never been responsible for a pack of twenty-to-thirty younglings for six to seven hours a day. Children teach one the ways of the moon, my friend. I’m sorry for calling you superior. There’s too much superiority hovering around these days; I’m starting to see it where it doesn’t dwell.
Don’t imagine that any of these days before Christmas will include any moment of special holiday preparation, or story or, heaven forbid, crafts! No. The children will complete unit assessments in both reading and writing. Please bring me to litigation if I am off the mark when I say that I cherish the sweet treasures brought home from school by my babies —and that I do not give a rat’s ass about the score they received on some unit test.
Never mind all of that. Take a walk into my classroom today, after lunch (translation: the witching hour). Sitting comfortably in my desk chair (which is probably infested with bedbugs) is a representative of a state department of education. Unfolding before him is a veritable three ring circus of children who have apparently been given cappuccino for lunch, if you go by the calling out, falling out of chairs, and approaching the teacher to complain of various medical maladies. It is a perfect storm of we-took-a-test-it’s-almost-Christmas-break-the-moon-is-full-phonics-is-only-good-if-you-yell-it.
The problem is that, in these situations, you can’t crack the whip the way you would normally. You are trying to use all the positive strategies to turn the craziness around, when in fact they need their fearless leader to yell the hell out of it for a minute. Instead, it was as if Ozzy Osbourne had inhabited my class. You can bet that when that state dude left, it was not pretty.
My only comfort is the thought that I made the rest of my teammates look really good in comparison. As for me, this would be an optimum time for the Megamillions to smile on down on Peachyteachy. Today, all I want to do is stay home and bake.