peachyteachy

For realsies

Box Troll 2.0 On Parade September 25, 2014

Filed under: education,humor,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 7:58 pm
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Common Core in action

Do you know what is awesome?

What’s awesome is having some mysterious muscular pain in one’s glute, but having no memory of having done any deep lunges whatsoever.  Although, upon reflection, I do sit in some tiny ass chairs during the day, and it is entirely possible that I arose from one of them over-eagerly. A colleague suggested that I might be able to call in sick with that one.  I’m not sure that the drop-down menu on the website includes “Ass Injury.” On the other hand, it’s worth a shot.

Those of you who have been reading the Peachy Chronicles for some time are familiar with the fact that, regardless of what grade I teach, I manage to attract a contingent of crazies high needs individuals who are entertaining in writing but beyond challenging in actual practice.

Today, for example, I was required to administer an assessment that has no bearing on student learning, grading, or life.  Rather, it stands as a measure of teacher effectiveness that hinges on growth from the fall to the spring on this one little “task.” It is Keystone Cop-ish on so many levels, and it was rendered even more so by my students’ behavior today.  The Keystone Cops were silent movie police sensations (I have been met with blank stares when making that reference in the past, so there you go). They were clumsy and there were lots of them and they ran to jump on their Keystone Cop cars in a way that people found hilarious. I guess. Like education reform.  That’s my poorly-made point.

I have a couple of students who like to earn attention by flailing about on the floor.  I remind them, in a pastel voice, that this is not safe for them and that I have to keep them safe. Then they put chunks of green or pink erasers into their mouths and laugh at the owners of said erasers. It is spitty and gross.

Today, my room was a veritable revolving door of my two top contenders being removed so that others could complete their high stakes, completely meaningless assessment.  But the best, bestest, bestissimo times three, was when my young mad girl called Finesse (in my mind), decided that the next best thing in her life would be to put a cardboard box on her head.  And walk around the classroom, preferably bumping into someone who a) she didn’t like, or b) was too well-behaved to react.  I think that was her third visit to the office in an hour.

When I walked her and a couple of my other students out to the bus, I privately said to her, “Finesse. You put a box on your head. Do you want to be known as the person with a box on her head?” She said no.  I’m not convinced. But I was impressed with my indisputable skill as a therapist there. She’ll probably remember that conversation as one that turned her life around. . .

Which brings me to the other insight offered by my colleague, during the glute injury discussion: “Maybe you were clenching.”

 

 

Image: http://organisedforyou.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/man-with-box-on-head-300×300.jpg

 

 

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Windows to the Wacky September 13, 2014

Filed under: humor,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 8:52 pm
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This week, one of my fresh new students told me the following:

“Ms. Peachy, you’re really smart. I can tell by your eyes that you are really smart.  I can tell by my aunt’s eyes that she’s crazy.”

Apparently, that’s this girl’s superpower.

Thank God that I fell on the right side of that fence. The magnitude of this achievement cannot be overstated.

Also occurring this week on the cutting edge education front, a student whose pants didn’t fit properly allowed them to fall around her ankles, and refused to pull them up. Instead, she shuffled along the hall and amongst the desks and chairs of her peers.  Had I asked the rest of the class to illustrate what her underwear looked like, they could have knocked that rigorous assignment out of the park, as we all had plenty of time to take in every detail.

Yes, I sent her to the nurse. Yes, I documented it and notified the appropriate support staff.

This week, we will celebrate the U.S. Constitution. I am open to suggestions to supplement my Schoolhouse Rock “We The People” lesson plan.

Image: http://www.marieclairvoyant.com

 

First Week Of School–Peachy Prevails! September 6, 2014

Am I exhausted? Yup.

Am I already playing catch up? Yeah.

Did a student ask me if I was going to give them the money to buy their supplies? Yes, indeed.

It’s been a loooooooooooooooong week.  I lost a couple of dear friends to other assignments.  Teachers get tight. It’s hard to lose close friends and supports in a building.

We have added an hour and a half to the school day.  Buses are late. Little children are so tired. Conversation with a sweet little guy waiting for a bus reveals that he is from Tanzania, then Congo.  They left because it was dangerous. “All these people were coming.   There were things falling from the sky.” Wow.

While I am responsible for “digging deep” into targeted instruction aligned to the Common Core, I consider the challenge of making a kid like this feel safe more crucial.

Today, my kid (my actual kid) forgot that he was on the phone with me when he “put me down” for a minute to check out at the grocery store. It was hilarious; I don’t take this shit personally.  He had been telling me about his “budget-making” adventure. Part of this included a long-term goal of giving 10% to charity. My son has surpassed my virtue. I’m so cool with that.

 

Back to School Messaging August 27, 2014

cell phone

Evidently, I took the summer off from blogging. Oops.  I was too busy doing nothing + professional development.

Back to school, I have been enduring some meetings that lasted for what felt like the entirety of summer break.  At one point, I decided that it would be a super idea to enter my administrator’s number into my cellphone, in case of emergencies.  So I carefully transcribed the digits to the screen, adding a cheerful “testing” message as well.

A few hours later, when I had received no confirmation, I followed up with a request for a return text, verifying that things were in place.

The response, which fell slightly short of said verification: “You are an ugly man stop trying to stalk me loser.” It would seem that things are most certainly not in place.

This administrator has a sense of humor, but not enough to pull that off. I responded.

“Okay so def wrong number!”

The good-natured reply:

“Your d—k was tiny as hell.”

Well, that does make sense, seeing as how I am not a dude. . .

Ah, back to school—where the improbable becomes the commonplace.

The moral of the story: check the number, with spectacles in place.

 

Check It Out August 1, 2014

NEW BLOG ALERT

You can help to build a blog that will explore some of the issues surrounding the standardized test score-based school reform movement.  It will also look into how we can support kids to navigate the educational waters these days.

http://biggerthananumber.wordpress.com/

 

School Year Wrap Up: 2014 Report Card Comments June 23, 2014

Filed under: education,humor,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 6:46 pm
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Imagine, if you will, that you are a teacher in an urban elementary school.  For the past ten months it has been your duty to systematically improve the outcomes of twenty-some little less-than-nine-year-olds.  Pants have been wet.  Spider monkey howls have been howled. Swaths of duct tape have hovered within centimeters of certain lips. I only alluded once out loud to a possible need to wear Pull-Ups to school due to frequent “I have a true emergency” pleas. If you do not see the miracle in the fact that students and teacher are still standing, you clearly need to watch more episodes of The Simpsons.

And so, the time has come, once again, to fill a space barely larger than that of a triple Tweet, with the critical written message that may be the only communication that a parent reads about their child (I don’t assume that they have read the previous comments).  Also, the dang Cricket phone has long since been disconnected. As I have noted before, the nature of report card comments has been ambushed, like everything else in public education, by the Data Dementors.  We are required to report mostly in numeric code.  What’s left must tread lightly into the realm of the human being child.  You’ll see what I mean. Please note: I use the word “actual” loosely.

 

 

Actual comment:

Skylark has increased her reading level from C to F.  This is still far below the grade level target of M.  Skylark continues to struggle with addition and subtraction within 20, and scored 27% on the most recent math assessment.  Please practice daily with the materials sent home for the summer.  I am hopeful that Skylark will focus on her schoolwork in order to make lots of progress next year!

Fake comment:

Skylark has progressed from level C (Come ON!) to level F (Freaking pay attention and look at the word and not your sparkly press-on nails that get lost on the floor and prevent you from looking at these things called letters!).  Skylark is amused by Kleenex. Skylark won our class award for most consecutive days without turning in homework! Way to go above and beyond, Skylark!

Actual comment:

Bruce Lee has made some progress with math computation, and scored 40 out of 50 points on the end-of-year timed facts quiz. He should be reading at level M at the end of this grade, but struggled to reach K, as he sometimes gives up on tasks, and is tempted to socialize.  I am confident that he will make more positive behavior choices next year. Good luck, Bruce!

Fake comment:

Bruce Lee could be the most successful kid in the class, but he is fully focused on his Thug-In-Training program.  He was the first in the grade to learn to make spit balls!  He believes that his desk is a wheelbarrow, and his seat, a rocking chair. His anger at being asked to complete schoolwork is surpassed only by his commitment to wear all-camo, all day, every day. I was delighted at his progress when he stated that, “I don’t steal markers from you anymore.”

Actual comment:

Tazmania scored 19 out of 50 points on her final math assessment, short of the grade level target of 40.  She also has struggled with understanding what she reads, scoring 35% on her last unit assessment.  Tazmania is frequently distracted and will need to focus on controlling her body as she moves on to the next grade level.  Good luck next year, Taz!

Fake comment:

Tazmania practices Desk Twerking on a daily basis. We are all impressed by her ability to elevate her tush like that, and so often! She finds it difficult to complete assignments, as she is generally at eye level with her desk, which is a treasure trove of all the pencils, rubber bands, and sticky notes missing from the room at any given time.  I am hopeful that her practice at lying pathologically will contribute to lots of improvement in her writing next year! Good luck, Tazmania!

Now, on to the comedy that is summer professional development!

Image:

 

 

 

 

Anti-Vaxxers, Visit My Classroom June 11, 2014

little house

Really, come on down.  It’s Little House on the Prairie up in here. Without the polite kids.

It is important that you understand that there are environments over which you have no control. NONE! The lowlands of Afghanistan, for instance, and my classroom rug. Both are said to reek of a county fair livestock barn.  And don’t get me started on the chicken factor.  Things have definitely hatched here. They incubated behind the microwave that doesn’t exist in my closet.  Soon there will be a zombie chicken invasion. With the attendant lice on board.

Stuff is mutating at an alarming rate.  The reality is that, if you are going to allow your kid to be within a three mile radius of a classroom carpet, you are going to want some vaccination happening.  You really just can’t  plan on controlling this shit.  You might also want to heed the teacher’s request to donate hand sanitizer to the class.  Your kid looks way dirtier when there are twenty-three peers drooling nearby.

The spilled milk factor alone calls for a haz-mat team.  But this is an urban school, so haz-mat consists of a milling group of 8-year-olds, trying to sop up moisture with the least absorbent paper towels known to man: The Brown Paper Towel.  Why do you think that a roll of these is 2.7 miles long? Because they soak up virtually nothing.  Not cow’s milk, not goat’s milk, sure as hell not any cereal stirred up with a spork and combined with the milk or any goat, cow, or ox that you have  your hands on.  I would wager that clinical studies have been conducted (possibly at my own workplace) to determine the Brown Paper Towel’s effectiveness upon the spilled margarita.  You could compose invites for a hipster dinner party on this paper, knot it up with some twine, and head on down to the brewery for some crafty goodness. Stop by the clinic, would  you, and make sure your boosters are up to date?

Or, you could just take your chances, and become a disturbing and disturbed carrier like me! We can donate our bodies to science! It will be cool!

 

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