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First Day Fiesta September 4, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,school — peachyteachy @ 6:44 pm
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A question for my fellow educators: Is it bad when, after the first day of school, you spend 7-12 minutes speculating on possible self-inflicted injuries that could land you on medical leave for an extended period? Is it pissy to be annoyed at the fact that the district computers are incapable of opening the eleven documents that have been electronically transmitted, and by which we are required to take attendance sixteen times a day?

I didn’t think so!

It’s not the kids. Except for the part of the kids that talk incessantly and listen to exactly two directions out of the approximate 73 directions given today, many of them repeatedly and with visual aids.


“To make this flip book about the amazing behavior choices that will enable you to become a role model, you will first WRITE this—-THIS THING THAT I HAVE WRITTEN ON THE BOARD IN HUGE LETTERS—-each and every student will WRITE these words as your heading before you do anything else!”

Student: “Are we supposed to write something here?”


Get to know you activity: First Day of School Questionnaire. Question 3: Name the state or  province where you were born.

Student (non-refugee, white American) response: Country. When pressed, he stuck by his guns, reiterating that he did, indeed, mean “country.”

Me, in pastel voice: ” You’re pretty sure you were born in Country? Me too! Sweetie, can you go home today and check to find out which country that was?” Sweet baby Jesus, the kid who wrote “Africa” as his state or province can tell me he was born in Kenya.

Help. Please.

There is a program in our district designed to provide intensive intervention for kids who have SEVERE and continuous behavior problems.  There is a lengthy process of data collection that must be navigated in order for a student to earn a coveted spot in this program.  This is reserved for students who are extremely disruptive on a daily basis.  When one goes through this process at the end of the school year, and it is determined that the student needs this extreme intervention, the student will actually start the school year in this program. It’s established—the child needs very structured intervention in a very small group setting before he can try the general ed setting again.

I have one of those in my class,  slated to begin his new program today.

Guess who showed up on my doorstep this morning? Severe-and-Continuous-Disruptive-Behavior-Boy! It would seem (according to the grapevine, not an appropriate communication of this information) that our district has not closed negotiations with this program and has failed to contract with them in time for these super at-risk kids to start the school year where their parents are expecting them to begin. Way to go, school reformers! What a relief that you are in charge!

Did this child smack other kids today?


Did he make fart noises several times over the course of the day?

Hell, yeah!

Did he refuse to return to the classroom with the rest of the students, after we practiced your typical first day procedures in the hall?

Sho did.

Is it fair to this kid that his plans have been abruptly changed?

God bless us, everyone.




Dreaming of the First Day of School September 2, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 6:49 pm
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Last night’s anxiety dream involved a parent meeting on the morning of the first day of school.  It wasn’t even about my student, but for some reason, I decided to stay put and sit in with the parent and my principal, since I had stopped by in the  teacher’s classroom earlier to chat.  Best part was, I had deemed it important to bring with me an almost-empty 1.5 liter bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, which sat right in the middle of the table as this parent/teacher/me/wine conference got underway.  At a certain point, I decided that my input really wasn’t necessary, so I quietly excused myself with a graceful bowing out statement: “I’m just gonna leave.”

In the next scene of this nightmare, the principal popped her head in my classroom door, ostensibly to greet the new scholars who occupied my class.  She was not smiling.  Rather than going to meet her at the door, I waved from the other side of the classroom and directed the children to say good morning to Mrs. Beatemdown, in the dream wondering whether I MIGHT get some sort of a talking to about the little wine thing.

Thankfully, this was the point at which I awoke and fell to my knees in gratitude that it was not really happening.

The sad truth is that last night’s dream was neither the first nor last Stressmare that I’ve had or will enjoy as a result of my minefield of a job.  Truly, I am grateful to have a job, and I make every effort to do my best for my students.  Still, it seems that the crazy outweighs the sane with increasing frequency.  This may be why my internal dream time engineer gets so pumped to jump on the bandwagon and out-crazy reality.  Things start to overlap.

Dream or reality?  I am speaking privately to a ten-year-old.  My words: “Sweetie, it’s really not okay to take apart your pencil sharpener to get the blade out.  It’s really dangerous and you can get into a lot of trouble.” Child, smiling: “Yeah, I know.” As in, so, what’s the problem?

Dream or reality? Pair of walkie talkies goes missing one day in the classroom, charging cradles and all.  It is a small, self-contained class of kids with Emotional/Behavioral disorders–angry, violent kids.  We line up in the hall, next to the “cubbies” where they hang their backpacks and such.  Kid’s backpack starts to talk, in unmistakable walkie-talkie language.

I am going to just scoot out to the store to get some Preparation H to shrink the bags under my eyes. Then, let the games begin!


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