For realsies

School Year Ends: Building Remains Intact June 21, 2013

It’s tough to beat the last day of work at school before summer when it comes to the rollercoaster-clusterfuck factor. Last minute directives that require hours of stupidity and tediousness–these make everyone feel fantastic.  If it were not the last day of the school year; had we not known that we would be freed by the end of the day, I am quite certain that the staff would have  gone all bonfire/riot/illegal fireworks on the place. When you think about it, it is a solstice miracle.

Compared with this, the naming of celebrity children in the hopes that they will never become stymied by the intermediate directions pales in comparison.

I have made it through another school year in the trenches of high poverty urban education, with the help of great colleagues and some blog venting from time to time.  I have body-blocked students attempting to simultaneously run laps around my class whilst launching a fleet of paper airplanes, and I have accidentally trained a laser light show operator who spent a total of seventeen hours standing at my doorway, flipping the light switches on and off.  It is a miracle that no one had a seizure.  As a teacher, it is essential that I believe and proclaim the miracles that abound in this holy vocation.

An excerpt from an earlier post written during this school year:


  1. Did I lock my classroom door today to keep out a disruptive student? Again?
  2. Did the kid proceed to kick the door for about a half hour, rendering me a super effective teacher? Again? 
  3. Did the rest of the class placidly continue with their work, ignoring the distraction, and increasing their stamina for responding to multi-step fraction word problems?

If you picked 1 or 2, you have not been reading my blog for very long, have you? And you missed the nearly identical situation detailed a couple of weeks ago here .  There is little doubt that this blogging strategy will not earn me tons of readers who have fashion blogs (although you are so super welcome!), but I would like to suggest that you picture me, a smallish woman, body blocking an eleven-year-old while wearing a snappy Loft jacket of tiny railroad cap stripes–I wear it in recognition of the fact that my class is, well, a train wreck.  Sporty!

Down the hall, in my colleague’s classroom, I am pretty sure that they were performing a re-enactment of the flying monkey scene from the Wizard of Oz, with one small exception: the flying monkeys in the movie don’t fight EACH OTHER. At the very least, it is reassuring to know that it’s not just me!

Now, the young man in question continued to dedicate himself fully to complete disruption on a daily basis, until he managed to land himself in a homebound situation for the final several weeks of the school year (during which he and his family completely blew off the teacher who attempted to provide him with his education).

Fast forward to yesterday, and the gala commencement-style “Moving Up” ceremony held for our fifth graders.  Kids dress up, the children with the most referrals for violence and petit larceny have the loudest, balloon-toting-est, families in the audience—families who have managed, either to be completely invisible since September, or to unleash high-volume profanity upon the teacher who dares suggest that their child may have assaulted and pummeled a smaller child who doesn’t speak English.  All is forgiven on Moving Up day! Yes, please do help yourself to 18 of the 3 dozen cookies provided as light refreshment! Cheerio!

Now, remember that we have our young academician who has learned intimately the workings of light switches and precious little else, and who has spent the last several weeks at home, doing “independent study.”  Apparently, his mother felt that he should receive his little certificate just like everyone else.  After all, he should get something out of going to the trouble of terrorizing an entire classroom repeatedly (and for years prior to this one).

As it turns out, others agreed!  Yes! We will have a special little ceremony just for Prince Punchyouintheface! With light refreshments.

So today, as I was attempting to prepare my room for summer, I was summoned to the auditorium for this event.  “You don’t have to if you’d rather not,” is actually translated this way: “You don’t have to do the right thing if you’d rather not.” So I did.  The thing.  I told him that he looked nice. Then, I realized that I was being asked to pose for a photo.  At this  point, the absurdity of it all was just too much, and I really feared that I was going to dissolve in gales of laughter.  Instead, I smiled with my lips closed.  He chewed his donut.

About an hour later, I packed my bag, turned over my keys, and strolled into the sunshine.  You know what that is?  It’s a miracle! Next year will be even better.

P.S. The latest edition of Peachy’s report card comment tutorials is coming soon.



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