First Week Vent, but there's good too

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by wunderwhy, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. wunderwhy

    wunderwhy Comrade

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    Sep 8, 2007

    OK, so coming back to work reminds me how much I love my students. It's funny how the worst students from the previous year seem to be the ones who miss you the most (since their annoying behavior stems more from their upbringing and challenges than from malice). I've had annoying kid after annoying kid from last year stop by to say they miss me and tell me about their schedule this year. And yesterday I had a graduated student who's leaving the country stop by school to give me a thank you card. I love my job. I remember my cooperating teacher saying that she was just there for the kids, and that she had to remember to hang out in her classroom where all the magic happens and stay away from the drama in the staff room. I need to remember this too.

    So that's the good stuff. Here are the annoyances:

    1) The previous grade honors teacher. We're friends, and I like her as a person. But whereas I am serious, let's get to business teacher, she is flighty, where's my pencil oh here it is in my hair teacher. She came down to my room this week at the start of half of my honors classes to see the kids. That's fine -- she taught most of them last year. But she made me late to start the very first class, and the kids started talking while she was distracting me, and then we got off on the wrong foot. Another class she, no joke, brought along her glowing "grammar wand" and ran around my room shouting, "I'm teaching you today! Look, I brought the grammar wand! Aren't you excited??!!" The kids did not look all that excited, although a couple said, "Really?" when she said she was teaching them. I had to be like, "No, I am really your teacher, bye bye crazy person." Meanwhile, her class is beginning and she isn't there. I'm sure her usual start to class is to burst in late with papers flying like she's Kramer from Seinfeld. I need her to allow me to establish my own routine and rapport with the kids without her constantly hanging around, waving her wand and shouting.

    2) Our principal is possibly the world's worst leader and motivator. He's fine as a person; he cares about the kids and he backs teachers up. But when we have a faculty meeting, he jumps up after and sometimes during each AP's presentation, and then begins spouting this hate-rant. "If any of you muddy my waters, you'll be hearing from me. Don't play a fool and do something foolish. I'll crush anyone who is muddying my waters." What? It's a presentation on taking attendance or something. The problem is that he is definitely extroverted and probably a bit narcissistic, and he becomes visibly more and more excited as he talks. The AP or person in charge of the meeting just needs to say, "Thank you Mr. Principal. Now let's let our teachers get back to their rooms to do their important work." Instead, everyone looks disgusted and defeated and he just goes on and on, oblivious. During a particularly long meeting last week, he jumped up, and the faculty actually booed. Did that stop him? No. Another time we were already half an hour late to lunch. When the presentation ended, we got up to go, and he popped up and shouted, "Sit down! I didn't tell you you could go!" We're adults and professionals, and I would never speak to my students that way. It's just demoralizing, and the poor new teachers are just hearing a lot of drivel about how they're muddying his waters and he's going to crush them. :(

    At least his behavior helped me with my classes this week. I had two kids in the same class lie about receiving the summer reading -- they told me they hadn't, but I had their signatures saying they had. I thought about addressing this with the whole class, but then I thought I would just come across like my principal -- ranting and raving about what the few are doing wrong when the many are doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing.
     
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