Saturday, July 22, 2006

The New Version is out!

Being that I'm about to embark on my tenth year at Unnamed Junior High School, I thought it was time for an update.

I've not exactly found my niche just yet here in the edublogosphere, but I'm getting there. I've been introduced to some wonderful teachers and have had several days brightened by the humor on other people's sites.

We don't go back until the 22nd of August, which is still two weeks earlier than it used to be. What happened to summer lasting until Labor Day? Oi. It sure is hot enough right now. Weird muggy weather for Southern California. Awful in my little cottage with no cross ventilation and an 80-year-old landlady who for some reason only known to herself, will not allow me to buy a little air conditioner. And I pay for my gas and electric.

Gawd. Who knows? I just worry about my little doggie boy becoming a little roasted doggie when I'm out. I mean, how many fans can I buy?

At least it's better than the classroom getting hot. It gets up into the 90's on hot days. That's a ridiculous situation. I complained about it two years ago when my room never got below 84 degrees, and was close to 96 for five days. How did they address the problem?

Removed the thermometer, of course.

Tell me, those of you who are going back sooner than I, in warmer climes, how the heck do you teach when the kids are so sweaty that they slide off their plastic chairs? When you feel the perspiration drip all the way down the side of your torso and stop only when it hits your waistband? When the bright blue sky is only a window or doorway away, and yet out of your reach?

Tell me Ms. Spellings, can you do something about the weather?

Because this is one thing over which I have no control. Or are you going to blame me for that too?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Can't get away from it

So, as I start my 10th year at Unnamed Junior High School, I'm thinking seriously about where I want to be in the next 10 years.

I mean, I love my life right now, but 10 years from now, will it still be the life I want? I'm not sure.

Teaching is the most important contribution I've made so far in my life. Yes, I'm a good friend, and a wonderful daughter, but I've made a difference as a teacher. If I had gone down the path of marriage and parenthood, I might think differently, but I've not reached either of those roads so far, and may never (although hope still springs eternal in this middle-aged heart).


The political climate regarding teaching is starting to wear on me.

Last year I threw out almost every thing I'd ever created to teach from the red textbook from Holt. I kept to the schedule, even when it made no sense. I spent at least one class period a week on spelling, because that's the area administration decided upon which we would focus. More than halfway through the year, the English chair decided we would adopt the Sheri Henderson way of teaching writing, and we had no say in that decision. So, yet again, I threw out something (this time, something not even well-tried) for the newest "solution."

I'm beat.

I think most people, at least most thinking people, agree that giving everyone the exact same education is not giving everyone a fair education, yet that's what's happening. This crap about being on the same page on the same day in every eighth grade classroom in the district is actually being given consideration.

I have a friend who homeschools. I don't agree with her on many things, and obviously, I support public education, but she and I see eye to eye on one thing: teachers, for the most part, are in it for the betterment of others.

Simple really.

Although I hate when people say it's a "calling" or "noble," you and I both know I didn't go into it for money or fame. No. I teach because it's what I do best. I teach because I'm getting paid to care about other people, and their futures, I teach because it's interesting, and I teach because it makes me happy.

The political stuff? Not so much.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Back to School Sale

I was in Long's Drugstore yesterday, trying to buy a cheapo pair of flip flops for my walk on the beach. I went to the aisle where I'd seen them, and it had been cleaned out! No flip flops in sight. Instead, there were almost empty shelves, with great big cardboard boxes piled high in the middle of the floor.

You guessed it. Binders, Pee Chee folders, pens, pencils, filler paper, gel markers...

Not even the middle of July and already with the school stuff.


My local department store is having an "end of summer" clearance sale.

Excuse me, isn't the end of summer in September? What is going on? And then, of course, the Christmas sales start up in October.

I just want to relax, visit with friends, drink wine, and not worry about anything.

Including if I have a pencil case for my three ring binder.