Came into my room to find that some neighborhood assholes decided to smash in one of my windows. Since we couldn’t find a ball or a rock we believe they had to have used a bat or a pipe. They also apparently smashed in a kitchen window and spray painted on the windows that lead to the playground from my hallway.
Every time I get comfortable life reminds me that I work in an urban school. Sigh.
Funny kid moment of the day.
Ms. J, a para for Pre-k is walking her students in a line down the hall. The little one at the front of the line tries go the wrong way. Ms J grabs her and says
"No no sweet potato, come this way" (we use nicknames like that a lot)
Another of her preschoolers, a little lady with two little poofs on her head who I believe only comes to my knee, turns to her and says,
"Ms J! She is NOT a sweet potato!" in the smallest, squeakiest voice you can imagine.
Ms J, myself, and a third grade teacher walking her kids to lunch all busted out laughing. Ohhh gosh. Little tikes.3
Apparently our librarian is writing a formal complaint about me because I was put in the media center for the end-of-year activities on Friday when she wasn’t here and she claims that there were things moved and stuff broken. I told her that I kept the kids off her carpet like she asked (even though the carpet is FOR kids to sit on) and there weren’t kids over there when I was there.
Stuff being moved? You know, if it was on the floor, the custodians probably moved it to clean. They can’t clean the floor with your shit on it. They’ve shifted some of my things around before. It’s not a big deal.
OH and she was flipping her shit because a barcode scanner was on the floor. It literally sits in this flimsy little stand where any slight bump could knock it off, which might have also happened when the floor was being cleaned. She then admitted she didn’t know if it worked or not! wtf?
Go ahead and complain. Give me attitude instead of actually asking me questions and having a civilized discussion. Write a formal complaint. Make it my fault when I was ASSIGNED to your room. Did you know it is not possible to keep your eye on 70+ kids every waking second they are in a room? Did you know that getting kids ready for a talent show requires you to be moving around and not be staring at them every waking second? But you wouldn’t know because a. you are barely there and b. you never help with anything unless you are forced to.
It’s like being back in high school.1
Third graders earlier this year got in trouble for circulating a notebook with “I want to have sex with _______” in it and filling it in.
And just today a bunch got sent to the office for talking about “humping” each other and calling a boy “gay”.
It’s this gross combo of sexuality being shoved into younger and younger children’s brains mixed with rampant homophobia.
These kids are hyper aware of sexuality. The girls as young as 5 will shake their butts and dance in ways that are WAY above their years. They will scream bloody murder at a girl sitting “wrong” or an accidental showing of underwear. They’ve drawn boobs and written nasty words in notebooks and continue to do so after getting caught. I had a second grader call someone us a whore and a slut! It’s insane.
Even worse is the homophobia. Homophobia in the little boys especially at my school is just horrific. I wrote a seven year old up last year for hitting a kid and screaming “GAY BOY” at him because he accidentally bumped into him.
The little girls will hug and hold hands and lean on each other but if I a bow even just bumps shoulders with another they freak out.
Thankfully, my school is no nonsense and treats calling someone “gay” in a negative way as a slur and will punish them in a heartbeat. But it’s still upsetting that these kids are aware of too much and you KNOW it comes from home. IT makes me want to slap some parents.
I really wish I could just get this nastiness out of their brains but it’s not possible. Ugh.
When I think about the horrible teacher I was forced to team-teach with for six weeks
Bahahaha ohh man I know that feel.
My co-op had children my age, so she treated me like a child. She talked in this little voice that made everything she say sound passive-aggressive. She criticized the way I sat at the desk and how messy my handwriting was. The students left at 3:30 and she told me that teacher’s don’t leave after school and wouldn’t let me leave until 5:00 at the earliest even though the building was empty by 4. She only let me leave early when I had collegiate choir, and even then she huffed about it saying that it “wasn’t as important”, even thought I got a grade for it.
Once, She sat me down for an HOUR AND A HALF after school to criticize my wardrobe! She told me that I’m only allowed to wear flats with hose, I cannot wear the same color pants more than once a week, and I cannot wear a scarf more than a few days because I needed to wear necklaces! When I told her that I’m college student on a budget, she told me to go to goodwill and buy more pants! This was also funny because she had a style bad enough to be on What Not to Wear.
She would scan my lesson plans and make me redo them if she didn’t like the font size or thought my sentences didn’t sound right to her to her or she didn’t want a period there (at the end of sentence…?). She made me write out every single step (including what kid I asked questions to!) and got mad when I didn’t follow it perfectly. She would comment when my voice would crack or if I didn’t stay perfectly in tune when singing with the kids. She was allowed to miss notes on the piano but I had to be perfect. I had a mild allergy attack one morning and could barely open my eyes, so I called out. I got chastised like crazy the next day with her saying that “teachers can’t just call out”. WHICH IS NOT TRUE AT ALL.
When she met my college supervisor, she pulled her aside privately in the back room and began to CRY saying that I’m defensive and won’t take criticism and she was “just trying to help” me. My supervisor bought her sob story, refused to believe the truth from my mouth, and almost failed me (you need a B to pass and she said she didn’t want to give it to me).
I hated that woman more than words could explain. But I now I am a professional doing a job that this woman could NEVER have survived in, so that is enough satisfaction for me. Success is the best revenge.46
I know teachers aren’t supposed to care about being liked.
But when an entire classroom full of children tells their teacher that they don’t like your class, you wonder what you are doing wrong.
You can give 110% and sometimes it still isn’t enough.
And it hurts.7
In October, we had our first practice assessment. 2 days.
In December, we had our second practice assessment. 2 days.
We are currently doing Mock MSA. 2 days.
MSA is coming up. 3 days including science.
Then we have a post-assessment assessment (I’m not kidding) in Mayish. 2 more days.
I’ve also been hearing we’re going to do some of the PARC assessment, so who knows how many days that will add.
In total, that is 11 days of testing. That is OVER two full weeks of school that we lose due to testing.
And they respond by making Maryland schools go back to school a week or even two weeks before schools in other states and make them stay a week after everyone lets out (and this is without snow days).
For example, Last year, my brother had almost a full week of snow days and we didn’t have any. My school year ended a day AFTER his.0
Laws give students the right to be violent against teachers
Turns out, where I teach, teachers have basically no protection from student violence.
I don’t know who did it, but someone made the most horrible, anti-teacher laws ever.
If you “impede a student’s forward motion” and they hit you, it is your fault!
What does that mean, exactly?
Well, a teacher at my man’s school was in the way of a student going to his locker. She told him that he couldn’t go to his locker. He literally shoved her out of his way. When she took him to the principal, he said that he couldn’t do anything because she “impeded his forward motion”.
Which means a kid can walk around your room whenever they want, go wherever they, and walk out your door whenever they want and if you get in their way they are ALLOWED TO HIT YOU. If you press charges the police WILL DO NOTHING.
If you get in the way of students fighting aka. try to break it out, help out, just get too close, etc, and you get hit, it is YOUR FAULT. BAD TEACHER. If you complain, they will DO NOTHING because it is somehow your fault!
If a student has an IEP for ANY reason, they can only be suspended for 10 days. This INCLUDES violence against a teacher. A student leaned down and punched me in the foot one day. He only went home for half a day. He kicked two other teachers and was back in class in FIVE MINUTES. I’ve heard of IEP kids sexually harassing girls and teachers, spitting on teachers, flipping desks, refusing to go to class, etc. and only getting in trouble when they are caught with a weapon or smoking.
And they wonder why urban schools have high turnover. They wonder why urban schools are going to shit. They wonder why there is violence in the classroom.
THERE IS VIOLENCE BECAUSE IT IS ALLOWED!!!!!
I need a new job.2
Sometimes the kiddos prove to me that they know more than I thought
First graders were doing a worksheet I made practicing their note-writing skills. They were being good so I put some music on. I told them that we were going to listen to music from different cultures.
I put on some West African drumming. Immediately, one of the students who is from the Ivory Coast and is still learning English (her parents are super cool and buy her lots of books to help her learn the language) runs up to me, taps me, and says, “That’s from where I’m from!” with a big smile. Which was cool.
We listened to some Samba (we had to quit because they kept dancing lol) and some Native American drumming, and then I put on some Scottish bagpipe music. I put it on and then I hear some voices going, “Ohhhhhh I know this!” Of course, I didn’t believe them so I asked. One little girl goes “Yeah they dance like this!” and stands up and starts tapping her feet really fast on the floor. Another girl joins her “Yeah it’s like this with the feet!”
They were Riverdancing.
I was so shocked I almost hugged them.31
Fantasia Day in music class!
The kids love the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and the Steadfast Tin Soldier best. The little ones will actually gasp and point and laugh and cheer along with it. They don’t realize until the end that there aren’t any words!
One of the big things about being an urban music teacher is exposure. These kids are exposed to so little, culturally and musically. They don’t know a lot about anything that isn’t right in their yard basically. So part of my job is to just let them listen or watch or explore things they aren’t used to hearing or seeing. They actually surprised me at how much they enjoyed the Nutcracker.
I notice often that if a non-musical administrator came into my room, they would have no idea what I was doing. My principal is starting to figure it out but other people look confused, since a lot of them see singing, dancing, moving, watching, and listening as “not work”. The just need some enlightenment.6