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21 – The End of Days

22 May

Drum Roll Please…

Our “school” conducted an awards ceremony two days ago and it went well. I liked the idea of students receiving accolades for their accomplishments throughout the year…the only complaint I have is that our fearless leader did not find the ceremony important enough to attend the first hour (it lasted 90 minutes). He came just in time to deliver his lame speech about “good work this year” and “let’s keep it safe over the next four days”…blahblahblahblah

One of the most interesting awards was given to a Senior…Oh wait! Please allow me to set it up for you the same way in which it was presented to the audience!

*Samantha is a young lady who has suffered many trials to get where she is now, in fact, many of us thought she was not going to make it! *Samantha is receiving this award because during her Sophomore year she became pregnant and had a baby…and still continued to come to school; She did what most girls her age have not been able to do. She’s graduating high school now. Congratulations Samantha!

I looked around the auditorium, searching the faces of my colleagues, attempting to read their thoughts…Did they find this award as absurd as I did? I was dying to see the actual verbiage on the trophy…I wonder how it read?

· I got knocked up and all I got was this stupid diploma and trophy.

· Congratulations! You got knocked up but you STILL graduated.

· Teen mothers can get diplomas, too.

Better Late Than Never (wink, wink)

Our fearless leader got a bee in his bonnet and decided to suspend two of THE BIGGEST pain-in-the-ass kids on the last week of school…for two days (yea him). Rumor has it that these two were spotted with water balloons…but nothing else could get them suspended (I tried the entire year)! In fact, earlier the same day, another student told one of my colleagues “Fuck you!” She escorted the young man to the office and explained what he said…five minutes later he was brought back to her classroom with NO PUNITIVE ACTION…perhaps he should have thrown a water balloon at her while proclaiming “Fuck you!” …maybe then he would have been suspended or at least reprimanded!

Then today…SAME KID…was rolling up and down the hallways of the school ON A FREAKIN’ SKATEBOARD…and my friend/colleague took him (again) to the office.

Guess what?

…He was sent back to class after a “firm” talking to…NO PUNITIVE ACTION of course 😉

All Quiet on the Western Front (or so I thought)

So far so good (Thursday morning)…there has not been an entire week of war as I anticipated. The students’ work ethic is half past slack, but gas is also $4.05 a gallon…so what else is new? Today is Thursday, so I wonder if anything will happen after school today. I am seriously stressing out about it after what happened last week. The security at this school…HA!…well, let’s just say that my four-year-old niece has a better plan for resistance than this school. Just two days ago, I ran into a student who was expelled. He was freely roaming the hallways with another one of our Garbage Pail Kids who will graduate to America’s Most Wanted status by the time she’s seventeen. It was easy for him to get in the school undetected…and that scares me.

This morning, my students were verbally anticipating the devious activities of their constituents…you know… those big plans for Friday. I was then notified that I am on “The List”…In fact, we (teachers) are ALL on the list…HA! They asked me if I was going to come to work tomorrow…Of course I am, I responded…Well, I’m not, many of them notified me…But, you still have FINALS tomorrow! I reminded them. They shrugged their shoulders. They seemed not to care about Finals. In fact, the process of administering and taking Finals is very “different” in comparison to what I am accustomed to. First of all, I was shocked when many of my colleagues said that they planned on giving a Final, but never grading it…huh? And then…why were students allowed to roam from room-to-room to take different Finals at will…it was like a wine tasting or trick-or-treating! No one remained in their respective classrooms for over thirty-five to forty minutes! I thought the entire production was the oddest thing! Oh well…doesn’t matter now…I will be leaving this Twilight Zone within the blink of an eye.

UPDATE: Just when you thought it was safe… (Thursday afternoon)…I think I spoke too soon! The war has begun! A bleach balloon hit a colleague of mine and ruined the hem of her dress (teachers are now permitted to wear jeans tomorrow) and I saw the remnants of the after-lunch-battle strewn across the walkway outside of the cafeteria…it looked as though the snack machine vomited. I made an executive decision then and there – I’m outta here! I have a planning period and not a class for the last period of the day, which means no students…which means…slipping out the side door unseen.

I’ll update you tomorrow (wish me luck).

*Image taken from www.lapsura.com

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10 Comments

Posted by on May 22, 2008 in Work

 

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10 responses to “21 – The End of Days

  1. Gail

    May 22, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    I was a middle school teacher for 5 years. I just stumbled onto your blog and think it is hilarious! I hope you make it through the last few days safely and find a new place to work. I left the classroom 3 years ago and have never once looked back or regretted that decision. I am MUCH happier now than I ever was AND I make more money! You can do it! Break free!!

     
  2. msfriendly

    May 23, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Gail – Thanks! 🙂 Yep…I’m in that stage now where I am questioning WHY I do what I do…I am ready to leave public school education TOTALLY! I am looking into college level instruction…but it is definitely time to move on. Congratulations on your new life!

     
  3. Kevin

    May 23, 2008 at 12:10 am

    You forgot to tell us what award was given to the girls who were prudent enough NOT to become pregnant teenagers! Wow, their award must have been super-awesome, maybe a trophy?!?

     
  4. msfriendly

    May 23, 2008 at 12:24 am

    Kevin – No! Actually it was the other way around! We gave awards to students for “Most Improved in ___” and “Outstanding Student in ____” …they were awards based on subject. The recipients of those subject-based awards received a certificate inside a cheap frame (it’s the sentiment…right). The I-got-knocked-up-but-graduated-anyway award was a TROPHY! HA!

    …So you tell me…what message was being sent to all the Prudent Patricia types?

     
  5. Christopha!

    May 23, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    *Christopha brainstorms on what he might be able to do to get a trophy*

    I LOL at the “Garbage Pail Kids” bit. Funny funny girl.

    You’re in the last hundred yards of a marathon, Ms. Friendly. I have to wonder what you’ll use to entertain your readers next week.

     
  6. msfriendly

    May 24, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Christopha – LOL! Remember the Garbage Pail Kids? And those trading cards back in the day…that used to be hot shit! I loved those things!

    Yeah…the trophy thing…unbelievable right? Have you come up with anything to trump that? (lol)

    Oh…you need not worry about material for the blog, because there’s plenty. I know I use satire as my platform, but this situation is so real and so serious…and yes, the worse in inner-city schools, but also “Coming to suburban schools near you” (maybe not with the same intensity…but WOW!), so we ALL need to take notice in the politics of our children’s education…even if we do not have children of our own because eventually, they become everyone’s problem if they are socially maladjusted…so why not lend a hand to circumvent that tragedy before it occurs?

    Okay, okay…soapbox alert! Sorry…I digress…your original concern solved…there will still be plenty to tell because I have stories for days! I only told you all about my life there between March and May of 2008.

     
  7. Annabelle

    May 29, 2008 at 2:38 am

    Ms. Friendly,
    I stumbled on your blog through your posted comment on “Stuff White People Like”- the grammar post. I am finishing my fifth year teaching English in one of the worst schools in the nation’s third largest school district. I am leaving for the greener pastures of a charter school next fall.
    While I agree with what you are saying about NCLB, administrators, and the lack of (and need for!) parental involvement in schools, I am disappointed by your treatment of your students. Believe me, I teach some total thugs and bad asses- but they are the exception, not the rule. There certainly does exist an appalling lack of personal responsibility, but I hope that if I have taught my students nothing else, they have learned from me to take some responsibility for themselves and their role in their education.
    I am sad that you have been so burned and are leaving the field, because surely someone with your obvious intelligence and wit must be an asset to any school. I am haunted by the statistic that fifty percent of new teachers leave the field within five years, and agree with you that micromanaging and NCLB are sucking the creativity out of education. If a corporation like IBM experienced such a high turnover, they would look at themselves and ask what needs to be changed internally. Sadly, educators who leave are blamed because they just “couldn’t cut it”. So I thank you for your service, because no one else will.
    Still, the disdain you seem to feel for your students comes through in your posts, and I cannot help but wonder how many of your problems with your students you brought upon yourself. Teenagers are not stupid, and they know when someone is talking down to them or plain doesn’t like them. Remember, they are children, and many-like your Sara- are dealing with problems that someone with my experience, support, and education would find utterly overwhelming.
    I wish you luck in your future endeavors.

     
  8. Emily

    May 29, 2008 at 4:30 am

    Ms. Friendly

    I hope you survive the last day! I can’t believe all of this goes on at your school… you ARE getting out of there, right??? You should write a tell-all book about all of this.

    emily

     
  9. Soapboxdiva

    May 29, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Ms. Friendly, my hero! When you run low on stories from the high school level I’ll be glad to share some of my elementary days…

    Kindergartners, oh, such sweet little darlings… Until you see what it is like in the inner-city schools!

    Ms. W., the fun loving “teach of the year” type that has been teaching kindergarten for oodles of years. Ms. W. is having her students work on their latest fun activity. Part of the activity calls for students to color a handout sheet.

    Little John Doe didn’t feel like coloring this day. Does little John Doe raise his hand and ask to be excused from this activity? No, like every good little baby thug in the making he pulls down his pants and underwear, bends over, and tells Ms. W., “Color this!”

    Doesn’t it make you just want to give that little darling a hug!

     
  10. msfriendly

    May 30, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Annabelle

    WHERE in this blog, have I stated or inferred that I TREATED my students unfairly or poorly? Why did you write:

    “…I am disappointed by your treatment of your students.”

    “Still, the disdain you seem to feel for your students comes through in your posts, and I cannot help but wonder how many of your problems with your students you brought upon yourself.”

    You know NOTHING about HOW I treated my students! That information is not written in this blog…not because I treated them like shit, but because this is MY blog! This is the ONE place where I DO NOT have to pretend! Not for you or any motherfucking body else!

    Your inferences are WRONG!!!! I was one of the teachers those kids felt comfortable talking to!!!! I was told by THOSE kids and EVERY OTHER batch of kids I have taught in my seven years of experience, “You talk to us like we are humans. You don’t talk down to us.”

    All of the deemed behavior problems were the ones who would not cuss me out…when other colleagues of mine were having trouble well into the second semester of the school year. So where the fuck do you get off telling me about how disappointed you are over something you know nothing about! This blog is my space to vent however I deem necessary! If I want to focus MORE on NCLB, Bush, school administration, and Scary Ape Aliens from the Sea…then I will!

    I am leaving public school education because I know that I can go on to college-level and TEACH other TEACHERS!

    “Teenagers are not stupid, and they know when someone is talking down to them or plain doesn’t like them.”

    WTF? Are you kidding me? You weren’t there! You don’t know who I like! I LOVED ALL OF THEM as individuals!!!!!

    I’m leaving because I can’t stand to see what’s becoming of them. Kudos to you and your stoic ability to remain in the trenches (see I can make off-the-wall inferences, too).

    Fuck you, Annabelle!

    Thanks for flying the Ms.Friendly skies 🙂

     

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