30 – Mrs. Pollyanna Sunshine

13 Aug

So many people have asked me the $1million dollar question, “Friendly, is it any better this year?” Boy oh boy…let me tell you…I could be teaching in an Eskimo fishing hole with muskrats and caribou as my star pupils and I would be THE happiest woman-not-teaching-in-the-inner-city EVER! I’m dead ass! And don’t get me wrong, by no means do I work in the quintessence of scholarly teen academia (the county is in danger of losing its accreditation for Pete’s sake…and Justin’s sake, too…lol), but at least New School High has the following:

· REAL administrators!

· REAL rules that are ACTUALLY enforced!

· A REAL principal (i.e. one who knows the difference between the hole in the wall and the one in his ass)

· An ethnically diverse faculty AND student body population (yayyyyy!)

· Students who are quiet while I teach.

· Students who complete their work (or at least they give me the impression that they are).

Now please don’t think I’m walking on sunshine…it’s still work! But…it’s nothing like the hell I was banished to last year. This is still education, which means some of the things I am required to do are half past retarded! So, the school has given me ALL collaborative classes…which means that I am the English teacher, and there is also a person who teaches Special Education in the classroom. The SpEd teacher is also supposed to be HIGHLY QUALIFIED (lol)…ummm…some of them are, and I have worked with such individuals in the past. Great experience. My SpEd teacher, however, is not! She is not HIGHLY QUALIFIED in jack shit J! In fact, she has never taught a day in her life. She will be beginning her Online Masters/Certification at the end of this month…and the thing that really burns my ass about this situation is that the administration expects to see 50/50 teaching occurring. HA!

I have voiced my dissent to my department head. I told her that it would be detrimental, to the academic progress of my regular education students, to allow this woman 50/50 teaching access. She’s not a certified English teacher. She has NO BACKGROUND in English whatsoever…and it shows! I have a total of 100 students to her 10 SpEd students. I also am responsible for preparing all of my 11th graders for THREE state tests that highly affect (note: not effect…remind me to come back to that one) the status of their graduation from high school. So WHY would the school system think it a viable learning situation to jeopardize the success of 90 students in light of 10…does that make any sense to you?

Okay…because Pollyanna is not an English teacher, she doles out misinformation like a whore gives head…it’s astronomical! (Okay…she’s not THAT much of a rock head…she’s actually quite bright, but NOT an English teacher) I will give you some examples of A Day in the Life of the Doings and Misdeeds of Mrs. Pollyanna Sunshine. I was discussing the ways in which media AFFECTS youth, with the class. I wrote a journal question on the board and modeled it after the state test format…I was actually going somewhere with the whole journal thing…and then Pollyanna interjects with her Sunshine “isms” just as I’m about to divulge the secret formula to forming a succinct thesis statement…Issue + Opinion about issue = Thesis Statement!!!! Yayyyyyy!!!!! But noooooo, Pollyanna tells the class, “Make sure that your thesis statement is interesting!”
She’s enthused as she delivers this morsel of abstract and useless information…I groan inwardly…trying hard not to throw up in my mouth a little bit…trying hard not to strangle her or tell/ask her KINDLY, “Please go and sit your ass down for the remainder of the class period and NEVER speak without running it by me first.” But I don’t say that…I ignore her…nod my head…and proceed with my goal in mind. I try not to think about the affect/effect mishap that occurred yesterday…UGH!

My department head informed me today that it is my job to over plan (for her benefit) and basically train her…so I just couldn’t resist asking the snarky ass question fighting to claw its way out of my throat. “So, you mean to tell me that she gets my Master’s degree for free and I get nothing for giving it to her?” My department head blinks twice…digests what I said…makes a slight nod of her head and says, “I once had a collab teacher who…”

I zoned out at that point because her response was a resounding “YES!” in my book. And…to all you readers out there in WordPress Land…I hope you know me well enough to know that that is a resounding “HELL NO!” in my scholarly book…It will be a cold day in hell before I allow her give my students any further misinformation (one of them corrected her today)…I know how to play the game, too!

Once again folks, this is the fine work of NCLB in action!


Posted by on August 13, 2008 in Work


Tags: , , , , ,

13 responses to “30 – Mrs. Pollyanna Sunshine

  1. Jason (SPED teacher from VA)

    August 13, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    When I was in JROTC, one of the Sergeant Majors (the enlisted equivalent of a General) told us that, if you were a platoon sergeant and a new lieutenant came in and tried to run things like he knew what he was doing, you let him fall on his face. But if he asked for help/advice, you watched out for him.

    There are 2 lessons I learned from my mother:

    1. Look with your hands, not with your eyes (usually when I was looking for something in my messy room).

    2. Experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing.

    It doesn’t sound like Pollyanna has any experience, but that she’s still trying to run things like she knows what she’s doing…

  2. msfriendly

    August 13, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Jason…I like your advice! Thank you very much! And the thing of it really is experience because I have had wonderful collaborative experiences, in the past, with EXPERIENCED individuals! I once taught with a woman who did, eventually, end up splitting much of the teaching content with me…but that’s because she knew her limitations and would ASK first. She was a gifted SPED teacher and really knew how to modify lessons…I looked forward to her presence in class EVERY day! Pollyanna feels that she should “pull her weight.” I told her that she can’t do everything in the class because she is not an English teacher. Whenever I steer her back towards the area she should be an expert in (SPED) she is ALWAYS clueless! “I don’t know…” or “I will have to check on that…” and I’m thinking…Take more time on YOUR stuff FIRST!!!! Read your caseload thoroughly INSTEAD of always wanting to take the classroom floor.

    A kid in a wheelchair joined our class the second day of class and she let him just roll on by her without a second glance! It never occurred to her to make seating accommodations for him!!! That pissed me off!!! I did it!!! And I don’t mind doing it because he’s every much my student as he is hers….but SHE is the SPED teacher, not me…. oh well…

    I am perfectly okay with allowing a grown-up to fall due to their own over or undersights (until help is asked for)…but I am NOT okay with allowing kids/students to fail due to an adults short comings.

    Thank you for your advice. I really may utilize it…I will keep you all updated.

  3. Adam

    August 14, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    Yeah! She’s back.

  4. msfriendly

    August 14, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Adam…Yes I am :-)! Thank you for keeping up with the blog!!! 🙂 You’re pretty entertaining yourself! “Chinese woman with boxes”…LOL!

  5. saneandsingle

    August 14, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Hmm…I don’t have this problem in my collab classes! But of course, I’m “highly qualified”!

    “Dontcha wish your co-teacher was cool like me? Dontcha??”

    Sorry had to make up a song for ya!

  6. msfriendly

    August 15, 2008 at 12:05 am

    WOW!…LOL! You need help INsaneandsingle!!!! (lol)….and YES! I DO wish that my collab teacher was cool like you 🙂

  7. saneandsingle

    August 15, 2008 at 12:11 am

    I do know when to use “affect” and “effect”. 🙂

  8. msfriendly

    August 15, 2008 at 4:07 am

    Yes yes…thank you for reminding me that I am stuck with the Occidental Nitwit 🙂

  9. Christopha!

    August 16, 2008 at 11:07 am

    I have to agree with Jason: let her fall on her face. It’ll force her to come to terms with her rookie status. Then she’ll sit quiet while you explain the effects of solid teaching and how it affects students’ opinions of teachers.

    On the upside, this year’s battle doesn’t put into play, knives, guns, crack dealers and bleach filled balloons. Glad to hear you’re doing well…I mean good…I mean well.

  10. Kilted Science Guy

    August 16, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    I still see (or read) that my partner in summer crimes is STILL having fun! Inclusion is a great IDEA, but with limited resources (i.e. time) it is truly a daunting task to “train” another teacher. My heart truly goes out to you Ms. Friendly. Miss Ya!

  11. msfriendly

    August 18, 2008 at 12:13 am

    C…Between Pollyanna and Noodles…Eckkk!!! What are we gonna do? LOL!!! Yes, you’re right…I believe that I will have to let her fall on her face. Ironically enough, I was absent Wed. (the first week of school…UGH) due to Asthma and apparently the youngins got “restless” while I was away. Upon my return on Thursday, Pollyanna did seem to remain a tad bit invisible…so we shall see! I think she may be learning slowly but surely.

    And you are right, I do not have the same caliber of “students” from last year…Thank God! This school has a few of them because it neighbors the inner-city, but they have yet to make it to the 11th grade (I met their acquaintances during a Friday fire drill)…let’s just say PTSD is real and alive and I had flashbacks…and APPRECIATED my current set of students all the more!!!! 🙂

    P.S. Apparently, I have a lot of “cholos” …as one of my students told me when I asked him to remove the sunglasses hanging from his ears and to stick his long, white, dress/shirt in his pants; “But I’m Cholo,” he promptly responded. Translation: he’s a Mexican gangster! HA!

  12. msfriendly

    August 18, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Kilty!!! I miss you, too!!!! How’s your school year? Your blog looks GREAT! And yes, I am up to my same old antics!!! You know me 🙂 Too bad we don’t work together, because I sure would “bug” the Science Guy!!! How’s the bag pipe?

    …And yes…”training” another teacher who is “certified” in an area that I am not…INTERESTING!!!! I will get through this and if I am still teaching next year and not in a Ph.D. program, I am going to let them know that I am NOT going to go the way of the impossible ever again!

  13. Kilted Science Guy

    August 18, 2008 at 2:16 am

    School year is great. The school is awesome, a few challenges, but awesome. Go Ph.D. ! The spousal unit is at GSU starting this week. Back to the inclusion problem.

    My first inclusion situation was horrific! Remind me to tell you the story, but it could work in an ideal world. I have a good one this year (praying) and have high hopes. Trying just to keep my super AR side from taking over.


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