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Tag Archives: special education

32 – Hay Gente Importante …And I’m Not One of Them!

Hay gente importante…pronounced (I *Hen Tay * M Pour Taun Tay)…which means…There are important people…

…and I’m NOT one of them!

I believe that I’m FINALLY getting the message…there’s no such thing as “just teaching.” Before I begin, please allow me to preface this rant by reiterating that this school is BETTER than where I came from (but so is Sasquatch’s bunghole), however the façade is beginning to crumble.

I believe in education. REALLY. I’m a nerd…I know I’ve said this before, and I mean it when I say it (proud of it, too). However, as a teacher in the urban and/or near-to-urban public school system, I believe that I am in the WRONG profession. Those people keep fucking with me! I just want to teach! I don’t want to deal with displaying their dozens and eons worth of meaningless, standards-based, data-driven posters and shit in my room! Today, a representative from the central office visited our department meeting to “warn” us that gente importante (important people) will be coming to our rooms this week in search of this paper shit on our walls. Also, said gente importante would be subject to place students under interrogation…seeking to discover the following burning academic enigmas:

w How often has your teacher incorporated writing into your lesson?

w Is your teacher preparing you for the state graduation test?

w Has your teacher demonstrated the proper method in which to structure a persuasive essay?

Never mind the fact that our school system has been in session for EIGHT DAYS!!!! This is the Inquisition. This is the delousing of a dirty whore’s crabs. This shit is for the birds! I don’t give a damn about the county and their expansive charts that cover a good four feet of wall space…what I care about is the cultivation of a positive learning environment/community within my classroom. I also care about:

w Making photocopies for students (of which is nearly impossible…13 English teachers have been allotted 1000 copies for the entire school year)

w Internet connections (so I know there’s a damn fire drill or STRANGER DANGER)

w Ability to access the school’s online grade book service (I just got a working computer in my room today)

w Student access to technology (non-existent)

w Updated class rosters w/access to student personal info…like parent’s phone number

Okay, okay…I know…I’m complaining again! But damn it…why is it so difficult to JUST TEACH? I am obviously not una persona importante!

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4 Comments

Posted by on August 20, 2008 in Work

 

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31 – Lessons in Falling…Oh the Humility!

Do you realize that on the SIXTH day of school, I was informally observed by an administrator? Normally, something like that would not ruffle my feathers…but I am housing a nitwit in my room, so the situation got hairy. The administrator who came to observe my class reminds me of a cross between a Jack Russell Terrier and Alex P. Keaton of Family Ties…he’s an overzealous bundle of little man energy. The children were reading when Alex P Keaton walked into the classroom…they had just begun a lesson focusing on the folk tale and the trickster.

When Pollyanna saw APK…she commandeered the class…MY class, and began to stop the readers in random places to ask them questions of no relation to the text (as I reflect now, I believe she thinks she was emulating what I had done the previous two class periods…NOT). When one of the students asked her “What’s the difference between a folk tale and a myth?” …she replied “A folk tale is just a sidebar of a myth.”

HUH? (cue the crickets sound)

So, needless to say…no glowing informal observation for us; Alex P Keaton emailed us the type of feedback a novice teacher would expect to receive. I was livid. Who is that woman and why is she in my room?!

From Alex P. Keaton to Ms. Friendly and Pollyanna…

Good afternoon –

Below are the observations from your 3rd period:

1. Students were initially focused using the proper standard, objective and EQ.
2. The essential question was well written and reflected the days lesson.
3. The transition between readers was not smooth. I suggest using an activity such as popcorn (allow a student to read then pick another student when finished with the passage and only allowing each person to be picked once) or assigning a number to each student and picking students based on the number.
4. The reading activity did not engage all learners. They were quiet but not necessarily attentive.
5. Use some type of graphic organizer to assist student in organizing their thoughts about the reading passage.

If you have questions or I can assist you with developing strategies, please let me know.

From Ms. Friendly to Saneandsingle…

Okay, so I was responsible for #1&2…nitwit jumped in and took over the discussion when Alex P Keaton walked in (this was the time of the infamous “Folk tale is a side bar to myth” statement occurred). The kids were reading just fine, and then when he walked in…she stood up and started to interrupt them and “teach”!!!! …So I will blame #3&4 on her fucking ass (fucktard)…and #4…well…BOTH copiers in the school were BROKEN!!!! I was absent Wed, and the graphic organizer I had for them was useless because it could not be copied nor placed on a transparency!!!

Fuckity Fuck Fuck!!!! Formal or informal…I do not receive evaluations such as this one. Shit WILL change immediately. I don’t care how she takes it, but she will back the fuck down from her “teaching.” She needs to sit back and learn!

Alrighty then…back to the drawing board…so much for learning humility! Now she’s asking to write lesson plans (I said “No”) when she hasn’t even read up on all fifteen students on her SPED caseload. She says that she hasn’t had the time…HUH? Whatever…I’m beginning to think that people who have spent the last eight years in the private sector should NOT be allowed to run rampant in classrooms thinking that they can walk in and “just teach” like those of us who have been properly trained!

She’s not taking the subtle hints.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2008 in Work

 

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30 – Mrs. Pollyanna Sunshine

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!

 
13 Comments

Posted by on August 13, 2008 in Work

 

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23 – What’s the Point?

People want to argue with me lately…which is fine! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I can only say this, and I say it with every bit of integrity within my being…I am reporting the daily occurrences as they happen!!! I am not peppering my reality with any of that stuff so many of you like…what’s that called…DELUSION!!! Yeah…THAT! I don’t use that spice when I cook. Makes me sick. I’m allergic to bullshit.

I have been an educator for seven years. I am one of those REAL teachers…the kind who actually teaches! I don’t sit behind a desk and assign paperwork. I like to get my hands dirty alongside my students. I like to talk to my students…get to know who they are as people!

I do not like it when I have that process interrupted with bullshit political things like incompetent administrators, permissive central office rules directed towards students, and the infamous No Child Left Behind…why do I pick on that…well, let’s see…where should I begin…

w Criminals with records sitting next to YOUR child in my classroom…did you know that?

w SEX OFFENDERS sitting next to YOUR child in my classroom…did you know that?

w Serve a 70% ratio of Emotionally and Behaviorally Disturbed students in my classroom, who sit next to YOUR child…who also disrupt class so much that I am only able to teach 50% of content IF that…did you know that?

w Special Education teachers are assigned PART-TIME to classrooms because there are not enough of them to go around…so the regular education teacher struggles with ALL of those children by himself…parents are under the impression that their child is being served for an ENTIRE class period, but they are not…did you know that?

w Test students until their eyes pop out of their head, but they are not one but smarter than they were before they started…did you know that?

w Creative teaching…the kind that kids REALLY pay attention to and absorb is scoffed at. Teachers now adhere to the Stepford Teaching Method of One Size Fits All…did you know that?

…All compliments of NCLB and Boy “W”onder!!!

The point here…the POINT of this blog is to get you ANGRY!!!! But don’t waste your anger on me! Take that anger down to your local school board and make sure those policies are the right ones for your student. Don’t send me comments telling me how disappointed you are about how I blahblahblah OR comments about “they’re just children.” I am not the focus here…the focus is the atrocity of what is being allowed to continue in your/our backdoor! The policy makers have the power and they continue to turn blind eyes to the true state of crapola inner-city schools have become.

How does that affect you?

Those inner-city neighborhoods are being shut-down and those same kids are moving to more rural locations…thereby altering the culture of rural schools…this should be of some importance to you! The policy makers are only powerful because “we,” as citizens, have chosen to place them in that position of importance. Realize your power as a stakeholder in the community! Do not take no for an answer because as parents/community members, your voice is golden…it means more than mine! As a teacher, my voice doesn’t mean jackshit unless I’m using it to tell students to make to class before the bell rings!

There are so many things that the public does not know about the educational system…and your child suffers because of it.

Don’t get angry with me…get proactive with your student’s future!

 
15 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2008 in Work

 

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14 – Dorothy, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore!…Or Are We?

8-year-old arrested, accused of hitting teacher

HA! They get younger and younger! However, that’s the thing I think many parents do not recognize…teen and adolescent behavior is a direct reflection of early childhood rearing. I hear so many of my students say,

“My mama can’t tell me what to do!”

“I drink with my mama.”

“I hit my mama.”

“I ain’t never had no spanking.”

“My mama ain’t never beat me.”

“My mama beat me with (fill in the blank)”

…and I teach high school…

“Little” eight-year-old Deshawn Williams got into a physical altercation with another classmate over a box of crayons…apparently chairs became projectile objects, classmates were hit, and the teacher was struck in the face when he did not get what he wanted. Deshawn ended up in the back of a police car, while wearing the latest fashion the penal system had to offer – handcuffs!

The thing I find most disturbing about this story is what Granny Dorothy had to say about her grandson’s behavior:

  • “He gets very upset and he loves to hit,”
  • “If he was overpowering her that much, I feel like she shouldn’t be in that line of work,”
  • “If she can’t deal with him, put him in someone else’s classroom. If it’s a male, whatever, and let them restrain him,”

And obviously, we really are NOT in Kansas anymore, Dorothy!

I wonder if Granny D is familiar with the other “D” word?

Discipline! Whatever happened to good old-fashioned discipline? Permissiveness (sorry Dr. Spockers) and child abuse are obviously NOT what I’m suggesting because the two are so far from discipline. It is evident, from the behavior of my students, that their parents never provided discipline. Perhaps some of their parents abused them…slapped them around and inducted them into the world of hard knocks…perhaps their parents were absentee…either way, this type of faulty parenting is like a medieval scourge descending upon our society! Soon enough we will be living a rendition of Lord of the Flies…no adults and every child for himself.

Alas! There is something else that is bothering me about this particular case in light of all the newly surfaced stories of juvenile anarchy…this Deshawn kid attends an “exceptional school,” which means that his behavior could be a tad bit excusable if there are considerable emotional disabilities involved.

  • Why was he arrested and not the kid who attacked Jolita Berry or the kid who attacked Felecia Williams?
  • Should allowances be made for Deshawn Williams if he is truly emotionally disturbed?
  • Do parents realize how many Emotionally and Behaviorally Disturbed (EBD) students are mainstreamed into the regular education classroom with their student due to No Child Left Behind?
  • Do parents realize that the regular ed. teacher is not fully equipped to handle the outbreaks of these students…and therefore, instruction suffers because the regular ed. teacher spends 80% of valuable instruction time “putting out fires?”
  • Do parents realize that the special education staff is often times over-worked, and are not always going to be present in a student’s class to offer assistance (assistance they are not highly qualified in)?

Oh my…I think I’m airing all the dirty laundry…and boy is it dirty…

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 28, 2008 in Work

 

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