It may be that no one even reads this anymore. I've been terrible about updating it, but I hope, and I stress hope, to update more often than once a month. New Years was a eventful. Kevin remembers more than I do so I recommend reading his post for any details.
Apparently I'm on the "Consultation Committee" with the United Federation of Teachers at my school now. All I did was mention I was interested in the Union to our building rep and today at a meeting she announced I was a new member of the committee.
I did some interviews for Pitzer this past weekend Downtown. It was weird being treated like a "real" adult. One parent spent like 20 mins talking to me about the economy. While it surely is a concern of mine, it made me feel like a jackass talking about it for so long. Most of the kids were pretty ok, with one or two spark plugs. Some people can talk, but had absolutely no depth.
Today, our newest student, who's mother speaks perfect English, but he speaks none, called another student a "fuckin' bitch" and thus taught everyone else the term, but it was surprising that all the other kids knew that it was a bad word, but did not hesitate to repeat it. My immediate reaction was to run out of the classroom and burst into laughter. Witnessing multiple 5 year olds say "fuckin' bitch" is all sorts of funny. Then I came back and went into teacher mode. I asked him where he learned that language. He responded that his grandfather taught him. Not wanting to discourage language acquisition I explained that he could speak to his grandfather that way if he wanted to, but in the classroom we don't call each other that.
The situation reminded me of when I learned the "F" word for the first time. I was in 1st grade, or 6 years old (so it shouldn't be a huge shock that he learned it at 5), and I was in a 1st/2nd bridge class. A 2nd grader told me to say "buckeroo" with an "f" instead of a "b." I said it multiple times and nothing happened. When I said it at home my mom punished me and told me to never say that again. She must have been distressed that I was being exposed to that already, but I had no idea what part was the bad word, and what it even meant.
There has been all sorts of drama at my school over paperwork. There is a ton of paperwork (reading and writing portfolios with work from each month in each grade) that is required for each child, but no one reads, and middle schools just send it back to us after the child moves up. The administration seems to be as nice as possible to me, but the old guard of the school thinks they're out to get us. I think everyone is approachable, but they make this big deal about telling our union rep who then relays the messages to the admin. Then the admin is concerned because we are not honest with them and it appears that they are not approachable. I don't know I'm just kind of wingin' it still and trying to survive. It helps that I'm working with an experienced teacher, who also feels the admin is being unfairly villain-ized. People misinterpret comments from them and make them seem so terrible when they tell others. One Asst. Principal said something along the lines of "you shouldn't leave this job tired, the kids should" and went on to explain that the little things we worry about we should have the kids help us with like organization-type things, but everyone was like "what? so I'm supposed to be super energized after the day?" Of course they all said this after the meeting was over instead of asking for an explanation in the first place. I'm just trying to keep a neutral position and do my job as well as I can.