I was supposed to go out this morning and do 11 with my club, but it was so cold and so early and I woke up with a headache. So I slept in and did a 5 mile 'pace' run and will do my 11 tomorrow. It felt nice to run in the sunshine, even though it was still pretty cold (for here) -- around 45* with a pretty strong headwind.
I am sorry that I haven't been more involved in the thread. It has been a very challenging week in a number of ways. Dd1 is still recovering from her surgery. She is doing fine but her eye is a bit swollen and is reacting to the sutures, so we have to increase her eye meds (which she does NOT like) and go back again next week. So, okay.
My students gave me such a hard time this week. Unfortunately we had to set down some pretty hard rules because of some ongoing bullying (minor, but still bullying nonetheless) behaviors as well as irresponsibility with privileges, etc. So they now have to have passes when late to specials (never had to before, we have a fairly open campus); they are not allowed to touch each other at all (no more hugging, etc. as this was turning into ...uh...very inappropriate behavior at school); they must travel in pairs when going around on campus (so that no one kid is wandering around aimlessly); etc. They also needed some reminders of our uniform policy (which is actually pretty liberal -- they have a uniform shirt, which is any solid color shirt with the school logo embroidered on it, presentable bottoms, and athletic/closed shoes -- we live in FL and there are snakes, ants, etc. in the grass and they do PE every day). We have had some issues with boys' baggy pants falling down on the playground (trust me, I do NOT need that much information about my 14 year old students' underwear), girls' shirts showing way too much cleavage (they can wear v-necks but they have to have a cami underneath and no cleavage showing), etc.
So anyway they went into revolt and said some very unpleasant and downright disgusting things to me and my co-teacher. I understand they were unhappy. However I won't tolerate disrespect, and I told them in no uncertain terms and in a very strong voice (I did not yell. I got very quiet and was extremely serious) that since I told them at the beginning of the year that I would treat them at exactly the level of trust that they demonstrated they could handle, now I had to set down more boundaries since they were abusing that trust. I actually let them have it with both barrels, but not in a mean or yelling way. Just very firm and serious.
Then I went into the teachers lounge and cried my eyes out. So professional. NOT. I hate this part of teaching this age. I do not want that kind of environment in my classroom. But I will not allow a bunch of adolescents to get out of control, act with disrespect for themselves or others, and generally behave in such a thoughtless way. Won't. Have. It.
Yesterday several of the kids came to me and apologized. Which was lovely; but I'm witholding judgement until we see some positive changes in behavior.
Now to add to this, there is another teacher (of another class) who has basically been trying to bully me (unsuccessfully) and definitely bullying my co-teacher. This woman is used to being the 'head honcho' of humanities education in the middle school. She is a former librarian, older woman educated in a Catholic school system (with nuns who used rulers on hands, etc.). I do not know what the heck she is doing in a Montessori school, but she's been here for years. She has her ideas about what she thinks is the right thing to do and the right way to teach. She teaches 5th/6th grades (we teach 7th/8th). Unfortunately because she has a few lower-functioning 7th graders in her class, we have to coordinate to some degree. She has somehow taken this to mean she dumps 8 more students on us every day for half the day and makes us responsible for their entire curriculum and grading, etc. Ummm. No. She is responsible for implementing our contract for them, except as relates to specific content-related lessons. I have made this very clear but apparently my co-teacher (who is actually a lot nicer than I am) has not, and so this woman has gone behind my back and been nettling my co-teacher quite a bit. This all came out the other day (of course the day I had the issues with the kids) and I was already on the warpath and my co-teacher had to literally restrain me from jumping up and going in there to give her a piece of my mind.
Example of this woman's personality: she decided when coming in to speak to me about something that my room was too hot. Fifteen minutes later, she marches in (while I am at my desk working with a kid), goes to my thermostat, changes the temperature, and marches out. Seriously. WTF?! I stared at her, the kids stared at me, and then I started laughing so hard I was practically crying. Which is not a professional way to handle the situation, because the kids could see I was both pissed and amused at the same time (they can't stand her. She is a good teacher but an unpleasant educator, if you understand what I mean). Later she came in and *informed me* (?@!@%O##) I needed to have my 7th grade leadership group assemble her class Scholastic Book Order forms. I said, no, we're not going to do that. Did not apologize. She was upset and said they needed to go home. So I said, well, then get a group of your kids to assemble them, my 7th grade leadership group has other things to do (she thinks it is a wasted class period so why not give them random busy work she doesn't want to deal with). And I also said, you know why are we wasting that paper?! The Scholastic Book Order can all be done online. She said there are a few families with no internet access, so I said well then send out 5 copies, not 65! DOH!
Sorry I am rambling. But clearly something needs to be done about this and I cannot let my co-teacher continue to roll over, because we need to have a united front (1); and I simply won't stand for being treated as if we are somehow less experienced, less knowledgeable, and less .... whatever -- as she seems to think.
(By the way...and this is not flattering to me...but it was nevertheless perversely satisfying -- she is an English teacher and has been working for years to get published. When she found out I am a published author she turned bright red and looked like she was about to have an apoplectic fit. It was pretty funny. and I wasn't even the person who said anything about it, it was during a faculty meeting).
THEN....I got another letter from a parent who does not like the choices of reading we are assigning, as she thinks those choices are pro-communist and teaching her daughter anti-God information (no joke). (We are reading Animal Farm. Unfortunatley she gets her info from uncredible sources and is not a deep thinker and doesn't realize AF is actually...doh...anti-Communist). So my question is...if you send your kid to PUBLIC SCHOOL do you not suppose they will actually get information that does not support your private religious views?! I deal with this all the time. I explain what we believe and how it is being taught, and I tell my kids that sometimes these things will not match up but they have to learn every point of view in order to understand the way the world works and that when they grow up they will be able to evaluate things more deeply.
So now this kid needs alternate reading assignments and pretty much an individual curriculum. Which we can do because we do that anyway on many levels for our kids as it is a Montessori, but it RANKLES that this parent does not UNDERSTAND the actual material and is rejecting it based on a completely inaccurate premise. Not to mention that I do not like being called perjorative names (anti-God, progressive-liberal ninny who is ruining her daughter's Godly soul).
Good thing I run. That is all I can say. It was literally the difference between sanity and insanity this week.
And in the meantime I am having a confusing emotional issue to deal with (can't go into it here, maybe on the yahoo list).
Please forgive my ramblings. Hope you all have a wonderful day, Dingos. LOVE YOU.