Wednesday, October 28, 2009


My interviews to get this job were a life time ago it seems. The first one was with a panel of 5 guys (who I now know to be principals and members of the current English department) They took turns asking the perfunctory questions like "how would you describe the environment you will create in your classroom?" and "what is the last book you read?"...things that any teacher can come up with off the top of their head. I was charming, I was witty, I was able to communicate in full sentences. I looked them in the eye, had a firm handshake, and made them laugh. I was a success!

Then came the second interview, with the executive principal, the super, and the asst. super...... we sat in a small room in the district office. They were all wearing suits, mine was wrinkled. There were 3 candidates that had been called back for an interview. I was sweating. I'm sure I smelled.

They looked at me for what seemed like an eternity before they spoke. I was 24. Never had a real, big girl job. Had subbed for ages after I received my masters degree, I was wet behind the ears. I was feeling really inferior. Then the super started talking, and I think I didn't pay attention to a single word he said.

"There aren't any formal questions for this interview." He said, (or something like that) "Instead we just want you to begin talking about what you think we should know about you and your teaching experience, ideas, lesson planning. Whatever you think you want us to know."

I sat there. The clock ticked.

"Umm..." I said. Gosh I was smart and well spoken. Pull yourself together I told myself over and over and over. I sucked.

I looked pleadingly at the Executive principal who looked the friendliest. Help me.

Finally after 27 minutes of silence someone asked a question. I began to babble. Something about a kid at the school I subbed at that no one liked, but I did. (great now they think you're strange), on to something about how the teachers I worked with were really unprofessional, (super job, they are probably related to someone there). I talked about how I believed that we should inspire kids to read by reading ourselves. I blabbed on about some lesson I taught on grammar with an orange. (WHO CARES?) and I prayed. Hard. God, help me to at least formulate cohesive thoughts.

They looked at each other. They looked at me. No one said anything. They did not smile. They showed no mercy. They asked no questions. I am such a failure, I thought. Then, SHIT did I say that out loud? No. Good. Is it over yet?

They shook my hand and escorted me to the door. I breathed for the first time in an hour. The second candidate was waiting in a chair by the door. Older than me. Briefcase in hand. Black suit, no wrinkles, and heels that she could walk in without tripping. She was polished, and didn't smell like BO. "How was it?" She smiled sweetly. I wanted to punch her in her perfectly make-upped face. "Piece of cake! Soooo easy! " I gushed. "Good Luck!" Secretly hoping that my cavalier manner would make her panic.

I made it from the door to my car before the tears started. Did I not want this job? Why didn't I try harder? Did God hate me? Why was I such a disaster? Why could I think of nothing intelligent to say? I cried the whole way home. Which took 32 minutes. I had never had such a horrible interview. I was a passionate, idealistic person. I really wanted to make a difference and to TEACH! Why could I not get that point across at an interview. I had had a total of 12 interviews this summer. 15 last summer and all I could land was a long-term subbing gig. Why could no one see my potential? Why couldn't I show people all I had to offer? Why do I suck at life?

...I got the job (obviously as I am teaching now, duh). They called back within 2 days. Here's the kicker: Why after 2 months am I again feeling all those same insecurities? How do I reach these kids? Why do they resist me so much? What am I doing wrong? Why can't I show them that I care and that they can be successful? Why am I not the world's greatest teacher that I so want to be?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Short week!!!!

This week will involve very little teaching. I'm looking forward to the break actually. Today, we reviewed and then they totally bombed their first quiz on Julius Caesar (really bummed out about that)....tomorrow all period I have to administer this anonymous "Communities that Care Youth Survey" that grills the kids on drugs, parties and alcohol. As well as friendships, bullies and fighting. The kids lie. They think its corny and a waste of time. And they enjoy chatting and not doing any "work" in class. I lose them, because they have then forgotten everything they may have known about Shakespeare.....oh well. Then Wednesday and Thursday we will catch up, and figure out how to encourage them to like Shakespeare, or at least understand it.....and Friday is the D.A.T.E. conference and I get to leave school ALL day. :-)

...but I hate the idea of leaving my little naughties with a sub. I know subs are competent, intelligent people, I used to sub. I also know that as a sub I just wanted to survive the day and get through the material left by the classroom teacher. I dread leaving my kids for the day. The last time this happened they were nightmares and I was only gone for a half day. They totally took advantage of the situation and did NO work at all. I'm thinking of just leaving a movie for them to watch, which I have always thought of as a cop out. But, I have no faith that the sub will be able to get my unruly little devils to cooperate.

ah well. Whats the worst that can happen?

Smelly kids.....

Today one of my students put on ALOT of old lady perfume. I don't know where she got it from...... but I almost prefer the boys that forget deodorant to the girl who smells like grandma. I'm getting a headache.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Dear Makers-of-Instant-Cappuccino,

How I do love you! Especially on mornings when I am running late and can't get coffee and would otherwise have a truly crummy day. You are surely the rescuer of teenage lives. Be proud! And stay always within my easy reach.

Much Love,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So busy....

I have crazy amounts of stuff to do this week and ZERO time. Including running various errands to places that are ONLY open while I work. Why does the bank close at 4pm? I rarely leave the building by then........ especially when I have meetings schdeuled after school to tell me things that I already know.

That being said, I stumbled across this blog today, (while I was procrastinating doing the work I truly need to get done)and decided I too would like a personal assistant.

Wanted: Personal Assistant

Must be willing to make and receive numerous phone calls on a daily basis. Subject of phone calls can be, but is not limited to:

scheduling parent conferences with 100% success rate
scheduling parent conferences with 100% of the parents
scheduling parent conferences with 100% of the parents to be completed within a 10-day window
scheduling parent conferences for parents that can't actually come on parent conference night
scheduling alternative times for parent conferences during teacher's planning period, before school, or after school (when even the teacher doesn't even know what days he/she will actually HAVE a planning period, or when the teacher only has 1-day lead time as to whether or not they will have morning duty the following week, or when the teacher doesn't know when a last minute after school frivolous meeting will be scheduled)
tracking down missing paperwork/documentation for records
communicating information to parents about missing/incomplete student work
communicating information to parents about their child's negative behaviors in school

Must be willing to file paperwork that involves, but is not limited to:

student assignments
student behaviors
student growth/progress
student interventions
student absences
student tardies
student's new/revised home contact numbers
parent communication
student observations
running record of all times and events teacher goes above and beyond what is necessary

Must be willing to make copies that are, but are not limited to:

student assignments
notes home

Must be willing to monitor a school calendar so as to keep the teacher informed of:

upcoming staff meetings
upcoming planning meetings
upcoming off-campus meetings
upcoming off-campus-planning meetings
upcoming campus events that affect instructional time
upcoming campus events that are after school hours
unscheduled important last-minute meetings
unscheduled important last-minute deadlines
unscheduled frivolous last-minute meetings
unscheduled frivolous last-minute deadlines
unscheduled frivolous things in general
duty assignments and dates
specials rotation
upcoming due dates
upcoming assemblies
upcoming counselor guidance lessons

Must be willing to monitor a school calendar so as to help the teacher:

schedule educational events for students
schedule bathroom breaks
schedule days on which the teacher can get "sick"
Experience in interior decorating a plus

use interior decorating experience to decorate classroom with various student works, to be rotated out every 2 weeks
use interior decorating experience to decorate classroom without covering more than 60% of wall space in order to stay in compliance with fire codes
use interior decorating experience to decorate classroom with the "stuff" that meets the educational requirements of each department (i.e. math, science, reading) while still finding room for the student works that need to be displayed and not go over the 60% wall-coverage as required by the fire department (when 75% of one wall is windows and 80% of another wall is ceiling to floor cabinets)
use interior decorating experience to organize student desks for cooperative grouping while still keeping the desks in a position in which all students can see the board....with occasional times of organizing straight rows and columns for testing days....and then moving them back for non-testing days.

Annual Salary: 0.01 K (paid by Mr. Ed U. Cater himself)

-Well done Mr. Ed U Cater for understanding exactly what is missing in my life. Let me know if anyone applies for the job.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My day in a nut shell....before 9am

wide awake
looked at clock
still wide awake
got some water
back in cozy bed with snuggly fleece sheets
heard alarm
pushed snooze
pushed snooze
pushed snooze
pushed snooze 3 more times
looked at clock
jumped out of bed
hit elbow on wall...hard
jumped in cold shower
climbed out and dripped all over bathroom
searched for towel
dripped all over hallway
searched for towel
found towel
ran brush through wet hair
searched for bra
found neon pink bra with sequins on it
searched for a clean shirt that was not white
looked at clock
scratched at sequins poking at arm pit
found pants and socks
scratched at sequins poking at arm pit
threw on clothes that sorta matched
scratched at sequins poking at arm pit
took off bra and put on extra sweater
tripped down stairs on dog toy
scrapped a hole in ice on windshield
drove to school, peeking through said hole
hoped no animals were in the road
bought drive-through coffee
spilled coffee on lap
arrived late to work
ran to classroom
got key permanently stuck in door
dropped coffee...on worksheets for first period
didn't cry
didn't cry
didn't cry
picked myself up from rocking fetal position on the floor
said a prayer for Monday to get better.....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today Sucked....

I will not let the naughty boys in my class get to me. They will not ruin my health and raise my blood pressure and give me migraines. I will love them anyway.

I am tired of being grumpy. Today was the worst day yet. I want to enjoy the rest of the class. They are a group of wonderful, smart, witty children. I can not let two kids ruin my day or my year. I will do everything in my power not to let that happen. I know that I am a capable and interesting and involved teacher. I know I can do this.

...I am at school till 9pm for open house. I can't wait to go home.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My first observation: Friday!

I'm getting observed this week and I am a little bit stressed about it. I want very much to do something fun and stimulating and wonderful, but Im so afraid that my students will not be able to handle it. I obviously want to do well, but I don't want to be boring and stuck in a rut either. It would be so easy to just to a mundane I teach, you learn type of lesson. But I desperately want to show my administration that I can do hands on stuff and I am innovative and interesting. I already do fun and different things with my kids, the difference is that I don't usually let them do them for very long because they get unruly very quickly.

Wish me luck. My kids are naughty and not well suited to doing activities.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Loving our friends....

Many of our loved ones are getting married this fall. I thought it best to put their pictures on our personal blog as well as pompey hollow photo's because they truly mean so much to us!

Congrats guys, we love you.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Oink Oink Oink

No, I am not getting the H1N1 vaccine.

Yes, I am aware that it affects people in the 18-25 yr old category into which I fall. Yes, I am also aware that I am exposed to hundreds of germy, grimy, gross kids every day.

I feel it was pushed to market much too quickly, although I am not a medical expert. I have never received a seasonal flu shot, despite that it was recommended to me many times by the professionals that I work with. Last winter I got the flu. Bad. I was laid up for over a week. I coughed and sneezed and whined my way through it until I finally was better. A month and a half later. This year I will probably get the flu shot. I learned my lesson. Do I need to get the swine flu to learn my lesson over this? Maybe, but the bottom line is that I’m a brat and I do not like to be told what to do. In fact I hate being told what to do, and I feel like people are telling me that I must get the H1N1 vaccine. Well, guess what? I do not have to. No one can make me. I do not belong to a national health care system (currently), so there. Plus, I feel that it would spur onward this mass paranoia and panic that revolves around the pig flu. Yes, people have died from it. People have also been stung to death by killer bees, drowned in a tea spoon of water, and been electrocuted while vacuuming….

---Surely I have started a battle now.

I’m off to buy a bee-keepers suit.

I want to...

...go home. School hasn't even started yet. I haven't even made it through homeroom. I am so upset about yesterday at work that I am not even remotely prepared to face today. Long story short: a teacher was upset last week at my classroom management practices (in my classroom, during class she came in with a student she found in the halls and proceeded to interrupt my class by informing me of all the wayward student's misdeeds and why she was bringing her back to class, and why she was a bad kid, and why I should have called the attendance office, and why she was still talking in the MIDDLE of my lesson...etc etc.) Anyway, said wayward kid was pissed and embarrassed and would not calm down. So I told her she could go to guidance to vent, eat chocolate and do whatever it is kids do in the guidance office so that the rest of my class could continue to learn. The teacher was so irate that I allowed the kid to leave class after she brought her back she spoke to my mentor, my principal and almost every teacher in the English Department.....except for me. My mentor had the nerve to tell me that I should apologize to the woman...and if I were acting like an adult I probably would be the bigger person and tell her that I'm sorry she felt like I was stepping on her toes and lowering her authority, and I would tell her this to her face, and make it a point of not discussing it with others first....(with the exception of the trillions of people on the WWW) but I'm not acting like an adult, I'm pouting. I'm so annoyed that she couldn't come and talk to me, and more annoyed that she thinks that I would just allow a bratty kid to leave just because.

...and there's the bell. Which means it homeroom. Happy Thursday.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Life is dandy...and then you pee

I love my job, and today is payday!!!! I truly feel like a big girl on days when I can easily pay my bills without having to boycott my favorite coffee shops for weeks at a time in order to afford heat and electricity.

I love having my car back. It was sick and in the shop. Nothing serious, she's doing just fine.

I love my students first thing in the morning when they are all still sleepy and rubbing their eyes and I am reminded that they are still, really, babies.

I love being "home" in all aspects of my life. I love CNY. I love my little home town. I love bumping into my high school biology teacher at the gas station and talking about my new job and hearing that he's proud of me. I love knowing what is going on in town. I am so blessed to be surrounded by my family again. I love the farm.

I do not love living with dogs that are not mine..... now Penny barks and its annoying. I realize this. Its particularly annoying when you are trying to sleep, read or watch TV. However, she comes when she is called, she does not chew things that do not belong to her and she would never EVER pee in the house, especially not on the FURNITURE under ANY circumstances. I think she would rather die. I hate dogs that pee in the house. That's why there is a gate between kitchen A and kitchen B. For some unknown reason that gate is frequently left open and no one but myself seems to care. Now..... someone peed on my carpet yesterday. Someone also peed on my chair. Someone also peed on my desk, which somehow permeated the drawer and soaked through on important papers.... my home smells of pee...... pee pee pee.......this is not OK with me.
But, I get scolded for pushing the dogs back to the other side of the house. And I am not allowed to scold the dogs. I am hugely frustrated.