Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Lot of Nothing

Nothing much happening that's fit to report -- good or bad. Things are so-so -- not fine and dandy, but okay. We plug along.

The best news is that Gussie's teeth have healed nicely and he is back to playing with toys and chowing down on his hard nugget food. Actually, I guess we should say, Gussie's gums have healed nicely. All his front teeth except his big pointy canines are gone. So are a couple of teeth on the right side. He doesn't seem to miss them much.

At school I'm on metal detector duty every morning until Christmas. This is onerous stuff. One gets to dig down in all the assorted back packs and gym bags looking for potential weapons. I've never found one -- I've always assumed that if one actually wanted to do damage to a school, walking into a known metal detector with an AK47 was beyond stupid. Our students aren't that dense. So actually, my job is probably merely an announcement to the kids that we don't approve of them carrying guns and knives and brass knuckles to school and we maybe could find them if we actually had to. Meanwhile, I stand for 30 minutes every day at 7:00 a.m. bent over a low table, pawing at kids' gym shorts. Thrilling work -- and very physically draining. I go home exhausted every night.

John Hopkins University today announced that my high school, the one I cherish and am so proud to teach at, is a "drop out mill." They claim that t0o many students pass through our doors, only to drop out, and that we have reached a new low in education. Two of my district's schools made the list of infamy while seven made it just across the state line. The out-0f-state schools simply agreed that they had problems, but my district was highly combative. The Hopkins' statistics claimed that only 33% of our student body ever graduate high school. Our statistics show that in the past two years we've been at 77%. I've been at the school during those two years and I'm quite sure that the 33% is an erroneous (or very old) statistic.

In November I'm scheduling multiple IEP meetings for my SPED students and their parents. This necessitates phone calls, meeting arrangements, and long hours spent writing the IEP's. In my district these documents are NOT easy to produce. Some districts actually have drop down and plug-in IEP forms, but we create 25 page essays.

My graduate class sucks the big one. The professor is one of those that reads the PowerPoint slides to you. Why, oh why, won't professionals learn NOT to do that? Moreover she is the queen of the buzz word -- and she really doesn't get what the life of a public school high school teacher is like. I hate the course, I don't respect the teacher, and the assignments -- dear Lord! I haven't read the book except for the first chapter -- too busy trying to create the damn writing assignments -- and she keeps yammering on about how the final will cover textual material. This does not bode well.

So -- the upshot is I'm tired. Very tired.

Right now I'm counting the days to Thanksgiving. And then Christmas. But the week of New Year's we have completely off. Finally, I can get some much needed house time and some uninterrupted, deep sleep. If I can just survive until then.

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