Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Really? Really.

Our superintendent sent the traditional, end of the year feel good letter this afternoon.

It was particularly hard to stomach, especially since our illustrious leader, who makes over $268,000 in salary and also draws retirement from his earlier job with the county, was given a $25,000 raise in a closed door session of our school board.

What the hell?

We are being asked to take a 2% decrease, a furlough day and no step increase.

A session is being held tomorrow evening for teachers and others to discuss this move; a move that the Vice Chair of the Board has said that the teachers really seem to be supporting. Is she kidding?

I'd be willing to take the hit if the top was taking a hit. But there isn't even the appearance that our leaders are willing to surrender any of their perks. The leadership of the board isn't even aware that the teachers are disgruntled and they think we are going away without a fight.

As if.


Friday, May 22, 2009


Doubt I'll be this happy when August rolls around, but, for now, I'm pretty doggoned content.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And Then There Was....

Yes. The One. The final one. Day 180.
Field day.
Update on the stupid father: He didn't take her to the hospital until this morning. And, of course, her ankle was broken. And when she was casted up and handed a pair of crutches, this moron brought her back to school. I might understand if he was a factory worker and couldn't let her sit by the big machinery. But this guy has a white collar job. With a secretary.
Someone explain this situation to me before I call Child Protective Services and have this guy raked over the coals.
You all know how I feel about field day. I'm going for tequila shots when we're finished. Anyone interested?


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

And Then.... There Were....

Today... the fifth grade luncheon. The principal needs a new speech. Just saying. I've heard this one a number of times.
I'm a little concerned, however, with a parent who went back to work after the luncheon. His wife is a flight attendant, so he came on over. I've always liked this guy; he's nice, involved, the typical all American Dad. But we went out to play this afternoon and his daughter was playing soccer - hard - because she's a good player who is on a good team. She got hurt - it looked like she might have broken a bone in her ankle.
He told the school nurse and the principal that she should go home on the bus; he'd been at school for two hours and he wasn't coming back. Did I mention that I pushed her to the clinic in the wheelchair? And we thought her ankle might be broken? They refused to put her on the bus because she couldn't walk. So he told them to put her in the afterschool program and he'd get her from there. When I left, she was sitting in the wheelchair, with her foot elevated, in the hallway. She had taken some motrin she had with her, but who knows how long that would last.
Of all the stupid things.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And Then There Were...

No. Not naked women. Three. Three days. I am exhausted. I have a ton of things left to move, but I have cleared out my cabinets and bookshelves. LawyerBoy is coming tomorrow to move boxes. And then the great unpacking occurs. But first, field day, report cards and 5th grade luncheon. Hurry, hurry.


And Then There Were

Seemed appropriate because the next four days are like days from the apocalypse. Have I mentioned that the last day of school is Field Day? And it's supposed to rain? Really? Really.
And when we went to recess yesterday, I had to wear my winter coat. Because it was cold. And I'm talking about wind blowing, teeth chattering cold. Really.

It's time to pull the curtain on this year, people.
(I bet when he wrote this book, he had no idea.)


Sunday, May 17, 2009

And Then There Were...

Tomorrow? Packing and moving and lots of thank you notes by fifth graders. Textbook turn-in. Praise be.
(Remind me to post about TI and how he nearly cost me my job. Preview Cupcake's comments.)
Graduation was this afternoon. Officially, Prep has 364 days until she graduates. I am officially panicked.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ode to my Love

We take this break from countdown to speak from the heart about the crisis at GM and love affair I've been having for the past 13 years. Yes. You heard me. I've been having an affair for 13 years . And here's a picture of my lovah:

Yes. The 1994 GMC Suburban. I got this car on Mother's Day weekend 1996. BrownBear was three months old. Prep was almost four. The car was used (that's what we called it back in the day - none of this gently preowned). It had barely 18,000 miles on it. It was awesome. No one in my family could understand how I could drive or why I loved it but I could drive it - on the Atlanta interstates, I needed to be safe and feel safe and in this baby, I did. I was a soccer mom, a Girl Scout mom and an elementary school and pre-school carpool mom. I could get seven kids in this baby - more if you double buckled. This car went to Virginia, Missouri, and Florida. Several times. It was a party barge.

Fast forward to today. Prep learned how to drive in this party barge. It is making a funny sound in the transmission. The air condition needs freon desperately. The back doors leak when it rains. It has 206,000 miles on it. It still goes, but I only go to work in it.

I think it could go in the GMC hall of fame. And since this baby is falling apart like the parent company, don't you think I could find a good deal on a new one?

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

And Then There Were...

(I don't know what the Seattle Internet Exchange is, but I love the graphic.)

Oh my holy hell. What a day. I stayed until 5PM, packing boxes for the big move. But the big news of the day is that Super Big State Test results are back and every single one of my 5th graders passed English/Language Arts. All my math geniuses scored super high on the math section. We only lost 7 kids to the State Test in 5th grade this year: one in Reading and six in Math. Most will be classified as African Americans who are economically disadvantaged. We've already heard that we need to find a way to meet their needs. I don't know how to meet the needs of an economically disadvantaged child unless I start class with a peanut butter sandwich, a brand new pencil and a notebook. I need some help in this area - I know that I grew up with kids who were economically disadvantaged: the Catholic kids in my neighborhood who had eight brothers and sisters come to mind. One family whose house burned down. And yet they were always in school with homework in hand. Peanut butter sandwich in the other. Education was the most important thing in their home. In all of our homes. So, how do I get that message through to those who struggle the most with this?

Because I saw the 4th grade scores and, seriously, we're in for it next year.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

And Then There Were....

But I have used up most of my allotted boxes. So, I sent my wonderful room moms out to the neighborhood liquor stores before school ended today - before my colleagues could get there - to gather up all the boxes to be found. My room is a freaking disaster. My desk - I haven't seen it in two days. My grades - who knew we had to do report cards again? - have to be entered, but first I have to grade something. I've got kids trying to pack my bookcases and closets. I told them to make sure they at least labeled the boxes. The AP told us today that we had to have our textbooks in our new rooms, lined up for an inventory. Really? Not boxed up, but lined up on a table, in a corner. We are trying to get them outside for recess and it has done nothing but rain. Really? Really. This year is coming to a sucking halt, but at least it is ending.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And Then There Were

But we are behind the eight ball. The fifth grade is moving inside the building for the next school year and I have to pack up and move. So, I am working on getting in the last little bits of work, keeping everybody busy, keeping the lid on and PACKING up every little thing I want moved into the building. But who cares? 'Cause I'm down to eight.


Monday, May 11, 2009

And Then There Were Nine


Sunday, May 10, 2009

And Then There Were

and counting...
And you know how bad these ten days can be.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

In Which I Reveal My True Geek Status

Just back from the movie to say that while they took amazing liberties from the history of the series, it was, indeed, a fabulous ride. And it was a long one, too. I loved it, but the writers have some 'splaining to do. That's just for me, though.

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few ... or the one." Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock from "The Wrath of Khan." A fine, fine Star Trek movie. If I were truly a Trekker, I would already be at the movie theater, dressed up in some kind of garb. (The only time I've ever dressed up for something was a MASH party at the KA house in college - that was a fine party, if I say so myself.)

However, I am merely a fan. I freely admit it. My children just got finished laughing at me. That, too, is fine. However, tomorrow night, I will be fighting my way into the theater with a whole lot of other people to see the newest installment of the Star Trek series.

There are always possibilities...


Teacher Accountability

I finally finished that year long (YEAR LONG) teacher mentoring class this week. Oh my holy hell - that was a long one. It now means that I am able to guide student teachers through the rigors of classroom teaching without a pay raise - just a $50 stipend before taxes.

During one of last class discussions, it was noted by one of our facilitators that nearly 49% of our county's teachers exceeded standards on the performance instrument. She said if that were really true, our county would have met the AYP. It took a while for me to let that sink in. If you like, I'll let you all think about it, too.

Go ahead. See if you come to the same conclusion I did.

If you follow her logic, you will come to the conclusion that student success is largely based on teacher performance. If that is true, then our large school district should be fine because nearly half of our teachers have exceeded standards. Only 1% were placed on some kind of remediation plan. Apparently, we have some fine teachers here. (And please don't start in with me on how hard it is to get rid of bad teachers. That's not my point.)

Once I thought about that, I realized she left out some very important people in the equation: the students and their parents. Just because I exceeded standards doesn't mean I have all the answers and all the tricks to get every child in my care to exceed standards, too. I need each one of them to buy into the idea that their education is just that: their education. I can preach, cajole, cry, beg, wheedle, poke, and prod all day long, every day, for 180 day. But if the kids don't do their jobs, and the parents don't do theirs, how do you think I'm supposed to do mine?

What surprises me most is that this teacher drank the kool-aid. I am more surprised that she is espousing this idea than anything else. Let the public think this is all my fault; let parents shirk their responsibilities. But for a colleague to publicly tell teachers that it is all our responsibility is more than I can fathom.

Could the apocalypse be far off?

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Cheerleader in the House

Prep made the squad!! When I saw her before tryouts, she was back to normal. Confidant, happy, ready to rock. After all, who wants to spend senior year in the library? Apparently not Prep. She was so confidant when she came back home after tryouts that she was planning on being captain. At least co-captain.

So, one more year - can you believe it? There is much happiness.

Now, on to the SAT.

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Oh My Holy Hell or Isn't It Always Something, Part Three

Bill Maher and Barney Frank discussing the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. Like I need these two discussing the legitimacy of anything.

Wasn't that the same Barney Frank that drove us into the economic mess that we're trying to dig ourselves out of right now?


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