Sunday, August 23, 2009

More Madness

This week, our principal had Leadership with the team leaders in the building. In this meeting, she said that everyone coming into the building had to swipe their magnetic badges across the entrance door from now on to account for who was there and who was not and when people were getting to school. It all stems from a few teachers - actually a certain teacher - who, in the past, made it her business to not arrive at school until 9AM. She had an aide and that aide covered for her. The principal was made aware of this situation by other teachers and even went down to the room to see for herself.

Our principal does not like confrontation. She was a guidance counselor in a previous life. Several people have told her that perhaps she should just approach the people who aren't following the rules and her response is: "I don't roll that way." Really? Really. Because if you are in a role of leadership and authority, you'd better be ready to have some critical conversations with the people you are in authority over - because it's not my job to roll that way, either. She would have us police each other. But I don't make the big bucks in Admin - I teach, remember? She's going to have the School Climate Committee come up with a Dress Code because some people don't know how to dress and she's uncomfortable approaching those people - again, that's not how she rolls - but the county already has a dress code in place. I'm not reinventing the wheel, people. Because that's not how I roll.

The kicker, however, came when she announced that on our evaluations, we could be marked as Needs Improvement on Professionalism if we missed 5 days this year and not be eligible for the Exemplary status. This, right now, makes absolutely no sense. The county provides us with 3 personal days and 12 sick days per year. If I choose to take those days, have doctor's notes or whatever, it really shouldn't be held against me and my evaluation. I have children who get sick - on a regular basis - and I'm taking care of them. Those sick children don't always go to the doctor for me to get a note, but it looks like I'll be taking them. And with all those flu warnings, I can guarantee that I won't be coming if I feel feverish. Like I am right now.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Week That Won

Thank goodness it's Thursday - that means tomorrow is Friday and this week will be over. And it wins. First weeks of school suck. I hate them. All this paperwork and this is how we do things and all that crap. Let's just get down to it. Wait 'til I introduce you to my genuises.


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Welcome Home, BrownBear!!

Never has a mother been more relieved than this one when I saw her head appear as she rode up the escalator at Hartsfield this morning. BrownBear burst into tears when PrepGirl hugged her. She was exhausted and just glad to be home. She had been awake since 4:30 Saturday morning. She'd hung out at the equator before making the mad dash home. She didn't get to sleep on the plane at all. And it was a LONG flight.

And we're just glad she's back home.

What an adventure.

Right now, though, she's crashed on my bed. I just like to go and look at her.


Friday, August 07, 2009

This Just In!!

My lily white behind in the driver's seat!!! LawyerBoy found the deal of the century and brought this badassed Envoy home for me. I am thrilled. Flabbergasted! I haven't had a new car since BrownBear was 3 months old. She is 13 1/2.

School may be getting ready to kill me, but this year, my ride is going to be smooth.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Two Down, 188 To Go (Unless the Governor Has His Way with Us)

Cupcake update: Here's the icing on the cake. While class sizes are allowed to go to an all-time high of 29 in elementary classrooms (and I've had 28 in a trailer), for some inexplicable reason, the rising 5th graders have lost some 19 students. Right now, we have 54 registered 5th graders. Our principal has already pulled one of our team members - my best friend - and left the rest of us scrambling on how to departmentalize with the three of us. While I might say that all hell's done broke loose, that would be an understatement. Because I envision two scenarios: first, fewer students come than anticipated. That leaves another teacher out in the cold and I'm hoping it's not me. But I think I am covered in that respect (what with my time in the county and the building). It is the second scenario that I am concerned about: the influx of fifth graders which we all know is entirely possible. If we get more kids than we can handle, what's going to happen? I personally think everyone jumped the gun on this one.

So, in addition to being completely freaked out about BrownBear - don't let this calm demeanor fool you-this school year is off to a completely sucky start. We moved into the building this year, but, as I said, I wasn't going to go off half cocked and work for free, so I did nothing - and the principal wouldn't let us in the building because the custodians were waxing floors and shampooing carpets. That is why I am up so damned early today -- I've got a crap load to finish before Meet and Greet tomorrow and they've scheduled meetings today -- who runs this district but a bunch of morons? -- so I am off to shower and get a head start.

While Cupcake and John Deere Mom dance about and enjoy their vacations during these crazy hot days of August, I have already spent the past two days in pre-planning. Nearly twelve hour days, because I didn't go and do one doggoned thing during the summer. My days of working for the government for free are over.

The State Board of Education voted unanimously to do away with the regulation that teachers work 190 days during the school year. Basically, they said that we only need to work 183. That gives the local school boards the power to furlough us for seven days; they even said that the bus drivers and cafeteria workers could be furloughed. They were going to furlough them when the impact on students wouldn't be felt. Feel free to look around and be confused. I know I was when I heard that tidbit.

(Just a little gossip about our State Superintendent of Education: Kathy Cox, that bright bulb who won $1 million on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, filed for bankruptcy along with her husband not more than 2 months after winning. According to bankruptcy law, she was insolvent when she won the money and her creditors had the right to go after it. She transferred the money back to Fox TV and then went on Atlanta local news to talk about how bad her creditors were - coming after money that really belongs to the poor deaf and blind children of Georgia. Poor Kathy Cox - if she had only had a real attorney who knew the law, she wouldn't have filed for bankruptcy so soon after winning that cash. And if she isn't careful, she's going to lose that job that keeps her in a little over $100,000 per year.)

So, that's how smart our State Superintendent really is. Agreeing to furlough teachers who do the dirty work for a governor and legislature who didn't do their jobs in the first place.

Going back to school was good for me because BrownBear has been gone now since Saturday. I haven't heard anything - and the word is no news is good news. I do check everyday just to pretend like I know something about what's going on with her. LawyerBoy is on a business trip and Prep is at cheercamp, getting ready for her senior year(?!).

So, now, it's a shower, some leftovers and bed for me. To do it all again tomorrow - including a cheermom meeting and choir. You can bet I'm thrilled.

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