Thursday Thirteen!! #1

Thirteen Things I'd Wish If I Had Magic Lamp:

  1. to see "Anonymous Teacher's School" scrolling across the bottom of the television, letting me know that school will be closed tomorrow so that I could have an extra day of grading term papers and finishing worksheet creating.
  2. a giftcard for an unlimited amount of money to spend on i-tunes.
  3. the metabolism of my puppy!!
  4. to be able to visit Hogwarts...just once.
  5. for a magic pen to do my grading...I set the pen on top of the stack of papers (essays even), and the pen grades, making the exact same comments I would.
  6. a really good masseur to live in my spare bedroom (and a spare bedroom for the masseur to live in).
  7. enough money to support my shoe and pencil skirt addiction.
  8. for victoria's secret to just lose my balance and somehow owe me in unlimited victoria's secret spending.
  9. green pens!! lots and lots and lots of green pens!!
  10. for barnes and noble to become 24 hours...and become like a library where you can check out books at your leisure.
  11. become my ideal weight and stay there...while still eating all the panera breakfast I please.
  12. for perfect hair...or at least for mine to stop hating my head.
  13. and I suppose the obligatory world peace...
How was that for my first Thursday Thirteen??

addendum: I just read this...and man, do I sound superficial. Boyfriend Head's response when I asked if I sounded this way: Well, you did ask for world peace...

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subtraction=addition...

at least in some cases. I know you all are thinking it isn't mathmatically possible, but I promise you it is in this situation.

I have three students...let's call them A, B, and C. They like to disrupt class...frequently; however, according to their I.E.P.'s there isn't a whole lot I can do about them. So:

A+B+C=trouble(-)

I emailed guidance with this issue and received an email back the other day. Student B is being moved to another section!! So:

A+(B-B)+C=good class(+)

Okay. This is precisely why I'm not a math teacher, but I tried to be witty. The gist of the story is, I'm excited to be breaking up this trio of nonsense, and I'm counting down the 17 days until I can actually teach again!!

Thanksgiving Break

I've said this before, but I'm going to say it again...students think we have no life.

My freshmen took tests the day break started, fill-in-the-blank and two essays...50 of them. I had four days off for Thanksgiving. I had 25 junior term papers to grade, two weeks of lesson planning to do for four classes, and a lot of random grading; plus, like my students, I wanted some vacation time as well. So, I didn't even bother taking the tests home.

I got back to school yesterday, and a student asked if I'd graded them. I told him no. I hear another student lean over and whisper, "She had four days." I may've made him wish he hadn't said that.

My response: Would you like to take the 25 five to seven page junior essays home with you and get those finished? Did you want to grade the tests that my other classes took? Or how about those worksheets you all did? Do you want to read Oedipus and figure out what you're going to do to teach it to a bunch of freshmen? Or possibly you can figure out what my other classes are doing for me as well? Wanna give all your time over break, so I can grade your tests?

His face turned about five shades of red. He was quite embarassed, as he should be.

I was a little stressed out yesterday...had my evaluation...and I wasn't taking kindly to any nonsense.

Introducing...Mrs. Anonymous!!

Yes, folks, the wedding is over!! I'm officially a Mrs....although none of my students have quite figured it out yet--at least not if you go by the fact that they're still calling me Miss Anonymous. Oh, well.

I'm in a state of disgustingly wedded bliss...I couldn't be happier with my husband. He's wonderful...makes a good Mr. Anonymous. He's got the teacher's husband thing down already--smile whenever a student runs up screaming in public, and quickly say that we have somewhere to be when I get that oh-dear-it's-that-one look.

The kids haven't adjusted yet, but I suppose it's only been a week.

More later.

Mental Health Day

I've cried nearly every night for the past two weeks...most of the time for no reason whatsoever. The other night I drank a bottle of wine...yes, a whole bottle...to de-stress. I'm just over-whelmed with all that's going on. I've got some really needy kids, special ed. issues, and departmental issues to boot.

Thus, I took a mental health day today. I had a conference yesterday and am off today, and I feel a little guilty. I had something for my kids to do, but still. I'm just a control freak and hate leaving my room to someone else.

Oh, the parents....

I had this very insightful post ready about how my mood affects my kids and blahblahblah...but it disappeared, and I don't have the energy to re-write it...so, I'm going to complain for a minute...or two...

I have a parent who took issue with her son's teachers, myself included. Instead of emailing us with her concerns, however, she waited until two days before the end of the quarter and emailed our superintendent and principal. They told her she needed to discuss her concerns with his teachers, so I got a nasty email from her and a visit from the principal.
Her issue was (and still is) that her son is failing. For the first half of the quarter, he didn't turn any homework in to me. He missed several days and didn't make up the work...never even asked me about it. I notified our freshmen intervention coordinator. I sent a progress report home to get signed by the parent (it came back signed). And I talked to the student's case managers (he has an I.E.P.). At that point in time, out of the fifty freshmen I have, twenty were failing. I couldn't call all those parents, hence the signed progress report. We were also told that case managers contacted parents in those cases (while they were told it was up to the regular ed. teacher).
Any student who didn't return the progress report got a phone call home, but because his was returned, I assumed she knew what his grade was. This cut down significantly on the number of phone calls I had to make, and my students began turning in homework, which was the main reason for poor grades.
After recieving this nasty email, I attempted to call her and never got a call back. A couple days later, I emailed her, letting her know I did attempt to contact her through the progress report and that her son had gotten better about turning in assignments. She didn't reply.
This mother was nasty to me and also to the student's other teachers and especially his case manager, so I decided if she wanted contact, I'd give her contact. I've now emailed her four times and called twice to date. I have recieved one nasty reply to my email where she asked if there was anything further to discuss. I told her that yes, there was.
I told her in no uncertain terms that her son is doing poorly because of his own actions. I told her that I'm holding up my end of the bargain by following the I.E.P., while she and her son aren't. I told her he's lazy and wastes time, and if he wants to earn a passing grade in my class, he better get his act together.
I have yet to hear from her.

What bothers me about the whole thing is that I feel like I'm treating the son differently. Normally when a student sits and does nothing when given class-time to work, I'll say something once. After that, it's a choice the student is making. But with this kid, I'm constantly on his back. He's been diagnosed ADHD and does not take meds, so this is a frequent thing. I don't lash out at the student, but I am watching him more closely...and I email what I see to his mother. If he sits for twenty minutes and stares at the wall, then I let her know that. I know I shouldn't be on him because of his mother, but no matter how hard I try, I do. It's very difficult not to...

a creative Halloween costume...

Imagine the copy room...before school...on Halloween...

VCVB: Where's your costume?

Me: I'm going on a field trip this afternoon...didn't think I should go to the library dressed up. What about you?

VCVB: Well, I was going to wear a low-cut shirt and be Miss Anonymous, but...

I just stared at her. Dumbfounded. She did the awkward, joking laugh. I walked away, biting my tounge to keep from saying something really nasty.

Of course I couldn't let it go...the next day I wore a tighter, lower-cut sweater and my knee-high boots. It was a lovely time.