And She Speaks.
10:55 a.m. - 2004-10-23
Iím being forced to write this entry in MS Word, because something is either wrong with my computer, or Diaryland absolutely hates my guts. Iíve been trying to write an entry for the past two days, and every time I get halfway through, my internet server shuts down. Itís pissing me off to the extreme, especially since this computer is pretty new, and shouldnít be acting this way. A call to my technology guy is going to have to be made very soon, which will inevitably end up costing me a bundle (regardless of the fact that heís a friend of mine, because sometimes even friends wonít work for free).
Yesterday was Parent-Teacher Conference, and it went really well, despite the fact that half the parents didnít show up at their scheduled time. I walked into my room at 7:10, and the first mom showed up five minutes later.
First grade didnít give actual letter grades (or even Sís, Nís, or Uís) this nine weeks. Instead, we wrote ďREADINESSĒ across an otherwise blank report card, regardless of whether the child in question was actually ďreadyĒ or not. Iíd questioned the vice-principal the day before on the logic of doing that, and he told me that if they had passed kindergarten, then they were obviously ready for first grade. The answer irked me, because I have at least five students who arenít ready, and should never have been promoted. If a kid canít spell his own name or doesnít know what sound B makes, then he has no business being in a classroom full of kids who are already learning to read.
In Bushís effort to make sure that No Child is Left Behind, heís doing a damn fine job of losing them. Add that to the plethora of reasons that the moron wonít be getting my vote this year. Kerryís not that impressive, but Iím determined to do my part in getting the Shrub out of office. Hell, theyíre even giving us November 2nd off of work, so you can be damn sure Iíll be down at the polls.
Anyway, back to the conferences. I was nice to the people who showed up, but I was brutally honest. This first nine weeks has been easy, but theyíd better make damn sure that their kids start buckling down. I told a few parents flat-out that their children shouldnít have made it out of kindergarten, and I have five sets of paperwork in my car waiting to be filled out on those who need to be in Resource classes. I have a handful of exceptionally bright kids, and itís not fair for them to suffer because Iím being forced to repeat the same shit over and over again for those five that just canít get it. Itís my job to make sure these babies are on reading level by the end of the year, and thereís no way Iíll be able to accomplish that if I spend 75% of my time reviewing stuff that the rest of the class already knows. I hope to have most of the referrals completed by Monday, and that will get the process started for the kids who need extra help.
The behavioral problems arenít nearly as bad (for me) this year, but Iím still spending a good chunk of the day disciplining kids. Itís frustrating, because thereís SO much that they have to learn, and having to interrupt lessons to deal with unruly children throws everything out of whack.
On a brighter note, I had two parents that actually broke down in tears while they were talking to me. They were amazed that their kids are already reading. It made me feel really good, and reminded me that while I bitch and complain about the excessive amount of work that I have to do, Iím happy with my job. Iím making a difference, and Iím proud of that. Even though I sometimes have really bad days that make me question my career choice, I donít think Iíd feel the same sense of accomplishment if I were stuck behind a desk all day.
My momís birthday was also yesterday, so I rushed home to get her a couple of small presents and a card. She liked the things that I bought, but I have a feeling that me coming to visit made her happier than anything else. Iíve been so busy lately that I havenít had a chance to go over there as often as Iíd like, and it was obvious that sheís been missing me. We talk at least every other day, but itís not the same as getting to see her. Sheís leaving in a couple of weeks for her annual month in Florida (Panama City this time, since Navarre was completely devastated by the hurricane), and Iím very much looking forward to spending the week of Thanksgiving there.
Itís nearly 11 oíclock already, and I have absolutely no idea what Iím going to do with the rest of my day. For the first time since school began, I didnít bring home a crate full of stuff to do, and it feels kind of weird. Iím glad, though, because I finally feel like I can enjoy my weekend without having to worry about things that I need to get done. Thereís plenty of housework that needs completing, but it can wait. I think that Iím just going to relax, and thatís something that I havenít been able to do in a very, very long time.