Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

People are puttering around (or sleeping) here in Discovery Bay, the home of my in-laws.  Christmas family-wise is about over, and only one more leg on the annual Christmas Tour is left, the one home.  The Christmas Tour this year went Ukiah to Chico to Burney to Ashland to Ukiah to Sacramento to Discovery Bay, and finally back home.  All of that in a matter of days.  The weather hasn't been too bad except for the Burney to Ashland part.  We went in and out of snow squalls for most of the trip and drove on freshly plowed roads.  We saw one unfortunate soul in a jeep that took the turns too hard and landed on her side.  She was up and walking around, but it was frightening enough to see.

2010 at school did not end in the best manner.  One class has become the focus of too much energy and the Final's Day for that class ended up a circus.  Some groups of kids were so damn immature that I sat in awe for a moment at what I was witnessing.  I really didn't know if I was in a Senior classroom or in a middle school classroom.  I was so angry about that class period that I had a conversation with some of the admin about my feelings.  What I wanted to do was jack a half dozen out of the class, give them "F's" on their Finals, and prepare to take on parents who think their kids are angels.  The problem?  Every time someone says "school board", "superintendent", or "district office", everyone gets jittery.  I instead did nothing, which is going to make me more of a hardass next semester and that might or might not be fair. 

And get this, a dozen Seniors overall showed up late for my final.  Half of those showed up more than fifteen minutes late, and two others showed up 30-60 minutes late.  In the past I basically told them that they couldn't take their Final because they had been warned and ignored the seriousness of the Final.  After situations last year, I really couldn't sustain that policy.  So those kids waltzed in and made other students wait so they could finish the Final.  There was little I could do.

As irritated as I was about the end of 2010, I'm still excited for the new year, probably because I'm well aware that 90% of my students are great, and for every meathead that can't focus, there are a dozen kids working hard to get the job done.  I have new ideas for APUSH and AP Comp Gov that are floating in my head, and a greater need to hammer some of the basic ideas that I think kids need to succeed such as responsibility, accountability, and attention to details.  I need to remember that the four walls of my classroom are more important than any other place on Earth when I'm teaching, and that things that are happening within the District (take for instance, continued bizarre union/management behavior) don't matter in the scope of teaching kids.  I need to remember that out of the dozens of parent communications that I've engaged in, 99% have been positive, and the 1% negative don't deserve the energy they demand.  I need to remember to still use graphs with Supply and Demand (sorry Dr. Charkins), that explaining the British Parliament is now a lot different than last year, and that about one hundred years of U.S. History must be mastered within about four months. 

I'm ready to get back.    
blog comments powered by Disqus