Teacher Workday 3:18 p.m. 2003-02-18

Last night, I worked on my contacts page for my website. It looks gorgeous and is almost done. I had some major problem with the Marietta City Schools logo.gif that I wanted to use, and, although I got my Bravenet Guestmap to show up on the Preview page, it is invisible on my layout page. We'll have to see when we upload it.

Also, I signed up for another SignMyGuestbook.com guestbook, using my school e-mail address, and I have not gotten a confirmation/password e-mail yet. I wonder if I'm not allowed two? Well, it's probably overkill to have e-mail, guestmap AND guestbook anyway. But what am I going to put in that third box? ;-)

This morning was a teacher work day. We had a breakfast (I went in on croissants and pain au chocolat that the French teacher suggested our department provide) and a four hour Poverty Awareness Training program. Four hours. One teacher piped up and asked "How many credit hours are we getting for this?"

Yes, it's all very interesting. Yes, it is a problem. And we listened. And discussed it in our little groups. We looked at the sample case studies, and finally came up with some ideas for how to see to this problem at our school. We spoke up, and submitted our work for our principal to look at.

But here is the deal: I know that there are some teachers staying after school to help students, and I think that most of us go some sort of extra mile. Not that we are getting any money or gratitude for it. Our principal said that it is great that we have all of these new ideas, but none of them would be successful unless we ALL get on board.

Okay.

I have 20 students right now - that's right, ONLY 20. I teach ESOL, and there's a class size limit. BUT, I also have all 20 of their numbers in my cell phone, and usually try to call and stumble through a Spanish conversation (I usually have to talk to the student if his parents are some of my other nationalities: Indian, Iranian, Brazilian...) to see why students are absent, to inform their parents that they are not performing well in class, or, in the case of a student recently on a 5 day suspension, the opportunity to pick up his work so he won't fall too far behind.

I considered going to his house, and to drop it off myself. But where does it stop? Am I supposed to go on in, and DO the work for him? I am sooooo tired of all of the excuses for not doing homework (don't get me started), when I am being asked to do MORE than just MY homework. That is where all of these new plans will hit the wall: we teachers can only do so much and still have a LIFE!

When I was entering the job force, just out of seven (yes, that's seven years for the Bachelor's Degree) years in college. I was working in a stock brokerage as a receptionist. I kinda liked it, but knew that I should look into ways to move up in the business. One of the sales assistants told me that she often came in on weekends to be sure she was caught up on her work. I thought "No way I would do that." How naive. I stay after school all the time, working 10 hour days sometimes. I used to come in on weekends, but don't want to learn how to work the alarm system now, so I work from home if necessary.

Yesterday, I watched the Oprah Winfrey Show, and it was "Queen for a Day" Day. Here's how it goes: someone writes a letter to Oprah, which is so outstanding that it marched up the pyramid to her team, who tell Oprah that it is time to do something really nice for that person. Then, the plotting ensues, and that lucky person is invited (lured) to the show and surprised with all manner of gifts and compliments. Why can't I be that person? Obviously, my fan club is not on the ball with that...;-)

On the other hand, for Valentine's Day, two of my students gave me presents, and two more actually returned the e-card Valentine I sent to them from their accounts. That's so great! I have some really great kids. It helps me tolerate the ones that are not so great!

Okay, enough with the teacher angst!

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