June 9, 2007

Bang Your Head! Venting Is a Good Release.

Over at Polski3's blog, he's banging his head over the structure of his school in the last days of the year. I can't blame him because they have class weeks after their grades are posted. At my school, if students had any clue that the last few weeks couldn't count as a grade, there could be riots. What else might they do if they know we aren't holding them accountable for every second of their time with us? Trust me. That's how it is here.

I'm truly thankful that we keep teaching (or pretending, as we're all exhausted by now) until the bitter end. There are many interruptions in the last weeks of school, but I try not be get too frustrated. Besides, since I am responsible for the yearbook, traditionally one of the biggest distractions at the end of the year, I can hardly get upset over everyone else's need to disrupt my routine.

I do have a few rants of my own, though. I might call myself Happy Chyck, but that's more what I aspire to be. You all know I like a good rant. So here are my head banger moments.

During the last week of school, our students are on a testing schedule and go home just before noon. We teachers stay the rest of the day. On the last day of school, our grades are suppose to be in 20 minutes after we escort students off campus. That hardly gives us enough time to run our answer sheets through the scantron (with 80 teachers and 7 machines), plus we are suppose to give essay portions on our tests! This year several people complained and we were given a two-hour extension. Wow! If I have 60 essays to read, as I've just had two classes take a test, that's going to give me just enough time. Needless to say, we all pick a few key things to look at and grade those essays in about 10 seconds. We all have learned coping strategies to deal with this insane deadline, but it's the principle of the matter. Dance puppet, dance! And we do.

The other head banger issue is just in general. Now in the past admin has asked us to leave our rooms intact until the last day to give the impression learning is still going on for the students. Thankfully they've backed off on that because it takes me more than one day, which is what we have the day after school gets out for the students, for pack up my room for the year. It irritates me that I should have to empty out my desk and box all of my books if I'm coming back to the same room. Do you think the office staff has to empty out their desks and box everything up as if they aren't coming back? Oh, the reason they give is so that the custodial staff can move things around to shampoo the carpets. They move the student desks and work around the rest.

This could easily lead me in a full circle frustration that I might save until August on how much time we are given to unpack our boxes and set up our rooms to start the year. Would that be a few hours here and there between those inane beginning of school meetings and trainings? Would that possibly be as many hours as I'd like to come in before my contracted days? Of course.

Enough with the head banging. It's summer. The only head banging I hope to do is while I'm driving down the freeway with my heavy metal music turned all the way up. No worries for now!

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