Wednesday, February 3, 2010

100 days

For years, my school has made a huge production out of the 100th day of school. Instead of following our regular old TC reading-writing-math schedule, our classes were treated to a smorgasboard of fun 100th day activities. To really understand what an undertaking this was, you have to understand that my school builds in very little time for fun, by which I mean no time at all during which any fun activities are ever supposed to take place. Like, one year on St. Patrick's Day a fourth grade teacher gave her class some shamrock graphing activity to do during math, and her assistant principal happened to pop in and observe the shamrock graphing activity taking place, and she sternly ordered the teacher to stop said shamrock graphing activity and resume her regularly scheduled non-fun mathematics.

But I digress. Anyway, so our 100th day of school was a day of actual enjoyment. We licked lollipops 100 times, we did 100 jumping jacks in the gym, we made shirts for the kids to wear with 100 handprints on them (well, I did not do this, but some very ambitious first grade teachers did). We did not sit in our classrooms with our legs folded criss-cross on the carpet while our teachers droned on in mini lesson after mini lesson; rather, we roamed the school in packs, attempting various feats of mental strength involving the number 100!

Unfortunately, of course, all good things must come to an end, and the teacher who used to coordinate our 100th day of school extravaganza is no longer with us. So today I received this hilarious missive from my assistant principal:

On Friday, February 12 we will be celebrating the 100th day of school. On that day you will be paired up with another class on your grade for one period. During that time we are inviting you to participate in a math game/activity. We are asking that you collegially decide what game/activity you wish your students to play and what period of the day to facilitate this arrangement. Below is a list of teacher teams and your room assignments.

Hmmm, so, let me get this straight. In my itty-bitty classroom, which is already overcrowded as it is with 27 students, you would like to invite me to invite 27 more students? And you would like to invite me and these 54 students, who are now crammed into my teeny-tiny overheated classroom, to play some sort of "math game/activity"? (Thank you for bolding that, by the way, otherwise I might have missed it!) And you would like me and the other teacher, in our massive amounts of free time, to decide on a game or activity that will hold the attention of our 54 students on the Friday before vacation while they are all stuffed into my immensely warm and crowded classroom?

First of all, I'm not even with them on the 100th day of school thing. I have been counting very carefully (and not because I'm torturing myself, either -- every single morning we talk about what day of school it is and how many tens and ones go into that number), and I could swear that Friday, February 12 is actually the 99th day of school and that someone at my school is faking it so that we don't have to hold our "celebration" on the day we return from the break. Can any other NYC public school teachers corrorborate either side on this?

Second of all: bummer. The only glimmer of hope comes at the end of the memo, in which we are "further encouraged to plan other activities within your classroom to celebrate this day."



mcaitlin said...

some of my elementary school teachers used to celebrate 100th day. i distinctly remember it because they would have a tape of the days running around the room, and we'd cross them off each morning. it was never a school wide thing though.

good luck, and just think tropical thoughts :)

Anonymous said...

NYC public school teacher here... February 12th is definitely the 99th day! I've been carefully counting as well, and it was confirmed at our faculty conference that we will be celebrating the 100th day on the day back from break.

But anyway, have fun!!!

Anonymous said...

Not only that, but with the snow day, technically the 100th day is now the Tuesday after we go back ...