I was dreading yesterday's parent/teacher conferences. We usually hold them on a Thursday, so that at least when I get home all drained from the hours of talking, the next day is Friday and I can roll out of bed like a zombie knowing that the weekend was in sight. But this time around, it was a Tuesday and it was bound to be the Longest Week Ever.
We have a two and a half hour break between the afternoon and evening conferences. I usually use that time to catch up on a buttload of work that might otherwise never get done were I not virtually forced to spend an extra two and a half hours in my classroom -- during November's conferences, for example, I single-handedly rearranged all the furniture in my classroom and have been much happier with the new layout.
Yesterday I was planning to grade and organize all my math tests and goals for our upcoming unit on fractions. At 3:10, I was settled in my room with my green pen, my hole puncher, my math binders (I now have two, since my class can't fit into just one) and a thick stack of papers.
At 3:15, the principal got on the loudspeaker and announced that due to last-minute budget cuts, no staff would be allowed to remain in the building from 3:30 to 5:30. "Please don't make security come upstairs and get you," she said. (My school, by the way, also will not let teachers into the building one half second before 7:00 am. We all gather outside shivering in the cold in front of the locked school doors. Because, sure, when you have dedicated staff members who are willing to be at school at the crack of dawn, you don't want them coming into the building early!)
I was so aggravated. I threw my giant binders, and my hole puncher (!), into my teacher tote and jumped in my car to drive home (at least I could drive home -- I'm sure there were dozens of teachers who had no choice but to hang out at some neighborhood eatery for two hours). I printed out my goal sheets at home and wrapped up whatever filing I could before it was time to head back to school.
And then, today, I got observed in math. (For those of you who may be wondering: Yes, my school is still blatantly flouting the union rule that says teachers must receive written notification of a formal observation. Our observations are total surprises. Surprise!) After I was at school until after 8 pm last night for conferences, on a day when I got kicked out of the building for two hours during a time I would normally remain in my classroom doing work. And my math stuff was not nearly as organized as it would have been had I not lost all that time. (Exhibit A: I accidentally left the hole puncher at home, a vital tool for organizing my endless binders.)
My kids behaved like buttheads in front of my AP. Oh, and today is still only Wednesday. Oh, and on Thursdays after lunch I get to teach fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh periods and extended day (that's 10:55 am to 3:15 pm -- 4.5 looooong hours) without any preps, push-in relief or one freaking second to use the bathroom.