Monday, September 24, 2007

Mondays are manic

On Mondays, I see in this order:
  • a self-contained special ed kindergarten (9 kiddos with a wide variety of special needs; I see them first thing in the morning and therefore they tend to trickle in one or two at a time as the bus drops them off, all yawning from the weekend)
  • a self-contained special ed fourth grade (see League, Way Out of)
  • a third grade class that's on their third teacher so far this year (yes, their third in three weeks of school)
  • an ESL first grade whose teacher always comes back five minutes late from her prep, thereby making me late to my next class; there is probably a picture of this class in the dictionary under The Class That Wouldn't Stop Talking, Ever, and Never Listened to Their Writing Teacher
  • an unruly second grade whose teacher I am convinced dislikes me; today on my way out I heard her say, "Writing is over and now you follow the rules that you always follow" -- as if I hadn't been trying to make them follow any rules, like, throw me a bone here
I once had an English teacher who made us measure each day thusly: "Today is the second day of the thirty-fifth week of our marathon year!"

In that case, today was the first day of the fourth week (although it's only the first day of the second complete week) of school, and here are some things I still do not have:

1. keys to the library (where my office is located) or the bathroom
2. control of my classes
3. a faculty mentor

I've mentioned before that I find this "mentoring" business to be a little backwards. When it's the first week of school, and you have kids in your classes that outright refuse to do a single thing you say, and children are hitting each other right in front of you and stealing your stickers, that's when you need a mentor for guidance and a good sob session.

Last week, the teacher who was supposed to be my mentor became the literacy coach and told me she wouldn't be my mentor anymore. Today, I saw her in the hallway. "Miss Brave," she said. "I still have to mentor you."

I still have to mentor you? Alas, that doesn't sound promising.

Lastly, because the subtitle of this blog is supposed to be "teaching, learning and surviving my first year in education," not "teaching, learning and complaining my first year in education," here are some good things that have risen out of the ashes of my first month of school:

  • being on the receiving end of spontaneous hugs from some of my students
  • comments like "I like it when you come to our class" (these comments are usually totally unwarranted, by the way, since as I have done nothing but futilely strive for silence for 50 minutes, I don't really merit a compliment)
  • passing classes in the hall who wave furiously and whisper, "Hi Miss Brave!" in their hallway voices
  • so far, all my classes have laughed at my demonstration of how a sloppy lowercase M looks like a "big McDonald's M"
  • working one-on-one with a kid and watching as something clicks
  • two teachers (one first grade, one second grade) who are always really nice and gracious when I come to their classes

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