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messiness
saturday, october 29, 2005



the last week and a half or so have been all sorts of messy. saxy was sick. then froggy got sick. and while that was going on, lots of work and financial messiness got going as well. and weather messiness has resulted in quite a bit of headache messiness. not that everything has been unpleasant, just most of it.

i've gotten rather miffed at froggy's school recently. as you may recall (or can read, if you need a refresher), i had been subbing for a teacher who has been out going on 3 weeks now, and there was a prospect of going very long term. i'd done long term for the school before: there was the home ec class from hell last year (erm school year of 2004-2005) and the 8 weeks in the earth science class at the beginning of this year. so, really, when they called again and said that they needed me to fill in and teach, and told me to keep in mind that the position may go long term, i was quite pleased - long term is the next best thing to full time, and not too surprised. no one has complained about my work there, to my knowledge, and this class was going to be in my subject area - language arts. since i'd taught the other 2 classes, teaching within my area wouldn't be much of a stretch, and they know they can trust me to do a good job.

so i thought.

i'd been asking about the position so i'd know whether or not to cancel my other dates that had been pre-booked with other schools. over 4 days i put together 2 weeks of lesson plans, found the necessary resources, got the kids back under control, and got everyone and everything back on track. i organized the classroom, cleaned up the stuff that had stacked up and started grading it. a lot of that was not asked for, and, yea, i'd probably do it again because i always give 110%. these teachers who are out for a long time are generally out because they have to be, not because they want to be or can afford to be. what they don't need to come back to is a huge stack of papers to grade, a messy and out of control class, and kids who are so far behind that there's no way to catch up. so i did all this, both so i could work in the classroom without trying to find what i needed every day i was in there and so she can come back to a reasonably well put together class without a lot of catch up work waiting for her. and, i have to admit, to show that i really did want to job, whether it was just long term or went full time.

and, for once, i have to wonder why i bothered.

day 5 i go in and am told that i'll be going to my originally scheduled classroom for the day because they have someone else to fill in. no apology given for asking me to keep in mind that this would be long term then taking it away. not even a reason why i suddenly became second choice to do what i had done well enough for them before. nothing. just "oh, go to this class now, we have her classroom covered from now on."

well, thank you so very much.

i stayed polite, went to the classroom i was told, and cried on the shoulders of a few other teachers who had worked with me and knew what a hard worker i am. i mean, jeeze, this was just wrong. i was upset all day, and, for once, all i did was "baby sit." i don't baby sit my classes, but i was just too upset about this to do anything else for once. i didn't even bother with my usual level of detail in my note for the teacher. most the other teachers were even stunned at the turn around. the only thing anyone can think of as a reason is because i'm not yet certified (though a number of the teachers i talked to were surprised that i wasn't - quite a compliment that they thought i was) and the district has to take certified over highly qualified (which is where i stand since i passed my praxis II). course, that just puts me in a mess i don't even want to contemplate: the old catch 22 mess. if they give me a job, the district will give me a 5 year, nonrenewable certification; but, apparently, i need to be certified to get hired by the great majority of the schools. so what's the point of even offering that 5 year certificate?

anyway, i stayed home the next day. i was pretty sulky. childish, i'll grant you, but i really wanted nothing to do with the district, least of all the school that just shafted me. then my teacher friend forwarded an email for a high school in desperate need of a long term language arts sub. i emailed the school and called another contact i had there. she called back and told me to go in thursday and friday - so i cleared my schedule for those 2 days and went in. i was given the job friday morning. and, unlike the shaft school, these guys are giving me a laptop and access to the system so i can do the whole job and do it right. i'll be in this class until mid to late january some time, which means no worrying about not having work through the holidays like i did for last year.

apparently they've needed someone in this class for at least 2 weeks now. there's a stack of stuff to grade that i started going through on thursday night (and that i'm taking a break from now). the kids are all out of sorts from lack of direction, lack of good subs (i heard the last guy fell asleep during the classes and they pretty much did what they wanted), and lack of forward progress. as a result, they are also a little bit behind in the honors and college prep classes and waaay behind in the tech class. the classroom itself needed a bit of picking up and minor organization, especially around the desk area. hell, i did some clean up and pick up and moving things around friday and the room still needs some work. stuff that just got stacked wherever - generally under a table. so, guess what i've been up to? if you said, "cleaning up another mess!" give yourself a door prize. ;)

this weekend has primarily been focused on grading. i've taken breaks to hunt up halloween and a few other templates for construction paper crafts, and another break or two to actually make some of those crafts (the 2 treat bags i've made actually came out quite nice - i'm really pleased with them). i've checked my boards and my email. beyond that, i've been grading. and will be grading for awhile longer - though i will be taking a few more breaks to make some of the other things i want to put up in the classroom on monday. the focus, however, has to stay on grading. the stack is quite thick (somewhere over 6" in when i started - i'd venture 8", but i didn't measure it and some of it has been put in the trays for the kids to pick up) and some of the papers still have to be gone through and separated because at least one of the subs who collected the work didn't bother to organize anything - just left it a mess. the good news in all this is that i have a job that will last for awhile and will be paid a bit more for than if i were working every day around the district in non-long term placements. the extra money will be our movie money - i hope. the down side? getting up at 5 a.m. every morning.

just got to keep in mind that this will hopefully have 2 results: 1) it will get me a REALLY good referral that will hopefully get me a permanent placement (one of the people i'm working "under" is, apparently, one of the best referrals you can get in the district); and 2) it will help solve more of the financial mess. and if it doesn't help at the middle school, i'm seriously considering taking the pII for high school language arts. not the level i want to be at, but might help solve our financial mess a bit more permanently and that's more important than sleeping another hour and a half.

and i can't believe i just said that. *rolls eyes*

time to get back to my grading mess - which is scattered all over my side of the bed. even the process is proving to be messy.

word of the moment: phlegmatic

stolidly calm, unexcitable; unemotional; having or showing a slow and stolid temperament

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