|Monday, August 22nd, 2005|
8:30p - One Down, One Hundred Eighty-Nine To Go
Well, the first day has come and gone.
The horrid heat expected did not occur. We topped out at 81 with a good bit of humidity, which is almost nice weather. I listed to an Ames radio station, 135 miles north west as a car goes, and they came in at 72. Other highs they reported were all still in the 70's, and they reported cloud cover and rain in our area, but by 9 or so, we were clear and definitely NOT likely to shower.
My classroom door kept getting shut as people tried to negotiate the hall with unwieldy loads. At 8, I caught all three janitors and several smokers lounging in the boiler room, requesting the TALL guy, (around 6', 5") to plug in my refrigerator, whose plug is about 7' or a bit better in the air. At five to four, the 5' 2" female janitor who normally sweeps the floor for my room came in and stood on a rickety folding chair and took three stabs at it before she hit it good enough to turn on the fridge. Business as usual.
The flying fickle finger of fate missed me by the approximate width of 4" (the distance between his door and mine) this year, hitting one of the "golden boys", who fell from grace by RESIGNING HIS COACHING POSITION at the end of last year. He inherited a SCIENCE CLASS that he found out about last Thursday... He is NOT qualified in Science, and in the teacher handbook, we are informed, so the principal told us at our one o'clock meeting, that WE are responsible for being sure we are qualified to teach the things assigned to us, but in ONE business day, that obviously is only giving lip service to the idea.
My class load stayed NEARLY the same [one Spanish student signed up along with the Applied Communications (English) class, all in the same hour], and one sweet natured, but not real motivated girl taking Spanish during my prep period... Only one class has three separate things going on at once, and one Spanish class is actually ALL at the same level (at least initially.)
All things subject to change by next Tuesday, when the class list is locked in. Nobody can change on Wed., the first day, which, as the admin put it, gives us at least a talking chance to keep our students. I only have half of the eighth graders (last year, I had the entire 7th grade together for reading -- but that got split this year.)
Not a great blessing -- I get to "train" the other teacher. Today, I tried.
"I don't have time to do that."
She left to get her class list. Her room is at the other end of the hall from mine, a half minute walk (crawl) down and back, max... I waited patiently for her to return, then began to do some of my own work. The email program wanted a password, but would not take either of mine. The Accelerated Reader program didn't like the first password, but took the second. I retyped the first program's two choices, then in frustration, canceled the boxes. Finally, I got a prompt telling me the email would load in 8 MINUTES! I next opened the grade book program, as I KNEW it would let me right in and I could get busy. As soon as I got the program open, she returned.
I pulled my AR folder and showed her the minutes converted to points based on a 9 week grading system, 45 minutes per day.
"Let me go get a copy of that. I'm a sequential person."
So she walked out and didn't come back for 15 minutes. I entered all the grade scale equivalents, copied them to all my classes for the entire year, then shut down the program so it would all be saved. Just as I had the program up and running again, she returned.
I explained how the grading takes place for the program, and she went to her classroom for a class list. I entered the % each quarter is equal to and the % specified by the school board for the semester tests, which has to be done individually for EACH SEPARATE CLASS, no copy and paste feature here.
When she came back, I pulled the folders for the kids who were in her classes. She read off a name; I handed it to her.
"Let me put these in my classroom," she said, heading for the door. I waited, but this time, she never returned. When it was a few minutes after 12, I finally got the computer shut down enough to leave it and went to the only cafe in town. There she sat with her daughter (also on staff) the music teacher, the guidance teacher, and a new teacher. The first three had all gone to lunch early... the guidance teacher and new teacher had left right at noon and were still ordering, so I joined them at the big table. By the time the first three were done, I got my food.
During the afternoon, every time I had to go someplace, I put stuff in her mail box, set stuff on her desk, handed her a book bag containing all the reading material I got at the initial training I took (the one time I spotted her in the hall...) I gave her a copy of how to grade the class to copy for her students, gave her log sheets, and explained what the class rules needed to be. (She constantly talks to her classes. Since the reading classes are supposed to be 45 minutes of silent sustained reading, that ought to just be SUPER, right?) The longest "talk" I got in was less than two minutes.
I never caught her in her room the rest of the day. She left early to go to physical therapy. She's now all trained, right? (What I hate is that any mistakes she makes, I will be blamed for not doing a decent job of training her.)
After school, I got the next batch of free blood pressure med. and found out that the doctor had written in his chart that I was to come back in a month, but had not told me. (We'd begun to chat about his son's upcoming wedding.) I had one tablet left for tomorrow morning, and, of course, a BIG BATCH of the former med, so I called to see if I was to use what I'd already paid for, or get a new script. I figured I'd have to have my blood pressure taken, but no, just stop by to make an appointment in 12 days, and pick up more free meds to last till then.
I'm thinking, he gave me all the samples he had on hand, then had to hit the salesman up for some more. That's cool. I don't have to pay for the meds until we at least have a clue that they will be effective. I go in Wed. the 31st.
Since I ran out of milk Sat. I waited to go to the store until today, as gas is up to $2.45-2.51 a gallon in town. Going from school saves 12 miles... I'd forgotten my list. I returned the shower head that had to be screwed into the wall instead of fitting over the existing pipe in the formed plastic shower stall in the second bathroom, took a box of three screws and two drill bits back to the lumber yard, and bought groceries, then came home.
I'm ready for bed.
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