Shaddup Already!


school stuff

Whoa! Go away for a little while and everything changes. I'm not completely sure I like the new look. Personally, I was partial to the purple. Oh well, life marches on and so shall I.

Things are still going pretty well at work. I have figured out that people are the same everywhere. Although I'm facing an entire new problem at my current school. Since my last administration could take or leave me I haven't experienced people feeling threatened by me. I do believe that is going on at my current school.

So here's the deal, we teach a block schedule that includes reading and language arts. The way I choose to attack this is to not separate the two, but rather allow the two to compliment one another. I use literature to teach my grammar and writing and I use writing projects to teach reading skills. I find the two subjects very difficult to separate, so I don't.

My language arts department head seems to be threatened by the success I'm experiencing. A few months ago, when my principal started bragging on me a little more publicly, she got cold with me. It wasn't anything I could put my finger on, but she didn't smile as much and wasn't as friendly with me. She has never been nasty, as that isn't the type of person she is. But I could tell something was wrong.

At some point during a meeting it was mentioned, by here, that I'm the writing expert and her area of skill is reading instruction. Fine, I didn't mention that I feel pretty competant in teaching reading as well. I let it go. Things started getting better between us and she warmed up to me again.

So fast-forward to this past Friday's meeting with administration. We walk into the meeting room and she is her usual bubbly self. She's smiling and making jokes.

Let me take a moment and explain who all is there. Each grade level spends their plan time meeting with the administrators, usually for us it's the AP, as it was on Friday. That means there are 3 math teachers, 3 language arts teachers, 2 social studies, 2 special ed and the gifted facilitator (who is something of a joke, but I will save that for a later entry) and the AP.

I walk in and see a book sitting on the table. It's on the topic of sustained silent reading (SSR). I become immediately interested because I had just spent the morning polling my students to find ways in which to improve their SSR experience. To my knowledge, I am the only 7th grade teacher who does SSR, as well. It's not something that's been thrust upon us.

So while we're waiting for everyone to get there I start asking the AP if we have copies of this book available and I explain to him what's going on in my classroom. He gets really excited and asks me to address the group when he brings up the idea of using this book for a school wide book study. Here's where it gets a little testy with the department head.

I explain what I'm doing in my classroom and I start pulling in information that I learned when I almost got my reading endorsement in FL (I was one class short of getting it when I decided to move). I'm speaking with complete authority and self-assurance about how to create more proficient readers. Department head completely shuts down. Hmmm, that's a bit strange.

I finally figured out that I may have stepped on her toes. She felt like she was a better reading teacher than me and I said some stuff that shows I clearly know what I'm doing. I don't care who the better teacher is, I just want to be the best teacher I can be. Sounds like I'm going in the army. Anyway, it's her issue and I'll guess she'll get over it eventually. Otherwise it's going to be cold at department meetings. Again, it's not my problem. So I say whatever.

On a funny note, I chaperoned the dance on Friday night. The teacher who is next door to me and becoming a pretty good friend was there as well. He is fresh out of college, all of 24 years old, and looks like he's about 14. Actually, I think he bears a striking resemblance to Shaggy Doo.

At any rate a student came up and asked him to dance. He turned her down. I couldn't let it go. So I went around to all the girls I knew and told them what happened and encouraged them to ask him to dance. He happened to be checking the boys' room while the planning was going on. He came out of the boys' room and a mob of about 15-20 7th grade girls surrounded him, asking him to dance. The AP commented that he looked like a rock star.

Suffice to say, I'm in trouble. G finally did admit that the joke was funny, but I don't pull practical jokes without expecting retaliation. G promised me said retaliation repeatedly. I told him it was my goal to stack things up so far on my side that he would have to spend the rest of the school year getting even with me.

I love my new school :o)

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