Tuesday, August 15, 2017

All Bets Are Off

Usually the first day, and even the first week, of school are rather uneventful for me.  Or they should be.  Having kids in ISS the first week is NOT a good thing.  That's the Honeymoon Phase.  If they can't keep it together for the first week, it does not bode well for the year.

First day...no problems.  In fact, the first full week was quiet for me.

Which meant I could plan out the entire year of Craft Club, get the Veteran's Day Program started, and work on forms and paperwork.  It also meant it gave admin a few more days to actually figure out my schedule which gets changed every year for no reason whatsoever.  Every year they change it, and every year I have to remind them that there is a one hour time period where my kids (and me) can have lunch where they will not miss their RTI classes.  Why they can't leave well enough alone is beyond me.  The old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" adage... In any case, they had our lunch scheduled for 3rd period, and my planning for 6th (and no one was assigned to watch my kids during my bathroom break planning.  That's a problem.

On Friday afternoon I get word, from a bus driver no less, that I will have a kid starting Monday.  Really?  I go into guidance and ask the Guidance Goddess and she confirms.  Once again, Ditzy Admin forgot to tell me, forgot to put the paperwork in my mailbox, and generally just forgot.  Great.  We are off to a great start.  To be fair, she did, finally email me about 3:00 on Friday afternoon, but by then I'd already tracked down the kid and his information and notified his teacher.

And I was wrong.  We all were.

We were all betting that the first kid in ISS would most likely be a seventh grader.  The sixth grade class from last year, which is now the seventh grade class, was infamous.  We'd been hearing about them and their behavior for years and they lived up to every bit of their reputation.  So I figured things hadn't changed much and my first customer would be a seventh grader.

And if it wasn't a seventh grader, an 8th grader.  Because there were a few troublemakers in that bunch who spent a lot of time in my room last year.

My first kid?  A sixth grader. A sixth grader who slapped an 8th grader as they got off the bus that morning.  And remarkably, the 8th grader had some restraint and didn't hit him back (since I know that kid pretty well, I'm still astounded).

Who would have thought?

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Front Office Frenzy

So here it is, August, and if it's August here in my Beloved South, it must mean It's Time for School to Start!

Yes, I know it's ridiculously early.  I'm not happy about it.  I'd rather start after Labor Day and go further into June, because at least that way we aren't going to school during The Hottest Month of the Damn Year, but nooooo, we start in August.  

Fortunately, it wasn't that hot.  Because it was POURING rain all morning.  

As the In School Suspension teacher, the odds of me having a kid on this very first half day of the school year are slim - although it has happened before - so I was assigned to help out in the front office with whatever needed doing.

Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. Sakes. Alive.

I always knew our Amazing Secretaries were really buy in the morning, but I had no idea the drama and chaos that is the front office of a middle school.  Really.  It was insane.

We had parents dropping off enrollment paperwork.  

We had parents - in their pajamas - dropping off enrollment paperwork.  

We had parents with no identification so we couldn't sign them in and send them to guidance to enroll their kid.  The Guidance Goddess had to trudge up front to deal with them.

We had parents coming in with a dazed look on their face that said the other middle school nearby sent them to us as they were in our zone, not theirs.

We had parents trying to convince us that they had moved to our zone and try to enroll, but when asked the kids said no they didn't move and gave an address that belonged in the other school's zone.

We had parent and grandparent arguing over whether they wanted the kid/grandkid removed from the special education bus and placed in regular transportation (which must be changed on an IEP).  Apparently the kid told grandpa one thing and mom another.  Whatever.

We had a mother inform us that her daughter couldn't be anywhere near another kid in the seventh grade, that they were going to court, the other mom had pulled a gun on someone, and goodness knows what else.

It was mind-blowing.

And our secretaries were amazing.  They were calm, cool, and collected.  They didn't blanch or roll their eyes or lose their minds with the 217th person that morning called and asked just when, exactly early dismissal was?    They didn't bat an eye at any of the craziness.

As for me?  Anytime a kid arrived who needed to be walked to their new homeroom, I was there to do the escorting.  It got me out of the drama.

But dang, folks, school secretaries?  They are Super Women.  Truly. 

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Back At It, Or Another Year Begins, Along with Some Random Stuff

After a brief summer break (no, we don't get Three Whole Months Off, like most people think), we reported back to work today.

Unlike most Back to School for Teacher's Days, this one wasn't held at The School, but was instead held at one of the District buildings where we joined up with The Principal's new school (remember, she left last year and the Enforcer now is our principal) and sat through a day long workshop on mental health and kids.  Actually a really good workshop.  I enjoyed it and learned a lot.


I have not sat for this long the entire summer.  Within the first hour and half I was getting really, really restless.  And it continued for the entire day.  And it drove me nuts.

I know tomorrow will be more of the same, and I only hope we get more breaks so I can at least take a walk around the building or do something other than sit.

So, what have I been doing all summer?

Well...as usual, I didn't get everything done I wanted.

I didn't read up and bone up on math like I wanted.
I didn't clean out as many closets as I wanted.
I didn't clean out my garage.
I didn't clean my house as often or as deeply as I wanted.

But what I did do was pretty awesome.

I hosted a family reunion and had 20 relatives, mostly cousins, come visit from all around the country.  One of my cousins I hadn't seen in 18 years, and that's just nuts.  We decided we're doing this again, sooner.

I, well, we,  had a roommate.  One of my cousin's sons is living with us this summer while he completes an internship for his Master's in History from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.  This has been a lot of fun.  He and Mr. Bluebird are having a ball talking history and we took him to see Dunkirk for his birthday (amazing movie, too.)   It's been a nice change having him around.  He's very low maintenance as well.

We adopted two kittens, sisters, and that's been amazingly fun.  The older cats have adjusted well for the most part.  The energy level these two have is off the charts.  They are better than television.

I taught a week of Civil War Summer Camp again.  This time I had amazing kids who all wanted to be there (none of the "let's put the kid in a camp to get him or her out of the house" crap).

I went to Texas for a few days for a conference and had a blast.

I re-read Pride and Prejudice again.

I knitted.

And I spent lots and lots of time at my CrossFit Box and worked on pull ups and rowing speed and generally getting better.  I'm getting there.

It's been nice.

But on Monday, it's back to work with the kids.  Hopefully a fantastic year is ahead of us.