Sunday, March 27, 2011


Dear Secret Blogiary,

It turns out, I do secretly care. I care about my stupid job that makes me miserable. I care what I accomplish in my classroom. I care about making sure that the students get the most from me that I can give during the year. I care about the connection I make with my kids. I care about doing a good job despite the fact that I hate it.

So it came as a major blow to see my final yearly evaluation on Friday. It had two categories that were dinged.

One I knew about: professional behavior. Apparently it is unprofessional to miss work when your children are puking their guts out. Every single teacher there that has kids was dinged as “Needs Improvement” in this category. In clear, yet tiny perfect italics it read: needs to improve attendance. Like I was a student. Shit! That comment is one that I can check on my student’s report cards.

Fine. I knew I was going to get dinged. It was the only thing that had been discussed with me at my post-observation. Honestly, and I am all about conspiracy theories, I think it had more to do with getting people out of the “High Performing” category. If we get “High Performing” we can also earn merit pay (although with the new law that was just passed, this will be the last year for this type of merit pay).

It was the second category that was marked “Unsatisfactory” that had my eyeballs about to burst from my head! I was marked down for not having classroom management. I was shocked, hurt, and quite honestly pissed off.

Now overall, this year’s group of students were a nightmare in 6th grade and wretched in 7th – this by the admission of the 6th and 7th grade teachers and the administrators. Every single teacher on the hall has the same problems with the same students I do. I refuse to yell and scream a student or hover over them until they do what I ask. I also refuse to continue to call the parents if after the first call made no difference. This group of kids does not care about consequences. Phone calls to parents do nothing. Time outs do nothing. Referrals do nothing. Nothing fazes them.

As 8th graders they are fully responsible for their actions. I shouldn’t have to call parents.

As a parent of an 8th grader, I refuse to make excuses for my child. She knows how to behave and what is expected from her, so why should I accept anything less from my students? All I hear from the higher ups is that standards and expectations need to be higher for our students. So why should I lower my expectations?

I have a single class that sheer unadulterated Hell. One. Not a single teacher on my team can “control” this class and as they travel together (the same students share all the same classes) they wreak havoc all day long. I only wish I was exaggerating. Ethically, I will not discuss them individually, but I will leave it at this: many of the students in there are certifiably crazy – it is in their IEP – and most are labeled as EH (Emotionally Handicapped – which essentially means they have severe anger management problems and will likely fly into a rage at the drop of a hat).

And I have a theory about that. They know that first of all, the 8th grade administrator, no matter what the offense, will take the student’s word over the teacher’s in just about every case. Secondly, they know that even if they get in trouble, the punishment will not be a punishment; instead it will be a “conference” with the student where the admin will read them the riot act, slap them on the wrist verbally, and send them back to class.

The teachers get no support to back up our management plan. So how am I supposed to have effective classroom management? Beats me. In my two minute read-this-and-sign-here evaluation conference, I got no feedback and it didn’t occur to me to demand any because I was so blindsided.

And unfortunately, I care about it. I care because this is the only time I have been dinged for anything in an evaluation. Not even in my first year as a teacher did I have problems. And as I have been mulling the evaluation over for the past few days it occurred to me why.

I had the support of administrators who backed me up no matter what. Since Mr. MoHOLU took the reins, the school has gone downhill and I wish that was me just being angry and disgruntled. But after talking to other teachers and watching the number of teachers transferring out each year increase, it can’t just be me.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Getting Sloshed

Dear Secret Blogiary,

Mister W. and I don’t drink all that much. Mister W enjoys a beer every now and then. I’ll drink a cocktail occasionally. So we don’t often have a decent supply of alcohol in the house for when we actually do want to drink a little bit more than Crystal Light or milk.

Today after Mister W. got home, we felt like “getting sloshed.” (Trust me, I am such a light weight nine times out of ten I can’t even finish one drink let alone get sloshed!)

Mister W. and I wanted Mudslides, so I took Big Sis with me on a liquor run for company. Somehow, (seriously, it was like one second I was looking for Irish cream and the next I had 7 bottles in my arms) I also ended up with the fixings for Grasshoppers (my favorite!) and a bottle of Amarula (so yummy). I ended up buying far more liquor than I actually needed. Instead of a bag, the cashier gave me a box. Classy.

Big Sis: You are putting that in the trunk, right?

Me: (carrying a box of liquor) That’s why I gave you the keys.

Big Sis: And you aren’t planning on drinking until you get home, right?

Me: That’s the plan. Why?

Big Sis: Just checking.

Me: I haven’t yet progressed to the “lush” stage of my life, Kiddo. You know that, right?

Big Sis: Yeah. (pause to open the trunk) Mom? Where are you going to put all of these bottles?

Me: In the liquor cabinet.

Big Sis: We don’t have a – OH! You mean on top of the fridge?

Me: Yup. The liquor cabinet. Although when I hit the lotto I am totally going to have a real one.

Big Sis: You could buy a mansion and have a whole room for your liquor.

Me: That would be a lot of alcohol. I don’t think-

Big Sis: It could be your “liqourary!”

Me: Huh?

Big Sis: You know! Like a “library” but for your liquor. A Liqourary.

Me: Huh.

Big Sis: What? You don’t like it?

Me: Actually, I think it is brilliant! And then we could alphabetize all the bottles-

Big Sis: And color coordinate them!

Me: You are seriously awesome.

Mister W. and I managed our one (how old we are getting) Mudslide each. He went to bed and I must confess, after only half the glass, I too am ready for bed.

So for the record:

1. I now have enough liquor to last me until at least Christmas and

2. My goal of “getting sloshed” to have wild drunk sex (God where have those days gone?) has epically failed.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lack of Maturity

Dear Secret Blogiary,

Big Sis hung out “free range” style at the mall today. The first time ever. What did she return home with? Forbidden skinny jeans? Inappropriate novelties from Spencer’s?


A new Build-A-Bear.

Me: You blew your money on a Build-A-Bear?

Big Sis: Yeah. And?

Me: Nothing. (shaking my head and smirking) Put it in the trunk.

Big Sis: (Puts box in trunk and takes out the new Bear and climbs into the front seat)

Me: Really? You are so immature.

Big Sis: Says the girl who slobbered on my arm and claimed she was a lamprey the other day.

Me: I…But…

Big Sis: And who went around saying “balls” over and over with different adjectives in front of it last week.

Me: …

Big Sis: I win!

Fine. She "wins." But only because I was being nice.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stupid Fucking Day

Dear Secret Blogiary,

What a Stupid Fucking Day. You know those days when nothing “goes wrong” per say but nothing goes right either. Today was a Stupid Fucking Day or an SFD for short.

It started simply enough. Mister W and I woke up at the same time for a change and I attempted to initiate a quick intimate moment. God Lord! How long has it been since morning sex? Pre kids, I think. I could have used the pick-me-up, today, and I was shot down. Hard.

Pushing my hand away, Mister W. goes into a diatribe about how he needs to get up and get going for work. WORK?!?! Screw work! I wanted SEX!

All the time we are on his schedule and this morning it just tipped me off that whenever he wants it, I jump in full on regardless of whether I am really interested or not because I have discovered that unless I am sick, I will get interested real quick once we start. But God Forbid I want it at an inconvenient time and it is all hands off.

So, pissy, horny and now irritated because I woke up early I rolled from bed and moved on. Sort-of. Have I mentioned that I am really, really good at holding a grudge and stewing about things?

The morning continued with diabolical plans to with-hold all sex acts until further notice. That lasted until the end of my shower when I realized that that was just about as likely as me winning the lottery without actually playing.

At school, I had my yearly observation. I was woefully unprepared. The lesson was one that I had never taught before, but the next “required” piece in the curriculum. Stupid curriculum. So despite my prep, I felt, at best, “iffy” about the lesson. The class I chose for the observation is typically one of my better involved ones. They might be my lowest level class, but by God, they try.

Except for today. I don’t know if it was the administrator in the class or what, but they were silent, taciturn, and reticent. Who were these children? Clearly they were abducted last night and replaced by pod-people.

The focus lesson (a mini mini-lesson – essentially I have to teach two lessons one FCAT focused and then one content but that’s a rant for another day) ran long and although they had been over it before, they acted like they had never seen inferences before even though as a focus lesson they have been over it dozens of times. Then when we got into the bulk of the content – character development and historical background of a story – they lost it and went crazy with misbehavior.

Then, before I got into my super required “differentiated instruction” the admin left. Observation over.

Great. Perfect. I am sure to ace this one.

From there it just got worse. Spring is really in the air because I could not get the rest of the class in line with what they needed to do. At one point, I gathered up the five kids who were doing what they were supposed to a taught them alone and ignored the rest.

They didn’t seem to mind.

Then I got yelled at TWICE! for letting a student use the restroom.


We have this ridiculous rule about when we are allowed to let students out on hall passes. As ridiculous as it is I follow it to the letter because that is just the law-abiding goody-two-shoes I am. So, with two minutes to spare before the cut-off time, a student who never asks me to go to the restroom asked. I look at the time, I tell him, okay, but hurry because you only have 2 minutes before the cut-off. The boy grabed the pass and took off running to make it to and from in time.

Mr. MoHOLU radioed my direct admin and sent him to reprimand me. My reply was courteous and I told him that the boy was within the time. My admin radioed back letting Mr. MoHOLU know my response and reason. Not ten seconds later Mr. MoHOLU stormed into the wing and shouted, SHOUTED! Down the hall that he was sick of all the hall passes and it didn’t matter that the boy was sent out right before the cut-off I shouldn’t have sent him out because he could have held it until next period.


Why the Hell did Mr. MoHOLU established a cut-off time if he wasn’t going to allow us to abide by it? My school is on block schedule so we are in class for 90 minutes. 6th period, because it is the lunch period, actual real time is 2 hours because it is the lunch block and we have to rotate 900 students in three shifts through, with clean-ups between each. So, it is a long period and after lunch, kids need to pee. Fact of life. They guzzle down chocolate milk, juice and soda and then are trapped in a class for near two hours. Hell! I gave up drinking any thing at lunch because I couldn’t hold it that long.

Stupid Fucking Day.

All I’ve got to say is that Mister W. better put out tonight.