Thursday, February 28, 2008


As regular readers of my blog may remember I had a certain class last semester that was the pain in my neck so to speak. It had gotten to the point where I dreaded that 90 minutes of class time for about a month until things sorted themselves out and they became a decent class of 9th graders.

I recently picked up a new long term assignment teaching 8th grade math and I now have a new albatross around my neck called 6th period. I knew they were going to be a handful from the minute they entered the class last week. They're rude, chatty and have little desire to work.

Today they reached a new high or low depending on your point of view. Not only did they get to stay an extra three minutes today, but I had two kids decide that 6th period was a grand ole time for a spit-wad war. Yes, you read that correctly... spit-wads. Now it's not like a spit-wad going through a pen makes a rather unique sound or anything or that I had a good idea of who was involved, but I actually got to see them use their blow guns... All I did was quietly walk by them and tell them to see me after class. And one of the two spit-wad warriors then argued with me when I told him to remove his hood and then to take off his sweatshirt when he did not comply quickly enough. Then I had a third student decide that today was a good day for art and confiscated not one but two drawings. He also got to stay after the class for a little heart to heart.

After the class left I locked the door and let the three of them know in no uncertain terms just how unhappy I was with their collective behavior. I told them that the next time I had even a bit of trouble with them I would simply sign and date the already filled out dean's referal forms and they could explain all their behavior to them. I then proceeded to list the things they had done to irritate me. One student was staring daggers at me the whole time like he wanted to throw down with me. So I looked straight at him and said "Do you have a problem with me? Because I have a problem with you and your behavior in my class!", which he liked even less. After a few more minutes of me letting them know that 'homie don't play that game' I made sure that we understood each other and off they went. As I walked out one of the students was out front and as I passed by him he told me "no more spit-wads", I told him "good, because I have the paperwork all filled out on my desk".

Now we'll see if the other two figure it out or not. My guess is that the artist is going to the dean's office and soon, he needs to see how tough I really am and if I'll really follow through on my promises...

Now playing: Keep Singing - MercyMe
via FoxyTunes

Monday, February 25, 2008

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Sheesh. I just took this new long term assignment teaching eighth grade math and I come to find out that the powers that be screwed up on the CRT testing schedule and that the students get to take the test a month early, and instead of actually having time to teach the concepts that are going to be on the test, we get maybe a week or two to do several weeks of teaching.

Now mind you many of the things on the test were not even going to be covered for at least two weeks, so that the kids would actually have time to become familiar with the material and concepts before we were going to start with the test prep stuff.

And to top it all off, none of the classes are doing math at the 8th grade level. Most are at least two to three grades below where they should be and one is literally at the second grade level. They can barely figure out that 20% is the same as .20, and getting them to figure out how to calculate tax is another matter altogether.

Need I mention that math is not one of my best subjects? I'm ahead of them to be sure, but I've not taken a math class since 2005 so I'm a bit rusty to say the least.

I certainly have my work cut out for me, don't I? The one good thing is that I'm used to getting thrown to the wolves and I'm pretty good at figuring stuff out on the fly, so all hope is not lost, but it's certainly not going to be easy, for my students or for me.

And yet we want these same people to take over the health care system... Hell, they can't even figure out when to schedule tests for a bunch of middle and high school kids...

Now playing: Silence - Delerium & Sarah McLachlan
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Buh Bye!

Not once, but twice in the same period I got to remove a cancer, er bothersome student from my class today. Word to the wise, when I tell kids that their pants better not be around their knees, making a big show of pulling yours up is not recommended when I'm the teacher, nor is refusing to do the work that I have asked you to do. This may amaze students but I actually >gasp< pay attention to what students are actually doing in the classroom, and if you refuse to do any work, you're not going to stay in my room for long.

And to nobody's surprise they were both...

Wait for it!

Wait for it!

Seventh Graders!!!!

Now I've sent two kids to the dean in the same day, but yesterday was a first for me, because normally once you toss one kid, everyone else gets the hint and shuts the yap machines down for the rest of the period. Some people are slow learners I guess...

Now playing: Red Barchetta - Rush
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


It's been an interesting week to say the least. I had the smoothest day ever when I subbed at a local middle school of all places. I literally did not have one bad class the entire day. Now that ended the next day when I subbed for a guitar class. The video was OK the first time or two but not all flipping day. And especially not for a study skills class that had no desire to learn about the history of the guitar in Spain.

Now playing: I Can't Do This - Plumb
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I'm not that sub...

I'm not the sub who does not follow through on their threats. I'm not the sub who won't go to the dean's office to make sure the student actually made it to that location and turned in the referral form. I'm not the dean who will double check a kids name who didn't return from an unnecessary trip to the dean's office. At some point you'd think the kids would figure that out...

So during third period a student says he needs a pass to go to the dean's office. Now this happens from time to time and I write the pass and off he goes. About 15 minutes later the intercom goes off and the voice on the speaker says that the student is returning because the trip was unnecessary. Funny thing is he never makes it back. Now I don't catch the student's name so during my prep I walk down to find out who the kid is. When I tell them why I'm there and that he never returned, I get a referral form handed to me which I gladly fill out.

During 6th period despite my warnings and the story about the dork in 3rd period another kid decides that I'm a paper tiger and gets written up. He not only takes 10 minutes for a two minute trip, he returned to class before he went to the dean's and never handed in the referral form I sent with him. So I fill out another referral after school and the dean's secretary makes a point of writing that he never brought the first form...


Monday, February 04, 2008

Party above country

As the nomination of John McCain appears more and more likely, a number of conservatives from Mark Levin to Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter are having what can nicely be described as a hissy fit and many more conservatives are threatening to vote democrat if this pseudo republican is nominated as the GOP candidate to run against either Hillary or Obama just to keep this "maverick" out of the White House.

My question to all those I just mentioned is this: Are you nuts? Since when do republicans act like democrats and start excluding people who are not "conservative enough" to really be a republican? And why on God's green earth would you vote for someone who is diametrically opposed to everything you hold near and dear to your heart? Do you remember the feeling you got watching the democrats turning on Joe Lieberman in 2006 simply because he supported the Iraq war? Have you forgotten laughing during the democratic debates because it was simply variations on a theme and no real ideas were brought forth and discussed like we had on the GOP side with Rudy, Mitt, John, Duncan, Fred etc? We had choices, real choices because our tent was exclusive, not inclusive you dolts. The strength of the GOP is that you can have Mike Huckabee and The Govenator comfortably in the same party. Since when do conservatives put party above country?

I know that McCain is not perfect, but he's fiscally conservative, pro life and pro armed forces. He is also money when it comes to foreign relations and especially the war on terror and the emerging threat from China. He also admitted that he was wrong on immigration and realizes that before we can deal with everyone here we need to secure the borders and while he opposed the Bush tax cuts he saw how well they worked and now wants to make them permanent.

There is no such thing as a perfect conservative, Reagan ran from Beruit without a fight, granted amnesty to millions of illegals and even had to raise taxes because the democrats were spending money like drunken sailors.

Do you really want a liberal president with a liberal legislature for the next several years? Really?