Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Why Can't I Have a Snow Day???

One bad thing (of the many, many bad things) about being a Chicago Public Schools teacher is that no matter how much it snows, you WILL NOT get a snow day. I still get up early on days when it snows and hope that just maybe, just this once we'll get one, but to no avail.

So today was a bad day. I guess the snow made everyone crazy. Far more kids came to school today than expected. That was the first sign it was going to be crazy. I got through my first class and it was actually better than usual. Which had to be a bad sign. We're discussing social norms in that class, so I kept saying -- Social norm violation! Over and over again. I'm actually going to make Social Norm Citation forms and take off 5 points for each citation. I have to work on that after I finish this post.

After that I had a free period and entered most of my 5 week progress report grades.

Then it was time for Division. Division is CPS's version of homeroom. I meet with my division 15 minutes per day (45 minutes on Fridays). It's totally useless and there's no grade for it, so I can't make my kids do anything.

I'm out in the hall trying to get kids to go to class when I hear screaming and cursing from my division classroom. Two of my girls are fighting. Awesome. Actually, they weren't fighting yet. They were preparing to fight with the screaming and cursing. Everyone made a circle around them and was getting worked up. It pissed me off. I got one of the girls -- I don't know why I cared, it just made me mad. So I had her against the wall trying to get her calmed down so I could take her to the security guard. She was screaming and cursing and acting like she was going to hit me. I kept yelling at her, "You hit me, I get to go home early, you get arrested for assault, and I get a nice break from you. So go ahead!" I don't know why I'm so crazy.

Miller, our security guard, finally arrived and took both girls away. I was so mad. I am so sick of this bullshit.

Then I have a meeting 4th period. 5th period I'm out in the hall trying to get kids to go to class (they make us stand out in the hall for about 10 minutes or so at the beginning of each class to yell at kids in the hall. And they wonder why no one learns anything.). Suddenly the kids are piling up around two girls who start fighting. One of the girls is the girl from my division! The one I didn't have against the wall. This girl is in my division and my 5th period class and she's always mouthing off at people. She got punched in the eye and I kinda think she deserved it. Had they sent her home after the first pseudo fight, this one wouldn't have happened. She's ridiculous.

She got suspended for five days. I had a request to provide work for her to do while she's home. I think not.

Then another of my girls tried to get in a fight with some random boy after 6th period (while I was in the hall). Again, I don't know why I care. But I had to grab her and try to calm her down. I guess that's when I know that I actually care about my students, since I'm apparently willing to risk getting in the middle of something for them. Legally I'm only required to say, "Stop, don't fight," and I'm off the hook.

My 7th period class is awful. I hate them and am not sure what to do with them. I gave them a pop quiz today. I'll probably give them another one tomorrow. I usually don't have a problem with classroom management, but that class is not working well. I finally just sat down and ignored them and checked my email. I'm supposed to be observed by the assistant principal this week. Thank God I wasn't observed today.

I've decided this is my toughest year in teaching. It's even worse than my first year, because at least during my first year, I was still harboring the illusion that my job mattered. I've concluded that at this point, I really am just a babysitter. It's pretty upsetting. Any my kids don't care. How can I care when they don't?

I'm really ready for Christmas break. 11 more school days to go!!!! Cross your fingers that I make it.

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