Fancy that! I enjoyed a fabulous week at school. I actually felt like I had the proverbial bull by the horns instead of dangling precariously from the bull while it jerked me hither and yon. What pray tell was the method to this newfound equilibrium? I don’t know, really. I can share some high points.
I run my class like a coporation. I am the CEO. On another note, I am not for those business types that have taken over education in the last 2 decades. They try to treat students like “products” and parents and students like “customers.” They also try to superimpose a business model on education and schools. In any case, in my corporation or better yet, beloved community, I am the grand puba, Mahatma, CEO, GodFather, Mother Earth type figure. I created an election for my kids in which they could run for office. The offices are President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and Parliamentarian. I let them make speeches, campaign, and then we voted. One of the girls running for parliamentarian was uneasy because her opponent seemed more popular. Though a bright boy, he got in trouble a lot more than the girl. I asked her if she thought the parliamentarian should have a problem with discipline. She said no. I encouraged her to use that in her speech. I can’t believe I was encouraging mud slinging, albeit tasteful. It worked. She won. Unfortunately, she has a problem with getting her work done. I am glad she won though. Perhaps it will inspire her. My cabinet has meetings that they take very seriously. I have taught them the to successful meetings: having an agenda and having action items. They have been very helpful to me.
I’ve love teaching as if I am making a soup instead of a plated meal. I don’t like to teach subjects in silos. I like to mix it up. It seems like some unknown force anoints this kind of teaching because everything begins to fit together as if I planned it that way…let me tell you…I don’t…it just happens. I teach a concept and then it shows up everywhere reifying what I just taught.
I stay away from my colleagues on my grade level. I don’t know if it is a function of me being new at this school or new to teaching or if I am too much of an out of the box thinker, but I am not really accepted by the other teachers on my team. Better said, they are really just indifferent towards me. Maybe they are just tired and don’t want some upstart asking questions like I do. In any case, faculty meetings drain me of my spirit. It is like sitting in a room full of vampires, and not even the sexy ones! I Truthfully, I don’t know them and they don’t know me. I attend the obligatory meetings, but I try to keep quiet.
I stay late once a week…really late to prepare for the next week. That frees up time for the next week. I also try to grade as much as I can with the kids. This serves two purposes. 1) the kids see how they are doing and 2) I get help grading these papers. I just thought of a third 3) we practice converting fractions into decimals and then percents, their grades.
I continue to pursue my loves out side of my day to day school life, writing, reading.
Last week I was comparing my job to an abusive boyfriend who keeps me hooked by providing enough good times and also by reminding me that I need him (paycheck). On the other hand he knocks me about at will. I am getting the upperhand I think.
So Fancy that! I am happy to report that this was a fabulous week.