Can we just talk about how the only students’ names that I don’t know yet are the nondescript white girls with dirty-blonde hair? There are about 10 of them that I can’t tell apart
At lunch today, word around the teacher’s lounge was about the sausage song that’s been virally rounding social media. I’d provide a link but I’m not sure if I want to have the inappropriateness linked to my page and not sure I want to contribute to giving it more hits. It’s super NSFW. Basically, it’s teens in a circle rapping about eggs, bacon, grits, and sausage (just search “eggs” on YouTube and it’ll pop up), except the freestyle part is throwing in a line about liking, wanting, or needing “SAUSAGE!” (it’s a penis euphemism, get it?!) It has a super catchy beat, and the kids have a lot of rhythm! To be fair to everyone, I’m currently still deciding whether this blog title is supposed to be sarcastic or not. On one hand, yes, the videos are highly inappropriate and idiotic considering the students’ faces are all over it and some of them are even filmed in classrooms. How stupid can you be? If you’re in high school, it’s extremely stupid. If you’re in college, no one can really stop you, but how about the fact that nothing EVAR gets deleted from the internet. That video will represent you for decades to come. It’s extremely childish over all, but is it so wrong of me to think it was even a tiny bit funny (of course, barring lines that are never funny like use of the N word, etc.)?
I work with a range of younger and older teachers and they all seemed completely appalled and in utter disbelief that the 6th graders would find it funny. Yes, it’s really sad that the internet is used to spread this depraved humor to 12 year old’s so quickly and easily. This is where some good parenting comes in. Set some controls, know what your kid is learning and where they’re learning it from. Teach them to be smart about internet use and safety. However, even if your child has not been allowed a phone or any internet privileges, you probably can’t stop them from being shown the video by a friend, even one you trust. Now, try to remember what it was like to be 12-16. Imagine watching this video for the first time. Imagine everyone at school talking about it. I think the average 12-16 year old would find it giggle-worthy or at least entertaining! All I’m saying is, is it really that hard to believe that the 6th graders think it’s funny? They also think they’re smart as hell and can go around the hallways or even the classrooms talking about sausage, believing they won’t get caught because they think we dumbass teachers are old as dirt and don’t know anything. One clever student asked a teacher, in front of the rest of the teachers and just a few hours after our lunch conversation, if she liked sausage. The little turd got busted! We discussed giving him an office referral because he knew it was sexual innuendo. I’d love to see the note go home for that one. “Your sweet little Johnny asked Mrs. Smith if she liked big fat sausages! She said, ‘only with something sweet to dip it in.'”
So now you’re all on my maturity level. You’re welcome.
I don’t fancy myself a great sales person or spokeswoman, which is kind of funny considering I made a living for 8 years working in retail. I couldn’t sell ice to an eskimo, but I could highly recommend this 31 utility bag for all of your toting needs. The first time I saw one, I couldn’t imagine a single use for all those pockets and thought they’d go empty and unnecessary, much like the cargo pants of yore. I didn’t even buy one for myself. I got it for a birthday and I have no idea who it came from. It sat in my closet for many months. When I started coaching cheerleading, I pulled it out and dusted it off and it served me well. I kept a binder with all my papers and lists, carried my sneakers, some prowrap, some pens, and a first aid kit. When I started my long term sub job, I emptied it out and perfected the science of filling the empty spaces. Aside from the layout, I also love the durability. It’s not flimsy at all and can take a beating. I took it to rainy and snowy football games where it sat in pools of water. It’s not waterproof, but it’s really easy to clean. I think I could sell a 31 bag to an eskimo.
This is my pretty bag with everything inside.
this shows my lunch bag, which doesn’t match, but who wants that? also, my binder which is my life. It holds all of my lesson plans, master copies, lists, important notes, etc. I could do a post on it, it’s so awesome and organized into protector sheets.
The amazing exploded view. There are 3 pockets on one side, 2 on the other, and 1 on either end.
I regularly carry
my binder (above)
my lunch bag with lunch goodies
my phone (the cheeseburger)
hand sanitizer (hanitizer)
icebreakers duo raspberry mints
a nail file (it so came in handy this week!)
lotion (a gift from one of my cheerleaders, so nice)
body spray (just in case?)
my wallet (it goes inside the main bag)
keys (snap onto one of the straps with a carabiner)
a book (ayn rand is pictured, but I’ve been reading Malala)
and most importantly
a bottle of aleve
my sweet husby bought me a bag of cough drops that I’ve needed to carry recently
tangerine EOS lip balm
fashiony sun glasses
What goes in your survival kit?
I used to write poetry regularly
Sculpting with words and the ways that they felt in your ears
Rolling off tongues oh so playfully
Tropes and conventions became commonplace enemies
I maxed out my idioms, spent all my similes
Someday I’ll find my way back into poetry
I’m doing something I feel very uncomfortable doing! NaPoWriMo means National Poetry Writing Month and there is a challenge floating around to write a new poem every day in April. I didn’t discover it until the 7th, but I decided to dive in and try anyway. Let me clarify, I’m not particularly afraid of writing poetry (even though it has been many, many years since I’ve even tried), but of course I’m afraid to share it with the internet! Since I’m trying out a ton of new things this year, I might as well do this too. My next poem should be about bravery. maybe that’s my 2015 resolution.
Several of my “pieces” are from prompts that I have assigned to my 6th graders such as an exaggeration/hyperbole poem, limerick, and three haikus. The others are from more adult prompts that I have found on the internet. Let’s see if you can pick which ones are which haha
day 7) exaggeration.
My skin burns red hot. Like a million dessert Suns!
I feel like I’ve been cooking with a dozen hot cross buns.
Jalepenos raining down on me, habanero to the touch
I could swim in a pool of aloe Vera but it wouldn’t be enough!
I’m red like a lobster in tomato sauce or a cherry red clown’s nose
I wish an apple red fire truck would come over here and spray me with the hose
I’d be cool like a cucumber, nice as ice, a freezing, frosty cube
Icy as frostbite in a snowstorm…. Ok maybe this sunburn will do.
day 8) ghost.
She sits in the corner. All day. She roams at night. Always. She likes to drag her fingertip across the wall while the family sleeps. She sighs. Cool breath trails behind. She kneels down by your side. You’re still, at peace in sleep. She lays her cheek against your chest. Praying she could be with you again. She sits in the corner. All day.
day 9) #darksparkler
Fizzle, sizzle out. Sparkle fade, halo dim. The last popping crackles tatter softly and softer still. Stillness settles dusty in the deep cracks of her painted skin. A papery shell. Devoid of joy and all the glamor of before. The party ended quickly when they saw her on the floor.
day 11) sin seven
Lust. a dark, powerful, and delicious desire
An uncontrollable feeling considered to be sin
The need sometimes becomes stronger than breathing
Muscles and fingers move independent of thought
Blood heats up fevered skin sweat beading
Heart beating sound pounding short little breaths
Lust is a sin that I want
day 12) sin six
Jealousy. depressed discontent, a dark envy
Self-centered desire wanting more and more
Happiness hopelessly buried
underneath the objects
The universe fits in your hand
But it can never be enough
day 13) haiku trio
I’m going to write
A trio of great haikus
It will be so tight
Just wait until you
Hear my awesome haikus they
Will totes blow your mind
Almost to the end
Ran out of syllables for
My haiku trio
day 14) (unfinished)
Gravel belly grind and a leaky nostril sniff
Snort a ray of sunshine breathe the life you want to live
God is in the details
The devil’s in the walls
One is a monster in my brain
When I am feeling small
I’m really stressed out by the students who don’t have their stuff
They say they need time but I certainly gave them enough!
Your excuses stunk
So my class you will flunk
And to that, well I simply say, “tough!”
In my last post, I mentioned the messy desk. Don’t worry, I won’t judge you for being messy and I won’t judge you for being a germaphobe. I know how extremely difficult it is to have 100 students, extracurricular and club stuff, your own teaching materials, a comupter and supplies, a 3’x4′ area of space for it all, and no time to keep it neat and tidy. This particular teacher had two desks. This is the one adjacent to the main desk….
I didn’t clean it because I didn’t want to bother her things or get anything out of its place. And this is how I like to leave a desk when I leave for the day. This is the first thing the teacher will see when he or she returns. I leave my notes right on top, leave any extra copies, and I separate anything the students turn in if the classroom teacher does not already have trays for that.
So here’s my little bonus confession. I always open the top drawer (at least) and check it out. Not sure why. I guess it’s like opening someone’s medicine cabinet except its a lot less telling 🙂
A 4 day job, 8th grade English in a school I’d never been in.
I have to drop Lulu and Gigi off at school before I can go to work, so don’t judge me for not showing up 45 minutes before the first bell. It’s just not possible. I’d never, ever walk in late, but let’s understand that the “working mother” reality does exist. Anyway, it was maybe 10 minutes before the kids would start pouring in and the desk was a disaster. The teacher had been out for a while already because there were notes and tons of stacked up papers from the previous subs. I would never, ever, ever leave a desk like that after I subbed!! Do subs usually leave their desk messy? Even if it was messy before, I understand not wanting to screw up anyone’s system or put something out of place, but I just don’t think I could sign my name on a substitute evaluation form then leave it at the tippy top of a heaping mountain of papers and garbage. I immediately let the next door teacher know that I couldn’t make heads or tails of the mess (yes I did try to find the plans first). He helped me get the plans from another neighboring teacher and I started my day (and week) feeling pretty good.
Successes: I read Lois Lowrey’s The Giver that week. I taught several chapters and had meaningful conversations with the kids. I sat in on a student-parent-teacher team-principal meeting and it was a good learning experience (I think of subbing as a work study or professional development that I get paid to do). I made a good impression on the principal who told me that the students were speaking well of me. So awesome to hear. He asked if I would like to be put on their preferred sub list and I said yes of course. I also had another good teacher meeting. There was no agenda so we talked a lot about art and music and I discovered that Gigi is in the same kindergarten class as a cool social studies teacher’s son. Good to know.
Failures: Nothing major to report 🙂 I realized at the end of the week that I should have reviewed each couple chapters at the end of each day, but the students were going at such different speeds. I also didn’t know until the end of the week that the students were not supposed to be allowed to read ahead. Ultimately, I count that as “something I learned.” This is definitely something I’ll run into in the future. I have taught a longer novel and didn’t have the problem of students reading ahead lol
What I learned: Let go and let God! You know? Jumping off a cliff seems counterintuitive to survival, but in life sometimes you have to take some risks and leaps. I still see the ridiculousness of thinking of accepting a job as a risk or some giant leap. Four days really is no big deal but I am a gigantic scardy cat and I normally would have turned it down. Everything truly happens for a reason as this job directly led to a 9 week long position.
What I can try next time: Just keep being awesome, baby
So as it goes, about two short weeks later, I received a call directly from the principal. He told me that one of the 6th grade English teachers retired “suddenly” (according to the school, but not the teacher) and asked if I would like to take over the class for the next 9 weeks. I accepted and started only one day later. I’ve only worked there a few days total and tomorrow I start my first full week. I’m both excited and freaked out every minute of every day 🙂
It was still dark, but close to 7 o’clock when I got a call from the dreaded automated substitute calling machine thingy. It was a Tuesday and the job was for the rest of the week. I’d never worked multiple consecutive days in one room and on top of that, it was for a school I’d never even been in before. I was still debating on whether I would take it or not when I accidentally accepted. Of course it would have been stupid not to, but I am very good at justifying the feeling of terror that lives at the bottom of my stomach. I also realize the silliness of being afraid of the very thing that I hope to do for the rest of my life. I continue to apply for a permanent teaching position in my area of certification, but that uneasy feeling returns every time I sign up to walk blindly into a situation that warrants me to be suddenly responsible for 100 kids I’ve never met before.
So after I silently freaked out for 2-3 minutes, I put on my big girl pants and went to work.
Long story short, I had an awesome week. In fact, it has led to some amazing opportunities that would not have been possible without making that leap of faith (follow up post to come). It also confirmed that I have a great connection with teaching 8th grade (follow up post to come). I learned names and faces very quickly (follow up post to come) and even proudly issued my first detention (follow up post to come)! We read The Giver that week and I headed up Music Club. I’ll write the follow up post about the whole thing but today’s point is simple……
Last night I had a dream that I got a call from the automated substitute calling machine thingy and the job was for a Saturday, I assume to supervise detention. In the dream, I was sitting on the couch with my husband and I leaned over and whispered to ask him if we had plans that day and he said yes. So I declined the job as it told me that it paid “around $2,100.” I told B that and he said that the plans were something stupid that I don’t even remember like we were going to eat dinner or a game was on that night. It was actually a nightmare 😫😭