I am listening to REM and all is well

Well, okay, that’s probably overstating things, but today went pretty well after a not-great run of a few days. Helpful facts: my midday knuckleheads were tamed through a combination of fortuitous absences and a couple of notable suspensions, and on top of that I had an unscheduled observation by my principal during 3rd hour. After eighteen years of teaching I have lost all fear of these events; I’m going to keep doing what I was doing before you came into the room, and sometimes that’ll mean I teach a really good lesson and sometimes it’ll mean I’m not doing a whole damn lot if, say, the plan was to have the kids on one of the various computer programs we’ve got them working on. If it’s one of those days I might seriously just be sitting in my chair monitoring their computer screens and not actively “teaching.” I’m not changing the lesson; you didn’t tell me you weren’t coming in. Some teachers panic and feel like they Have to Be Doing Something when the boss comes in. Me? Fuck it, I’ve been highly effective two years in a row and I don’t see a lot changing this year. I’m going to enjoy the slight bump in cooperation and good behavior I get from having an administrator in the room and keep on keeping on.

My student observer starts tomorrow, and frankly that has me more worried than formal observations– mostly because I genuinely want this to be a useful experience for the kid (he’s a grown-ass man, but … whatever) and I’m a little nervous about that. It’s not going to change how I do things with the kids or anything like that, and I’ve told him to have no fear about challenging me on anything he has questions or concerns about, so I hope it goes well, but as everyone who follows this site knows very well, one determined kid can blow up a lesson any time they feel like it, and I don’t feel like having my dude exposed to that just yet. The notable suspensions will be continuing through the rest of the week, which is awesome, so at least his first day ought to go reasonably smoothly, but who the hell knows. Watch, there’ll be a fucking fire or a power outage or some such shit tomorrow.

(There can go ahead and be a power outage tomorrow. I’ve decided everything is on paper for the next couple of days anyway. So long as I have access to the photocopier. The outage can happen after I have my photocopies done. Or, fuck it, I can just write the damn problems on the board. It’ll be fine. Dude can learn teacherly improvisation on his first day. It’ll be fine.)

Anyway. It’s 7:00 already, so if I’m going to be ready for tomorrow I probably ought to get my lesson written.

Not right now

I may need to take a week or so off. I know I never actually do this after I say it, but I’ve been seriously uninspired lately, and the latent depression isn’t helping at all. I just haven’t had anything to say lately and the batteries probably need recharging.

In which I am defeated

There’s no other way to describe it: the kids won today, and by “the kids” I mean the worst elements among them, as I continue to genuinely believe that most of my kids want to be in school and want to learn; I just can’t get to them because of the number of kids standing in the way and spending all of their energy on trying to trip me up.

I am tired and angry and beaten and I need to get up tomorrow and do it all over again, and I’m going to, but right now … fuck it, I’m done.

Never mind me

I’m Sundaying hard today– there’s lots to do, but it’s not getting done as efficiently as it should be because I’m too busy stressing about the fact that I have to go back to work tomorrow. I have a four-day weekend and a Wednesday out-of-building training in October, so I’m trying my damnedest to get through September without deliberately taking a day off after missing a couple in August. That said, I’m really jonesing for a mental health day right now. My student observer starts this week, so I need the kids focused and ready when he comes in; no days off for me this week unless something really stupid happens.

Now if I could just accomplish something. I have, like, a whole list right here, and my wife’s already been out to accomplish shit and been back again, so I have some catching up to do. I guess I’ll cross “write a blog post” off the list and go vacuum something.

Saaaaturdaaaaay

Today has featured taking down the pool, finishing a book (I recommend Clint Smith III’s How the Word is Passed, but I don’t think I’m going to review it,) petting kitties and getting ahead on my YouTube channel. What I haven’t been able to do is come up with anything I want to talk about.

Actually, wait, that’s a lie. Are you familiar with the “devious licks” trend on TikTok? If not, you’re not a teacher. The internet has convinced these dumb motherfuckers to start filming themselves destroying the bathrooms at their school and posting it on the internet, resulting in half of the schools in America locking their fucking bathrooms for the last couple days of the week. Which absolutely fucking sucks, in oh so many ways. My favorite of the ways was how our principal made an announcement about why the bathrooms were closing, in which he instructed teachers that when w were taking group bathroom breaks– now the only way the kids are allowed to pee– that we would need to be in three places at once, one of which was guaranteed to be illegal for any given adult in the building, to monitor the kids. Four, if you remember that the kids need to get water after they use the bathroom, and due to a quirk in the way things are arranged in my hall it would have been four if I was also monitoring the drinking fountains.

It was, as a result, a long fucking week. The children were told repeatedly that the only way that this stops is if they go against their typical instincts and rat out every little bastard who has Fucked Around in the last week, and let them Find Out. And from what I’ve heard, it’s been working, so hopefully things will be back to normal soon.

And if I didn’t already hate TikTok before, and I did, I absolutely do now.