In which I am fat and grouchy

Just got back from a performance at my kid’s school, made up entirely of fifth and sixth graders, that the drama teacher decided to call a “cabaret,” which put me not so much in mind of things starring fifth and sixth graders. There were puppet shows and speeches and some sort of weirdly avant-garde and possibly partially improvised performance that really had me wondering if I should be snapping my fingers rather than clapping at the end of each part of it.

Meanwhile, my ass still hurts from the chair. I have a fairly ample ass. No chair should be able to do this to me, but at one point during the performance I’m pretty sure I was paralyzed from the waist down. I had my arm around my wife, because they pack those damn chairs so close together that I didn’t have room for my shoulders otherwise, and that was falling asleep too, and … it wasn’t pleasant.

My kid’s puppet show about Icarus and Daedalus was pretty okay, though, especially when they managed to work the “Father, Help” meme into it. Raised that boy right, I have.

CPAP update: I continue to be unable to use the nasal pillows, and my “events” have stabilized around six an hour; still more than they want (the target is less than five) but way less than eighty. I must admit after three days of waking up feeling reasonably energetic (still nothing earthshaking, mind you, but three good night’s sleeps) I was dying on the drive in to work today. I have today and tomorrow and then I have a couple of weeks where I can sleep in. Everything will be fine. I can do this.

Super, can’t wait

Yesterday, as I’ve said, was a day of meetings, one of which was a more or less bog-standard staff meeting at the end of the day. One of the lines on the agenda just read “new student,” which got a bit of a raised eyebrow out of me, as that’s not normally something that’s considered a big enough deal to be with discussing at a staff meeting. Students come and go all the time, so the notion that the entire staff needed to discuss one was a sign that something not especially good was on the way.

Sometimes I hate it when I’m right.

I’ve gone back and forth a couple of times on whether I want to go into detail on how the meeting actually went, but suffice it to say that it was one of those meetings where an awful lot of reading between the lines was necessary, as for various reasons, some of them even reasonable, I think the special ed teacher and the principal both felt somewhat restricted on, shall we say, deploying the full measure of their honesty. I’m an idiot with a website who isn’t even naming the city my school is in, though, so I can be somewhat more direct.

We have a new student coming in Monday. That’s not a problem. He’s autistic. That’s also not a problem.

He’s a sex offender with litigious parents, and that very much is a problem. Two separate problems, in fact.

I am fairly certain of those last two points. Slightly less certain but still likely is that the kid is a porn addict and quite possibly a compulsive masturbator. We are required to keep an adult literally at his side for one hundred percent of the time he is in the building except when he is in the bathroom, and when he is in the bathroom he is to use either a one-seat faculty bathroom or the bathroom in the nurse’s office– he is not allowed in any of the student bathrooms under any circumstances. Furthermore, when they tell us the adult needs to be “at his side” for “100% of the time,” what that means is that if that adult happens to need the bathroom, they must get someone to come relieve them at the boy’s side before they leave the room, and it cannot be the classroom teacher. He must have his own, separate adult. He is not allowed to touch other students.

Oh, and he is to be “encouraged” to exit the bathroom immediately if he is in there for more than three minutes. There might be other explanations beyond “he’s in there jerking off,” but … well.

Dad has apparently already threatened to sue the district on more than one occasion and the boy has not started yet, nor have we managed to hire someone to be his full-time minder, so the schedules of every other special ed student in the building are getting fucked over so we can accommodate this one kid. And again, this is all conjecture, but I’ve been in teaching long enough to be able to hear people telling me without telling me. I’d bet money that the kid got caught doing something with a younger cousin or something similar. I’ve never even heard of anyone needing this level of special ed support in mainstream classes. It’s fucking ludicrous.

Luckily for me, he’s a seventh grader, so I won’t have to deal with him until next year, if he sticks around, and … well, I’ve already indulged my inner gambler, so I’m going to climb back out on that limb and suggest that he won’t last that long one way or another. He’ll either do something that justifies us expelling him or his parents will get pissed at us and yank him.


That wasn’t on purpose.

Either way, I’m so excited about this.

Moving on, Pt. 1

Don’t get too hyped up about the “part one” business; it just indicates that I’m done with the kids, and that tomorrow I have my actual last day. Today was bittersweet as hell; the kids in general were a lot more upset today than they were yesterday, and I walked out of the building with a ton of cards and such at the end of the day, but also in a couple of ways more pissed off at my district than I’ve ever been before, for reasons I’ll get to tomorrow.

Then after school like half the staff went out to a local restaurant for piles of Mexican food and margaritas, and that was a lot of fun, both for the obvious reasons and the slightly less obvious reason that I haven’t done anything like it since before Covid hit. And now I’m waiting to throw up, because I really did have quite a lot of Mexican food. An unreasonable amount, really.

Tomorrow I finish off my grades and then clean out my classroom. And then … well.

Then everything else starts.

I got punched in the head today

I’ve been writing angry emails since I got home. There is a planned sick-out happening tomorrow that I have made it clear I’m not endorsing or participating in, we had to cancel a field trip today because there is no one to chaperone it, and we not only lost another teacher on Monday but we’ve had at least three leave mid-day and go home in the last two days. The building secretary wasn’t in the office at the end of the day either and I’m trying not to panic about that.

Also generated this document based on a secret meeting of the teacher leadership team this morning. There is supposedly a Big Meeting tomorrow morning with the principal– it is not going to go well– and this is what we’ve come up with to present:

Members of the TLT team met Wednesday morning to discuss the behavior and staff morale issues that we have been having lately.  As a team we make the following recommendations:

  1. That our highest staffing priority right now should be someone to cover ISS, even if that means pulling someone from downtown or a member of the administrative team, and at least one if not two social workers, possibly also pulled from other buildings with less severe needs and on a temporary basis.
  2. That we determine if any of our most disruptive, disrespectful or violent students are from outside (school’s) district, and promptly return those students to their home buildings.
  3. That swearing at a teacher be treated as a suspendable offense.
  4. That a parent conference be required for any suspended student prior to being allowed to return to class.
  5. That any student referred to the office on a disciplinary matter spend at least the remainder of that class period in ISS and not be returned to the teacher’s classroom.
  6. That the uniform policy either be enforced or abandoned.
  7. That the “four level ones” policy in the Shared Rights and Responsibilities document be abandoned, as well as any other language impeding our ability to keep our classrooms and building under control, until such time as the building is under control.  The only thing this is teaching students is that there are no consequences for their actions.

We’ll see how any of this goes. I’m not kidding about getting punched in the head; I broke up a fight and it led to me taking a couple of wild shots to the head as the kid I was holding back tried to get to the other kid. Saw the nurse, got my bleeding hand bandaged up (didn’t even feel that happen) and filed a police report. Then got an email from the dean of students that that kid’s dad was insisting that we all provide her work for the next five days by the end of the day tomorrow.

You can probably imagine how well that went over. I haven’t had a prep period in over a week because I’ve been covering classes and I’ll be fucked dead by Asmodeus before I try to pull together five days of lessons for the kid who started the fight. Fuck you and fuck her, Dad.

I’m back on the job market; fuck this.

One down, 179 to go

I have absolutely had worse first days of school. Any time I make it through the whole first day without quickly and cleanly identifying the kids I’m going to butt heads with all year, I’m starting off the year in good shape. Remarkably, I don’t think my biggest class is going to be my troublesome group, although those two things go together most of the time. My fifth and sixth hour is squirrelly but feels like mostly nice kids; my other two groups seemed pretty chill. No major organizational clusterfuckeries today either.

Do I need to have a word with Mr. Hoe-puller up there? Yeah, maybe, although I’m pretty sure this was meant as a joke.

I’ve also set a new record for kids who made sure to let me know on the first day of school that they are somewhere on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, including this one (look at the bottom answer):

Gonna have to have a word with that one, I think, to make sure I know exactly what their guidelines are about their parents. Sometimes with these kids, too, you want to make sure they’ve seen how other kids react if I drop an unexpected “she” on somebody in class. I want to respect their wishes, but I also want to make sure they’ve thought everything through first.

Meanwhile– and this is entirely typical for the first day of school– I’m so exhausted that I want to die. There will be no video tomorrow on the channel; I don’t have the energy to do any recording tonight and I’ve been too busy lately to get any kind of buffer going. I’ll try and get ahead this weekend.I gotta go do lesson plans now, though, so y’all have yourselves a nice night.