Friday, August 17, 2012

I Couldn't Fine One In The Yellow Pages

Does anybody out there have a good butt-reattachment guy on retainer? Have his secret number in your little black book? His business card? Know a friend of a friend who free-lances as a butt-reattacher?

The problem, you see, is that I worked my butt off this morning. I did more before 8:12 than the army does in six weeks of basic training. It's a good thing that Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is a great improvisor.

We had two days of school this week. Kids are in and out of my classes, getting schedules changed, turning up in a different hour. Enrolling on Day 2. Some on the roster never to appear. I used to pass out books and get right to it. Switch out those grades. Have textbooks out of order all year. Give some students the assignment twice, while others missed it both hours. Then I decided enough was enough. In the olden days, teachers knew not to write the student names in the Old Red Gradebook on the first day. Why should I make things difficult for myself? Having grades on the computer does not aid in this problem. THEY DISAPPEAR! Say, for instance, I recorded little Susie's 19/20 on her lab safety study guide. When Susie popped up in another class, her grade was gone! Gone with the internet!

Now I plan other learning activities for the first couple of days. Go over my rules, with examples of atrocities that have been inflicted on me over the years. Absurd behavior that is stranger than fiction. Or we read a Science World magazine and discuss current science news. Something to keep them busy for fifty minutes, but nothing detailed for a grade.

This morning, I had planned on reading Science World. But I discovered during my work days that the set I saved from May was gone. Gone with my clutter. Perhaps inadvertently discarded during the cleaning of my cabinets. Or absconded with. I masking-taped my cabinet door handles together. It makes an impromptu lock of sorts. But the seal had been broken upon my return. I could not find several items, some of which nobody would want, since they applied only to my classes. I'm still scratching my head. Maybe my stuff is with that Roanoke Colony that disappeared off the face of the New World.

So, I knew when I arrived that I did not have my Science Worlds. But I had gotten a new shipment Monday afternoon. They could work. Except that the online accouterments were not on line. Too early for the September 3 issue.

Plan 2. I would show an educational DVD that I got at the end of last year. It was not in my desk drawer or cabinet. Where I was certain that I had left it.

Plan 3. Aha! Found the old videotape version of that DVD. Turned my tower of electronic gewgaws around to disconnect and reconnect the input wires from DVD player to VCR. And saw that my sound cable ripped out. That's because conduit was installed to hide the wires drooping from the ceiling tiles, and the sound wire was too short to hump up over the coil of fifty feet of other wire that was not hidden. I could still have sound, IF I held the frayed copper wire ends against the tiny openings in a green plastic doodad the size of an acetaminophen caplet. Not happenin'.

Plan 4. I would pull out my Brain Power Challenge quiz that deals with logic. Not in my documents. Not in my H drive. Not on my flash drive. Aha! There it was on my old flash drive. In a file format unknown to Bill Gates or any of his minions. But wait! By Jove! I erased the file name extension and got it open in WordPad, and after scrolling through much gobbledygook, fixed up a printable version.

Plan 5. Needed because Plan 4 only takes twenty minutes. Went to Scholastic website and got the Science World game like Jeopardy for back issues. It's an interactive game that I put on the screen through my projector, that we play in teams.

I hustled to erase the day's plans on the white board and mark in the new agenda. Emailed the Tech Dude about my sound issue. Put a new student into the seating chart. Swung open my door and shot the doorstop under it...just as the first bell rang.

I'm kind of tired tonight. And uncomfortable, what with sitting on no butt.


Sioux said...

This is how my "plans" looked like, in relation to one particular student who is new to our district:

Plan 1: (as outlined by my principal) Speak one-on-one with the student about their behavioral choices.

Plan 1.1: (created by me) Look at the misbehaving student. Through body language, hiss 'Get back on track.'

Plan 2: (as outlined by my principal) Have the student engage in some reflective writing if problems continue. (They HAD continued.)

Plan 2.1: (created by me) During a class discussion, talk about the concept of "You get what you give." While chatting about "earning" the chance to work on projects and "earning" the opportunity to engage in extra fun activities (because, after all, ALL learning is fun!), try to catch this students eye and express a private message with my eyebrows.

Plan 3: (as outlined by my principal) Call the parent.

Plan 3.1: (created by me) Lead a class discussion on being cooperative in the hall, in the bathroom, etc. Use behaviors this student has chosen to engage in as non-examples, but do not name any particular student. Catch the students eye. Deep inside my core, invisible to all, I roll my eyes and do a bit of huffing and puffing.

Plan 3.2: (created by me) When student shouted out, "My stomach hurts!" while in line to go to recess, being the concerned teacher I am, I told the student they could certainly stay in for recess since they didn't feel good.

Plan 3.3 (created by me) When the student THEN shouted out, "No, I feel fine," I insisted they stay in, since their intestinal discomfort had apparently made the student delirious.

Plan 3.4 (created by me) During a class meeting, lead a discussion that while in the hall, unless their carotid artery is severed, there is no "emergency" that needs to be talked about. The student in front of them that is picking their nose...not an emergency. Are we having music and PE in the afternoon? Not an emergency. They have a dog...not an emergency. Reiterate what a considerate teacher I am. If they are tired during lessons, certainly recess will exhaust them even more, and I will be thoughtful enough to arrange for some naptime for them during recess. Also, if they complain about feeling unwell, to run and romp and race would only exacerbate the situation. Their teacher would be too worried about them to allow them to go outside.

(This goes on until 8.8, which all happened before lunch time. Yes, elementary school...good times.)

Hillbilly Mom said...

You need the butt-reattacher more than I. When I find one, I will send him your way. Maybe there's a mobile butt-reattacher. In a white van, with a picture of a detached butt on the side, and a 1-800 phone number. And a slogan, like "Give us a shot at your re-buttal!"

Kathy's Klothesline said...

If I ever work my butt off ..... I don't want it back. I have plenty.

Hillbilly Mom said...

That is so charitable of donate your butt! Maybe you could count it as a tax deduction.