Saturday, February 9, 2008

Long time, no blog...

What can I say? Life has been busy! :D Time to catch up....

Nothing earthshattering has happened here. Basically just the normal day to day stuff. Whit and Ally were supposed to spend the night with a friend last night and Whit ended up coming home at 11:45 last night because she didn't feel good. Well, she is quite perky today. You wouldn't know that she felt bad last night at all if it weren't for her eyes. They are red and puffy. I really hope she isn't getting pink eye or anything like that. We'll be doing some warm compresses on them this weekend and I think I'll get some eye drops as well. I'll call the doc on Monday and get something called in. Why does this kind of stuff always seem to happen on the weekend????

Mike has an interview with a company in Bryan/College Station in a couple of weeks.He has a friend that works there and from what he has said it sounds like they are really interested in Mike. I hope they make him a good offer. We want to move back so bad! I am really sick of living here. There just isn't anything here for us. No job opportunities that are better than what we have and the opportunities for the girls are really limited as well. I want to give them the world and here I can only give them the oilfield. It just won't cut it for me.

This past week at work has been hectic and quite honestly, kinda shitty. The kids haven't really even been the problem. They are just kids an you get past their antics and silliness and just love them. The problem is the grown ups. Let me just preface this by saying that I have never had a problem with anyone I have taught with in the 10 years I have been teaching. I pretty much get along with everybody and just go with the flow. And, most of the time things just don't bother me. This year I teach across the hall from a 2nd year teacher. She and I talk off and on and have had a pretty decent relationship. For quite some time though, whenever I mention that I have had a rough day she chimes in with things like, "Yeah, your kids are so bad!" or something to that effect. Usually, I am not the only other person in the conversation, there are other people around. Apparently she has done it with other people too. I have kinda just brushed it off to her not knowing, or being inexperienced, that you just really don't say that kind of thing to another teacher. It comes across as "You have no control over your kids." Well, I happen to think I have a pretty good class and those random comments, that she doesn't ever realize she is making, have bothered me. I wish I had told her on one of these occasions that that I didn't appreciate her comments but I haven't. She is someone who can make your life hell because of who she is so I have just left it alone.

Then on Monday, after I finished tutoring at 4:30 she tells one of my little girls from class that her skirt is too short and she can't wear it to school anymore. She did this in front of other kids and me too! There was no discretion whatsoever. That did not set well with me at all. I mean, I would NEVER tell one of her kids something like that. It is not my business. If it hasn't been and won't be an issue, then leave it alone. Plus, she is only 8 years old -- not a teenager. I really thought that crossed the line. When she asked me if I told her it was too short I just replied, "No. It hasn't been a problem all day." She just kinda gave me a look.

Even after sleeping on it I was still aggravated and asked one of my teaching partners what to do about all of it. We ended up talking to the assistant principal and I asked her for help. I told her that I didn't want to get the teacher in trouble or be a tattle tail or anything like that. I just think somebody needs to tell her that there are boundaries and lines that you don't cross and you need to be careful about that. My assistant principal agreed. She said that maybe she didn't realize that since she was only in her 2nd year of teaching. I made myself clear that I didn't want my name brought up in this because I didn't want things to be uncomfortable. She said she understood and told me she would think about what to do.

Well, let me tell you what the woman did. She betrayed my trust. She broke confidentiality and told the principal, who happens to be good friends with this teacher because both their husbands coach together in the district. The principal calls this teacher down to the office and tells her the entire story! And, not only tells her what I said but even twists it around -- she tells her I said she was coming into my room. I NEVER said that.

At 4:30 when I finished tutoring on Thursday, this 2nd year teacher comes back up to school to confront me and wants to know what she did to offend me. I had to explain myself. I tried to get the point across that really and truly I wasn't completely offended even though what she said was hurtful. My main concern was that maybe she doesn't know what the boundaries are for making her comments. Yada, yada, yada. I even tried to make the example of when your personal child was acting poorly and somebody tells you your child is bad. It is basically the same thing. The kids in class are MY kids when they are with me. And, you know what? She kept saying that she didn't get it. It didn't make sense to her. It seemed so high school! And maybe it is, but that comment really pissed me off! Sheesh! Hello! Common courtesy...ever hear of it? Basically, I was having to tell her what my boss should have told her. Instead, my boss told her what she should do to approach me about it. I was pissed. You know, I didn't feel like it was my place to tell her how to behave. I felt like I had a legitimate concern. So did my teaching partner, the 2nd grade level chair, and the 3rd grade level chair. I brought my concern to one of my bosses on their advice. My assistant principal betrayed my trust. And, now, things are very awkward and I look like I don't know how to handle my business. That sucks. I work way too hard.

This is the worst school district I have ever worked in. I don't even have teacher books for all the subjects I teach, there is no set math curriculum, and they supply you with hardly anything. We are responsible for buying supplies like tape, staples, dry erase markers, overheads, etc. It is not only frustrating, but it is expensive! If I didn't have to buy this stuff myself I would be able to buy more things for my kids to use and actually learn from. This town and this district are so political. It is all about who you are and who you know. They are not organized well and when they have an extra $6 million somewhere in the school budget, guess what they do. They don't put it into academics. They build an indoor practice field for the high school football team. Can you tell where their loyalities lie? Don't worry that the teachers don't have what they need to teach. But they still expect me to be able to get all my kids to the point of passing the state mandated TAKS test before going to 4th grade. Gee, thanks for all the help, right?

Well, enough of my school bashing. But, I needed to get that off my chest. This will be the only year I work there. Hopefully we will be moving back to Bryan soon. Cross your fingers and say a prayer for us. I think that is exactly what we need! Next time I post, I promise it won't be a rant and I'll include some pics!


Marci Knecht said...

Wow, sounds like the school my daughter goes to!

If I were a parent of one of your kids and another teacher made comments to them, I'd be pissed. I have real issues with the Principal being "friends" with any of the teachers - its like the Chief of Police being friends with a rookie cop, it just shouldn't happen.

Hopefully Mike will get that job and you can move, but until then just hang in there. The kids are all you need worry about, everyone else can just piss off!

Mandy said...

I feel ya!!! I know we have to vent from time to time.

Alicia Barry said...

Hey Brandy. You have some great stuff there in your slide show.

Hatter J said...

Sorry that you are having problems too. I thought that it was just me, but I am beginning to feel like two people: One of me LOVES working with the kids, while the other HATES the beauracracy that comes with it.

My school just ran out of money to buy paper, but they re-tiled the hallway in administration. I know it's from different lines in a budget, but it doesn't make sense. So here I am a first year teacher working a mini-contract (half year pay cut in half basically) and have to buy my own paper.