Sunday, June 29, 2008

It's Summer!

I am still in recovery from the awful school year I dealt with. The real question is, whatever shall I do with all of my time??

Hmmm....

1. Practice piano
2. Audition for game shows
3. Dye my hair
4. Have my nails done
5. Look for teaching jobs.
6. Take surfing lessons.
7. Go see Royal Crown Review. (http://www.rcr.com/)
8. Date guys
9. Dump them for good reasons.
10. Sing in a jazz showcase.
11. Go to jazz jam sessions.
12. Work on a classical recital with my church choir director.
13. Look for a church choir directorship.
14. Shop
15. Go to a spa.
16. Diet--actually making my own meals!!
17. Work out at the gym.
18. Hang out with friends.
19. Clean out my closet.
20. Replace my bed with one I bought a few months ago but haven't set up.
21. Go to the beach.
22. Read.
23. Blog...

Wow!! I'm really busy!

Monday, June 23, 2008

MySpace is Great!

When I first got a friend request from Armine, I was really surprised. I wasn't sure what would be the end result of that. I was hesitant to accept her friend request, but decided to anyway. Then I got an email, which I was hesitant to open, but finally did today.

From: Armine
Date: Jun 21, 2008 5:52 PM


hey miss d.
it's armine.
the one you probably hate.
I think its really cooll that you have a myspace!
im sorry for being such a b-i-t-c-h to you.
i have been through so much this year and it made me be like that.


----------------- Reply Message -----------------

Hi Armine,

Thanks for writing to me to tell me that. It means alot to me. I like you. I felt really sad that we had problems because I know how much you like to sing.

Take care,
Miss D


Due to the response I received from the students I had last year--several friend requests since school ended, I wish I had let them know about my account a long time ago. It's a professional site through myspace music, so it doesn't have personal information like if I am single and all that lame stuff. It's only about the music.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Wreck-ommendation

I asked the principal at the high school for a letter of recommendation. I had no idea he would end up explaining every detail of what the old choir teacher did to make my job a living hell for me. Oh, he also said I was energetic, really knew my subject matter and had no doubt of my success at another job where I wasn't being actively sabotaged.

Ummm. Wow. I try to talk about it as little as possible.

I say things like:
It wasn't a fit.
The old teacher took them to China.
He was a hard act to follow.
No one was ready for a new choir teacher.
I wasn't really prepared to teach piano, though I adapted to the situation.
I want to work for just one school rather than two.
I prefer working with high school or junior high
(depending on the interview).

Funny, one of my issues all along has been this piano monkey on my back. Well, he didn't mention the piano class either. Everyone forgets about it.

8 Interview Red Flags

Just like in dating, one has to watch out for red flags when interviewing. Now looking back, I can see that I have seen several red flags in the interview process. I just wasn't experienced enough to catch on at the time.

It is totally possible to overcome them, in fact, I would rather follow the person who is accused of making a mess of things--just not if the old choir teacher is at the high school next door!!

1. Students on the interview committee:
The school may have had problems with teacher retention in the past due to students not liking them. Watch out. I was the student favorite pick at the interview and I still couldn't make it work. It may also indicate a weak administration that bends to the community's whims rather than standing firmly on what they think is right. A principal today said: you can't please all of the people all of the time. You'll drive yourself crazy. That's what I like to hear.

2. Past choir/music teacher not there:
Chances are the teacher left on bad terms--either they caused a ruckus or inherited a mess. This may not be true, but ask lots of questions. When I encountered this last year I got very vague answers. I didn't have the experience to put it together. It also means no one who really knows anything about music is there to help in the decision-making process.

3. Teacher left on bad terms:
such as for reasons other than marriage, promotion of spouse, or retirement. I hope my not being there for the interview in my ex-district will serve as a red flag to someone else. Find out where that teacher will be next year and if you will be able to have contact with them. Modeling your program after theirs in the beginning will help smooth the transition.

4. Former teacher will be at a neighboring high school after having an award-winning choir that toured internationally. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. Danger! Sabotage is emminent. Students are known for visiting friends at other high schools when they can. The old teacher could telegraph that he wants to return. Rumors fly.

5. Rotating music teacher position:
You are interviewing to be the third choir/band teacher in 3 years. Trouble may be afoot. The problem may be the administration, the transition or the community.

6. Too many people interviewing you:
No one will know what to ask unless all have the same set of questions. You may not get a fair interview. This actually happened to me at one school where there was an impromptu panel of 7 people crowded into the Principal's office inventing questions off the top of their heads. No one had seen my resume. It was one of the worst interviews I've ever had. I felt like I had been hit by a bus.

7. Only one person interviewing you:
I have seen this happen more than once. The first time, I was passed from the district office to the principal who came in shorts and a headscarf from cleaning. I signed a contract and then regretted it. I had five preps in five different subjects. The second time was with a rather severe headmistress/nun of a Catholic school who seemed to hate me from the moment she saw me. No one else was there to balance out the interview. I left in tears. The interview also suffered from the following problem:

8. Unclear schedule:
I had an interview at a high school where I wasn't even sure what I was interviewing for. First we talked about choir. Then we talked about drama. Then suddenly we were talking about teaching dance. Wow. I was totally confused. I found out that stayed a mess until the choir teacher at another high school in the district got involved in helping them make a decision.

I've learned over time that they aren't just interviewing me, I'm interviewing them. I ask, ask, ask and ask then I listen, listen, listen to make sure I don't get in a bad situation ever again. This represents a huge growth for me since I used to have a singular thought: Get the job.

Again, it's possible to overcome some of these situations, just be aware of what you are getting into. Do you really want to work with people who don't know how to interview? Is it indicative of a mode of being? Is it a bad job? Sometimes a nightmare community for one person can really click with another person. Sometimes being the 3rd choir teacher in 3 years can serve you well since the last person didn't stay and the old teacher didn't come back. It's up to you. Just try to get as much information as you can.

Tears of Joy

This card one of my students made really touched my heart. I also think it's cute when they call me Mrs. instead of Miss.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I Lost It

This morning I still had a headache. I won't come to school early ever again--it makes me irritable. It's outrageous that no one EVER is sure to mention that there will be an overlap in the schedule such that I will have junior high and high school kids together at the same time. I planned to tell one of my choirs that I'm not coming back. I don't want to tell the junior high kids yet, not until tomorrow. So I was stuck and panicked and angry that I get the shaft every time. I lost it with the office manager. I took some dexedrine to take a little of the edge off my irritation. Yes, I gave in and finally tried it. I'm desperate.

Then I lost it with a kid not much longer after. He had been goofing off on his skateboard INSIDE. He asked:
WHat would happen if I didn't take the final?
I would string up up by your toes like a kosher pig. But what would really happen is that you would get an F.

I just wanted to scare him into working though I don't think I picked the best way. Imagine that, tell your teacher you don't want to take you final. Imagine me losing it with a kid like that. I would take the day off tomorrow if I could. I'm just going to take it easy, tell the chamber choir that they are on their own for next year. I told my girls that they were going to be the top choir next year. They were proud but sad. They all hugged me, the ones who were most against me at times hugged me the hardest. I'm sad and I cried in front of them. Dexedrine is supposed to be an upper. How much pressure can one person take?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Disaster Drill

We had an evacuation drill and well, let's just say it didn't go perfectly. There were 10 things that were addressed by the Principal at the junior high. I wonder though, if they couldn't have just told me where to go instead of posting it this way:

8. Choir students did not evacuate to the appropriate location, clarification about high school vs. middle school evacuation needs to occur through careful review of each site's plan.

I was thoroughly annoyed. So I sent an email her express myself:

The choir students were in the right place according to the map--of course I was assuming that our place was "Mr. M" by the containers. I didn't see "CHOIR" or "MISS D". The drill was originally supposed to be in the morning when I have HS students. I was given their information in a timely fashion and was ready for that plan. When plans change, it's important to give those of us who go between two campuses a little heads up--especially when someone is new. Also, I don't hear bells for either campus when I am in my room.

Thanks,
MissD


Communication problems ARE one of many of my issues with this job. I didn't hear back from her and I doubt they will remember this to tell the new teacher since everything was clearly MY fault.

Lollipop

One of the songs my little group of girls sang was Lollipop. The secretary told us she bought a lollipop for us to give to the Principal. It was cute.


After we sang and a counselor I hate rushed to cut us off after our set, I announced:

Before we wrap up, we have a retirement lollipop to present to Dr. P. It says Work Sucks.

Today I realized the IRONY of me presenting that to him. I think work here sucks too!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The More I Listen, part 2

Cali came to visit me after school and we started talking about things.

Cali: Miss D, I don't want you to feel bad anymore. You're a really awesome teacher. One of my best friends is over at his high school now and she says they all hate him.
MissD: Are you serious?
Cali: Yeah. I think it's because he was over here so long.
MissD: I guess what comes around goes around. That all makes me feel a little bit better about things.
Cali: You'll see, next year will be better.
MissD: Here's hoping.
Cali: My mom asked me who my favorite teacher was and she said she's going to get whoever my favorite teacher is a bottle of wine. Miss D, I'm going to get you a big ol' bottle of wine. You'll feel better after you drink that, that's for sure.
MissD: Let's go get lunch.
Cali: I think all they did to you this year was dumb. I was iffy at first, but I've really learned alot from you.

I don't tell her I'm not coming back. I can't. I know I'm going to have to soon but I keep putting it off.

Always Go to Job Fairs

That's the general rule if you are looking for a job. Apply online for jobs, yes, but also go to job fairs--it's the best way to market yourself in a large urban area.

It lets you know who the competition is. It makes you feel like you don't measure up...
We were all in a room together listening to other people interview. We knew if they were interested in us by if they tried to pass you to another person or thanked you for coming. They asked one lady to wait to talk to them more. She 20 years of experience teaching choir. I knew I didn't measure up to that. I've had 1 rather distressing, harrowing year. Hmmm, you wouldn't pick me either!! They thanked me for coming and told me to make sure I sent in my paperwork. Right. I was distressed.

But then again, why would they ask me to stay? My godawful year has shaken me to the core. It must show.

It's also a great way to find out the latest gossip...
I ended up talking to a guy who teaches at the same school as the other choir teacher. What he told me was very revealing:

H: They made his choir a dumping ground.
D: Last year he took his students on a major tour.
H: Well, that's not gonna happen with this group. They hate him because of where he used to be.
D: What about the piano classes?
H: He still has students for that.
D: He should have stayed where he was and spared us all alot of grief. I guess the grass is always greener until you have to mow the lawn.
That's so true.
D: How about you? Why are you looking for something new?
H: I'm only part time.
D: Just wondering..but do you remember having to be told what to do all the time when you were in high school? Cause I don't remember things being that way.
H: Me either. I thought I was the only one. I had this kid on my sound crew who just didn't show up for the show. I ended up doing it. He was totally unreliable. They told me if I drop him, he just gets a withdraw but if he drops, he gets withdraw fail.
D: That sucks. I just don't remember anybody being like that when I was a kid.
H: Too many distrations.
D: I don't know about that. When I was a kid we used the CB raidio before there was the internet. My brother and I met kids our age all the time. We had them come to our house and we snuck out the window to hang out with them. It was fun. I just think there have always been distractions.


It was an interesting conversation. Then they called him in to interview. We wished each other well, and that was that. I was glad I was too bored to just sit there.

Going Out in Style

Tonight was the retirement party for the principal at the high school. We always got along well and he feels sympathetic toward my situation. He agreed to write a letter of recommendation for me, though I already listed him as a reference and maybe that's good enough for now. In any case, I wanted to give him the gift of song. A lot of girls said they were coming, but then only 5 showed up. I sang one of the solos. A girl who wasn't even in my class sang another solo. I covered another solo, another girl's solo became even longer than it was originally. When I realized it was only going to be five of us, I told the girls, We're getting an authentic experience here. Those groups back then had one person on each part. We did well for such a small group. I dropped the alto part for most of the songs and we just sang two parts. I've learned to live with disappointment at this school.

The principal was very appreciative and introduced me to his family. He also gave me a hug. It meant a lot to him that we showed up and sang 50s music for his 50s party. That had been what I envisioned all along, but for my choir. It was supposed to be a fund raiser. I decided not to go with that idea when they told me I wouldn't be back next year. Maybe at the next school I go to things will be different.

Detention Slips

My ankle has been swollen since I stopped using the scooter, so I decided to take a ride on it. What could be the harm? I had to deliver 3 referrals to choir girls who wouldn't stop talking in class. One of them said, "What the F---", and later, "everyone else is "F-ing talking." I decided to ride the scooter to make my deliveries while wearing the boot.

It still gets a reaction from everyone. The Principal waved.
Go Miss D!
Who did you take that from MissD?
Having fun, Miss D?
Gas too expensive now?
Did you ride that to work this morning?


My last reaction was from the Ass. Principal who chewed me out not too long ago. He pointed incredulously. I didn't stop.

AssP: Didn't we talk about that?
MissD: Yeah, my ankle hurts. Besides, I didn't hurt myself riding this thing, I hurt myself WALKING.


I was way far away by then. What's he going to do? Fire me?

The More I Listen

The more I listen to my students, the more I learn about the behind the scenes drama that led to my apparent demise. For a short time we had a student who hailed from a school with an established choral program. I sat with Lisa talking after working with her on a song. I really miss giving private lessons.

Lisa: When Ruth was here, she said you weren't a very good teacher.
MissD: I was really sick when she was here, and have a pretty serious injury to my right arm so I was having a hard time.
Lisa: She said the teacher at her other school was way better.
MissD: I can see why she would think that. I'm friends with that teacher. He's been there for 20 years.
Lisa: How long have you been teaching?
MissD: This was my first year teaching choir.
Lisa: Oh, that explains alot.
MissD: It's hard to compare what he has over there to what is going on over here. 20 years building up his program compared to trying to take over what was going on here is totally not fair at all.
Lisa: Some of the other kids were getting together and saying that they wanted to give you a bad time just for fun.
MissD: Yes, and that's something else that the other choir teacher doesn't have. The sad thing is, they accomplished their goals and tore up the choir program in the process. Good job!
Lisa: Next year will be better. No one will remember Mr. M. You have some kids that really like to sing and now that you've been here, you can kick some of the others out.


Yes, Lisa, next year no one will remember Mr. M, and I will try hard to forget. I will be somewhere else. I promise not to forget you, though. You were one of my sweet things. I hope you make it through to graduation. I hope you get away from your mom who beats you. I hope you make it.

No Particular Place to Go

Seniors have no particular place to go right now. Some are ready to be gone, others really aren't. I had three boys who have been in my piano class all year stop by along with one of my choir girls and her best friend who she introduced to me as her girlfriend. I don't know if she's joking, but they were dressed like twins from their clothes and shoes to even their hair. I call those boys my peanut gallery in the front. They have been like my morning coffee. I was glad they stopped by. The room felt empty without them.

The boys helped some of the other students get ready for their piano finals. Meanwhile the choir girl declared that she knows how to hack into MySpace from school. She pimped my computer so that my background is a band I don't recognize but feel like I should. Another of my choir girls stopped by and asked me to write something deep and meaningful on a page since she couldn't afford a yearbook.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Goodbye to Sassy

The seniors checked out today. They came to classes and I signed their forms. Sassy passed. He barely passed, but he passed. I debated a long time as to whether or not I would pass him. I had the choir watch themselves. They don't listen to each other. They didn't sound very good half of the time. They sounded best on the pop stuff, not on anything classical. Certain words would go out of tune, but they wouldn't listen to me about pronunciation or how to improve things.

I had them watch the video of their final and write an evaluation. Sassy wrote about chamber choir: This is the crappiest choir to ever set foot on this school.

I called him into my office to talk. I've suspended him from my class about 6 days this semester, so he was very defensive.

MissD: I read what you wrote...
Sassy: Yeah, well it's true.
(I don't remember what he said, but I knew he was defensive.)
MissD: I didn't call you in here to discipline you.
Sassy: I'm not blaming you for the choir sounding bad. It's our fault too.
MissD: We didn't have the same people and we had to adapt to that. You guys sounded the best on the pop and musical stuff. I thought about your grades for a long time. Even though you messed up on the piano test, you had enough points to get a D in the class. And you know your part for choir. I've decided to pass you. Out of everyone, you break my heart the most.
(He looked at his shoes.) I know you have a good heart in there somewhere. I wish I had seen more of it. We both could have done without the battle. It didn't help either of us. (He studied his shoes even more intently.) I wish you good luck with everything in your life.

He left silently with his head low. I was in tears. I think I finally got through to him. Two of my choir girls let me know they planned to come back after getting donuts.
Alina: MissD, have you been crying? She gave me a hug.
Cali: We can get you a donut--chocolate covered. It'll make you feel better!
MissD: Aww thanks, but I learned something from the video, too. I really need to lose weight!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Better Luck Next Year

I've been playing Solitaire alot while I've been thinking alot about how to avoid what I ended up with this school year. I am definitely getting good at Solitaire, so at least that is good.

1. Ask more questions at the interview so I know what the position really is.
2. Make sure I know the situation with an accompanist.
3. Find out why the last teacher left. retirement, money, whatever. It all makes a difference in setting the tone.
4. Don't take a position with too many preps. I had 4 and no idea that I would be stuck with so much piano. Class piano is very difficult to teach.
5. Audition kids and kick out the ones that can't sing.
6. Kick out kids with low GPAs or you will never be able to take kids to performances off campus.
7. Classroom management is key. I really don't like it and I didn't think I would have the problems I did. I am investigating the concept of classroom meetings so that kids have a role in discipline problems. This will help them develop maturity and social responsibility and take the onus off me.

In some ways,I won't have to worry about the same things. This is an unusual community. I teach in.

I'm going to play more Solitaire.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Yearbooks and Discipline Issues

It seems like kids can't keep their hands off their yearbooks. I warned two kids to put away their yearbooks or I would take them away. They dropped them behind the risers. I was talking with the class about the concert being cancelled. They decided to announce it over the loudspeaker to the junior high kids. I was so frustrated. I didn't want to deal with it until Monday after my dad had come to tape them performing. One of the girls was lying across the risers reading her yearbook. I knew exactly what she was doing. I went around to get it.

She pulled the yearbook away from me and said:
Don't take this one, take that one.
MissD: Don't you DARE tell me what I can take and what I can't. I am your teacher.
She started to cry as if she hadn't done anything wrong.
MissD: I'm sorry that I hurt your feelings, but I warned you. And none of you should ever talk to your teachers or any adult that way whether you like them or not.

Land of the Lost Referrals

I was planning on talking to the Ass. Principal about all the referrals I had written to suspend kids from class. The kids were never seen. Today I suspended two more, I'll have to tell you about those kids. After another harrowing day, I got the following email:

>>> Assistant Principal 6/6/2008 2:08 PM >>>
You gave the following students referrals for non-participation, not singing, not standing where they should be, talking back. Please assign detention, and call parents.

a b c d e f

Thanks,
AP

-----Inline Message Follows-----

I had a and b spend lunch with me in place of the referrals. The others I decided to suspend them from class, I thought they had been suspended from my class. But it appears 4 of them have been ditching ever since that day because I have not seen any of them.

They are:
c d e f

These students are all failing all of their classes and are very disruptive. I don't think this will be resolved with a simple detention and phone call home, that is why I chose to write referrals for them.
MissD


I wanted to add lots of expletives and ask him why the @#$%^&* I wasted my time writing that #$%^&* up??? @#$%^&* !@#$%&&&!!!!

But I'm a professional and a lady, so I blog about it.

Don't Quit, Miss D!!

I saw one of my students who has not been coming to class and pretended to look shocked. He's a good kid. He said he's been really depressed and has been having a hard time waking up.

MissD: You're alive.
Dean: Yes. Miss D, you're a cool teacher. I...well, I was gonna say something else. Some of the kids don't like you, but it's for really stupid reasons. And I think you're a cool teacher.
MissD: Like what?
Dean: I don't want to say. It's dumb.
MissD: You might as well tell me. I've actually heard all.
(I had just suspended Sassy from class today for calling me retarded.)
Dean: well, some of the kids don't like you because you don't play piano very well.
MissD: Yeah, I have a pretty serious injury, but I can still tell people how do do fingerings and coach them to make it better.
Dean: And some say you don't have a commanding enough personality.
(Hmmm...that's interesting, people always told me I was bossy.) And some don't like how you dress.
MissD: That's really funny about how I dress. Some of them think I wear black too much. Whatever.
Dean: Like I said, it's for dumb reasons.
Another student rolled out on a computer chair while we were talking.
MissD: It's because I'm following the Mr. M...
Dean: My only issue is that you could have spent more time with me practicing even though I never come to class.
MissD: I can only spend a short time with each person, besides, there's just no getting around pressing your own fingers to the keys to improve.
Mark: Miss D, you're not going to quit are you? You're really cool.
(He was one of the kids I observed for senior projects) And you have really pretty eyes. I just noticed that. (I winked at him.)
MissD: Thanks. I've heard there are teachers who quit halfway through the year.
Cali: One teacher called me a little bitch in front of the whole class and read my diary to everyone. I was so embarrassed.
MissD: Are you serious? I would never do that.
(Though I have called kids snotty for answering back.)
Cali: But then Mr. S came and he was really nice.
Mark: Well, next year will be better, and the year after that, no one will remember Mr. M at all. Don't quit Miss D.
MissD: I'll think about what you said.

Another kid I had really liked at first but then had to kick out of my class for singing about Hitler killing the jews and sexual harrassment (directed at ME!) was eavesdropping on the conversation.

They don't know it's already too late. It's so sad. Some of these kids are really sweet and they aren't even my students. Maybe if I had some of these students, I wouldn't be in the place where I am today. Cali is one of my students, though.

Getting an Ed-u-cai-ton

A Cleveland-area principal says he's embarrassed his students got proof of their "educaiton" on their high school diplomas.

MissD sez hahaha!!

read more digg story

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Teacher In Trouble for Riding A Scooter

I helpfully served on 8 panels for senior projects. Having a sprained ankle made it difficult to traverse the great divide to that teacher's classroom.

I, however, am sheer genius in action and decided to use my scooter. Yes, a scooter to get from my room to the other side of the campus. When you have a sprained ankle, it's alot of walking.  And that darn boot is heavy.

Students, staff and fellow teachers were all amused thinking I had confiscated it. No, it was mine. I was having fun with it until...

The Vice Principal called me over.

VP: A word, Miss D. He loomed over me angrily.
D: Sure...what can I help you with? I thought it was a student issue.
VP: A scooter, Miss D? You really need to THINK. He pointed at his head. I have a teacher who has been injured five times on campus. What possessed you to ride a scooter?
D: Um, well, I ride it really slow and I just wanted to save my ankle...
VP: Did a doctor order you to use a scooter?
D: Um, no, but...
VP: You could get seriously hurt and I don't want you getting hurt any more. I know, my daughter has one of those. You really need to THINK, Miss D.
He pointed at his head again.
D: Yes sir.

Oh, God. There were students watching that. I haven't felt like I was in trouble like that with anyone since I was in high school. I felt like I should serve a Saturday school. But wait, this is also the same VP who seems to lose my referrals. I can think of 5 in the past few days. Hmmm...who really needs to do some thinking? I can't help it that I ended up being the most injured teacher of the year.

RateMyTeacher.com

I have a cool rating on RateMyTeachers.com I appreciate that. I left my own pretending I was a student:

Date E H C [E = Easiness H = Helpfulness C = Clarity]

2/01/08 2 4 4 this class is great but there is no control over the class never.

1/31/08 5 5 4

1/31/08 4 2 2 I think the class is interesting, but there is no control over the class. Its always noisy and the class never actually learns anything.

My comment:
6/04/08 5 5 5 All we have to do is sit there and practice. We get to help each other out so that we can play better. How hard is that? It's noisy because it's a music class and everyone is playing their keyboards.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It Was My Mom Texting Me

This is the second time I have confiscated Tina's cell phone during choir practice. She had a toothache and was texting on her phone. At first she said it was the oragel she was holding in her hand.

I said: How about what's in your pocket? MissD always knows.
She said: It was my mom.

I said: I don't care if it was God. You should not be using your cell phone during class. And God wouldn't be texting you because he knows you have class.

Lucky me, they all decided not to sing.
A student: We don't like what you said. It was stupid. What if it's an emergency?
I said: Then you would be allowed to use your cell phone.
Student: How do we know if we don't check?
I said: You shouldn't check, but if there is an emergency here, then you would be allowed to use it. Also, if you don't feel well enough to be in class, Tina, then you should let me know and the nurse needs to know so that you can be released.
Student: We don't like what you said. It was stupid.
I said: I apologize if I offended you. I was emphasizing that it doesn't matter who it is. There are proper chanels to go through and the office should know what is going on.

I also pulled Tina aside to explain this to her again. As an adult I have classes during which I do not use my cell phone because it is rude to do so. When I asked if she understood, she nodded yes.

Perhaps I will take the time tomorrow to explain what constitutes an emergency situation at school that would allow the use of cell phones, but from my understanding, an emergency is a campuswide event like Columbine, VA Tech, 9/11, lockdown, flood, fire or campus closure.

The real problem came after school when the one of the Secretary 1 was being honored for classified employee of the year. She locked everything up before she left and a retired lady is subbing for because she knows how things run. She doesn't have a key. The Secretary 2 is out taking care of her son who needed surgery on a broken foot. The result, the phone was locked up. The parent was irate.

I don't pay for my daughter to have a cell phone for it to be locked up all night. I'm going to the district office to complain. Teachers shouldn't say those things.

Whatever. Bring it. I'll be filing a rebuttal. When I told a friend on the custodial staff what happened he said, Amen. God wouldn't be texting you in the middle of class.

The Elusive Happy Place

I woke up feeling tired and angry this morning. Tired because I didn't sleep enough. Just plain angry over EVERYTHING. I have friends and have heard of teachers who have all kinds of methods to make it through the day. Valium, pot, whatever. I was thinking of taking some dexedrine that I have left over from another time, but it's old and I'm not sure how it would impact me at the end of the day. It's slightly addictive and there is a crash when you come off of it. But it would make me happy.

I decided to up the dose of the antidepressant I have been taking. It helped a little, but I was still unhappy. I still cried after school. In front of a student when she said I looked stressed. I cried because some of the kids asked the accompanist to sign their yearbooks, but not me. One kid asked me, though.

I took a nap after school for 2 hours.
Tomorrow I'm going to try the dexedrine.

Shopping to Find the Happy Place

When the principal came by to let me know the concert was cancelled, I was devastated and in tears.

Gina: Wow, MissD, you look upset. I know why and I feel really bad for you.
I didn't address the why, but she had told me before that she had heard a rumor that I wasn't coming back. She probably thinks I was fired at that moment. She doesn't know how complicated it all really is.
Gina: MissD, you should go shopping, it will make you feel better.

today------------------------
MissD: Gina, I did go shopping last night and you're right, it did help.
Gina: I told you! She smiled.
Gina: You should have seen MissD on Friday. She was buying these blue high heels. My mom was like,wow, I would trip in those.
MissD: I actually returned those because they didn't match my dress.
Gina: But your dress is blue you said.
MissD: But not the right shade.
Gina: I think MissD was going to wear them for a date.
MissD: Yes, that's right. I walked on tip toes like I was modeling on a catwalk.
Bernie: Go MissD!!

I haven't quite found the Happy Place, but shopping was a really nice distraction.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Concert Cancelled

The principal from the high school came to me to tell me something important. I thought it would be about something else...

HSPrincipal: MissD, I've decided to cancel the concert.
MissD: But 2nd period is doing so well.
HSPrincipal: I don't want them to do anything that would embarrass you, and I'm concerned that they will. So, cancelling the concert.

I should have protested.
But the junior high is sounding really good!
But I was just assigning solos today!

I don't know what brilliant principal would visit you in the middle of a choir rehearsing to let you know that he had decided to cancel the concert, but that's what he did.

The end result was me sitting in my office staring at the wall, crying, listening to my accompanist finish warmups and start a song.

I tried to go out there, and face my choir to rehearse them anyway. I couldn't. I turned around and went back to my office to repeat what I had just been doing. My accompanist came to ask me what she should do. Piano. I answered.

I had hoped that they would pull together for this concert, but maybe something is amiss. Something has been all year.

Accomp: They shouldn't have come in the middle of your class.
MissD: Yeah, well, it's basically been like this all year with them doing stuff last minute like this. Telling me about concerts at the last minute, etc. I wish the next person the best of luck.

I wonder if the accompanist wants the job after all she has seen. She often tells me she is a better teacher, has years of experience and a teachign credential. She makes me feel bad, but could she have really done better? Could she do better next year? I wonder.

Monday, June 2, 2008

From Post Secret

I love Post Secret!!!

I can totally see why...and I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way even though I'm not taking Valium. Maybe I should... It might help.