Wednesday, February 08, 2006

What a Day!

First the good stuff.

We had 12 students for yearbook today. The past two days had just been a revolving door of students asking for permission slips to stay and inquiring about the yearbook so today was the first day that we actually got to talk to the kids that are going to be working on the yearbook.

I started by sitting them in a U and giving them a quick, but firm, lecture on how they are all here to work on the yearbook because they want to be here. I told them that if anyone isn't here to work hard, contribute ideas and listen to each other that we will send them straight home. If we have to, we (the two advisers) can throw together the entire yearbook in two weeks on our own. (It's nice to actually have that kind of leverage.)

Then we got to talk about the huge task ahead of us. I talked about the different sections of the yearbook and we took ideas for spreads. I told the kids several times that the yearbook is about their 8th grade year and they can make it what ever they want, all of the ideas are going to come from them. The advisers are just to guide them but they will be creating the book on their own.

The kids seemed really excited about working on the book. A lot of them have older siblings that got books in previous years so they already had some ideas to share. There seem to be three natural leaders emerging in the group. One volunteered to write a letter to the AP proposing a few of our ideas and another asked if we would be able to stay beyond the 37.5 minutes each day to get everything done by March 20th. (We'll definitely be staying late a lot, don't you worry.)

The plan for tomorrow is to start coming up with theme ideas for the book. I have a list of a couple hundred for them to look thorough. We told them that that will just be a starting point and most likely they will want to adapt it to fit our school and their class. By Monday we'll form some committees so that we can get started on content.

* * *

As for the organization of the 37.5 minutes, it's non existent at my school. Just five minutes before the school day was to end, an announcement was made that there wouldn't be two rounds of busses, just one at 3:30 (after the 37.5 minutes). Kids who take the bus but aren't in the extra tutoring time were to just hang out until then (In the auditorium or in there regular classrooms it wasn't made clear). And of course DON'T SEND THEM TO THE OFFICE!! I'm not sure if this was meant to be just for today or indefinitely but all the teachers were about to explode with frustration after that announcement.

* * *

Now for quotes of the day from our fabulous APs.

To a teacher calling her office about a disruptive student:

"I am an Assistant Principal. I supervise adults not children. I am not the dean. Deal with the student yourself, I have a lot of paperwork to get done."

Then, when talking to another AP I commented about the middle school teachers having to give up more preps than the elementary teachers for Circular 6:

Me: "Wow, that's rough that they have to give up so many periods."

AP: "They were supposed to be using those periods all along to do things for us. But instead they just sit around."

Me: "What about using those periods for planning?"

AP: "They don't need those periods for planning. We give them everything. We give them the books. We tell them when to use them. They don't need to plan anything!"

This is the kind of administration I'm dealing with.

* * *

And I just can't write any more about this today. I'm so worn out from this day. I'm about to head off to the gym and sort of free my mind. (I just started going after the Christmas break and I'm not really sure how I survived without it before.)

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