I‘ve been very absent on AoS lately, and WordPress too. The End-of-The-9-Weeks is a pretty hectic time. Kids are running around filled with the knowledge that suddenly they should turn in their assignments. Oh wait… The other assignments counted towards his or her final grade?
I was chewed out last week because I’m not fair. Yep. I set the mandate, the last week of the 9 weeks, I wasn’t taking any late work. I began reminding students the last week of September, that the end of the 1st 9 weeks was 4 weeks away. I reminded them 3 or more times a week.we talked about how fair I was in taking late work way after it was due.
The last week approaches and I’m the villain, “How come all of our other teachers allow us to turn in work? Everyone else is accepting grades up until the teacher workday!” Read that again in a sassy preteen voice.
We had a staff meeting Friday, the teacher workday, and I just snapped. I brought it up. People hotly said the children were lying and abusing my good nature. However, a consistent policy on late work would be beneficial…. After all what do we teach these kids about do dates of we let them turn in whatever, whenever?
So, we created a universal everyone is onboard, no questions due date policy. A couple of people approached me later to speak their minds on the need of the policy. Hey, our kids in general lack consistency and responsibility the more we demand it, the more they will understand and adapt to it.
I also had my share of parental tiffs and miffs- suffice to say- I’ve still got lots to learn, even 5 years in. I need to stick to office hours. I just do.
Morale is down, we are being told to teach to the test but, we’re A+ so we have to integrate the Arts! Some people are feeling the pressure of this and feel A+ is no longer possible- realistic- to do at our school.
People are depressed, stressed, and feeling the crunch.
Which lead to my next project.
We used to have just one set of bathrooms for staff, and they are decorated like an old woman’s boudoir or minimalistic inspirational construction paper framed box (with a door that locks you in). When they added the 8th grade hall/ Resource/ Encore!/ Special’s rooms; they added more student restrooms and one more set of staff bathrooms.
Our new set of bathrooms have stayed white, and without decor for 5+ years. You teach in a box filled with kid centered decor, then use the facilities in a prison like box, eat in a completely white cafeteria with kids or in a completely white run down staff room.
I had a little extra this month, so I hit the Dollar Tree (a store where everything is a dollar or less) for decorations. I found red poppy and monarch butterfly wall decals and went to work. I wiped alcohol on the lower walls and in between lunch and lunch duties I applied. Adults streamed into my room the rest of the day:
“Did you so that?”
“A field of flowers just grew in the bathroom!”
“They look great!”
And of course my wonderful Janitor, “Why are you always messing with stuff?”
Cheered by the response, I printed inspirational nature patterned or tinted quotes (the quotes are right but I couldn’t find the backgrounds I selected) :
The bathroom looks cheerful and inspiring and so many teachers have commented on the niceness of having a nice place to use the bathroom.
My janitor is convinced it will all be smashed by kids. Maybe it will. Maybe it won’t. I vowed to dust the things I added so he wouldn’t do more work. I wasn’t trying to add work.
Now we need to decorate the men’s. The Art teacher found a beautiful golfing calendar with sunsets an palms. Frame a couple of those, nix the flowers, add a basket of manly magizines…. Maybe some Sudoku puzzles (lol) and manly inspirational quotes about never giving up…
I think we’ve got it.
I’m thinking of the break room next. It’s pretty plan too (with old stained library chairs, racks of nothing stashed in there…
Morale. I’m telling you. Having a pleasant place to work matters.
So that’s what I’ve been up to, besides this:
Thanks for having drinks with me, I know it was school filled! Till next time!