I haven't posted for a while - you probably didn't especially notice but saw that I might not have come up on the reader you use for a while.
It's not that I haven't got anything to say.....I just don't really have the time to say it. I am, at the present moment, spending ridiculous amounts of time just doing lots of stuff. By saying that please don't panic any of you - I have caught up with friends and family but I haven't got onto the internet that often. I have been enjoying the personal contact with face-to-face interactions.
Work is ridiculously busy - but then when the head of department takes a week off, reasons unknown to me, you might find yourself with a different class placed in front of you which you spend a week teaching and discovering that they are so hungry for information that they write down EVERYTHING that comes out of your mouth. Now I know that I am one of the most inspirational speakers around (crickets chirping in the background) but I found this quite off putting.
Added to this new class conundrum the two interns that I have. May have mentioned these delightfuls before but I have one week to go with them. I am quite relieved. The good one (A) is still motoring along. I don't think that she is a favourite amongst the kids but they are working hard for her and she has developed some good relationships with them. Behaviour is not an issue - and if it is, she deals with it without any mad panic attacks or diva style behaviour.
The other one (B) has changed a great deal over the last 9 weeks. She is still hard work emotionally. B has not really developed great relationships with the kids and I believe many will be glad to see the back of her. Classroom Management has been a major issue for her. We started with no real concept of what she wanted or how to get it.
Now the pendulum has swung the other way. She over reacts to things and then demands justice for the smallest of misdemeanors. This week kids were handed detentions like you would throw confetti over the newly weds. It was amazing to witness. I went to one of her detentions as I had kids in the same room finishing work. It amazed me - there were two kids who turned up who didn't have a detention but they had nothing else to do as all their friends were there. Then the cheeky cherubs misbehaved and were threatened with an afterschool..........
I have had other teachers pulling me aside all week to discuss the issues with B. Most of the conversations start with "are you responsible for the intern B?" I raise an eyebrow and suddenly find myself being enveloped with another intriguing tale of the adventures of intern B.
It's funny - everyone on staff knows who intern B is but then are amazed that there is another one, A. When I point out that I have two, the response is "Really?"
Year 12s finish soon and as a consequence of the looming finish line kids have hit the accelerator with an amazing panic. I teach junior classes at the moment all the while madly going through what I am expecting to do with this or that student.........this coming week I have three nights of recitals to attend. Each of the solo kids has to present a program up to 25 minutes. Mulitply that by 18 and you have a decent amount of time to be found. The group boys have to do 35 minutes. Next week is the last week of term and I am scratching my head wondering why I have done this.........but then their end of year exams start on the first weekend of term 4. It has to be done then!
On a completely different track - our large staffrooms are arranged like small enclaves. Each is a social entity to itself that can be severly affected by personnel changes. My small grouping was a group of 5 women and one man. This man is one of THE MOST ANNOYING men I have ever met. He is a noisy eater, an emotional roller coaster and an amazing braggart.
A few months ago one of the ladies retired. She was replaced by a quietly spoken man who I get along really well with. His desk is amazingly tidy but lacks an obvious coherence. (but then mine is a minefield of danger and peril with no order anywhere in sight!) He is a patient man who deals with everyone equally. He sets an example that I have no desire to follow but feel slightly guilty that I don't......it soon passes.
One of the other ladies is only in the school 2 days a week. She has no real impact on the social niceties of the grouping of desks other than getting in my way by having her chair too far out. We speak on very general terms but her whiny tone of voice annoys me.......in fact any whiny tone amongst the staff annoys. What is wrong with stating what you need to say and doing so without the "it's not fair" tone that just gets under your skin? I digress......
In the last fortnight the other two ladies (art teachers) have gone on leave and have been replaced with two males. One is quite efeminite and has an intruiguing way of dealing with the annoying man.......I still laugh. He is a moderately big personality but then tries to hide this away. As a result he comes across with this pulsating energy that he is trying madly to hide but sometimes fails. One of the other art teachers is in his face constantly. (She is another of the whiners and I cringe at the nearness of her.....)
The other is a strange person. He is nice enough - social niceties are there "morning/bye" but that is about as much as you can get out of him. I am sure he is a fine artist - in fact I have seen some of his doodlings. They're interesting and quite pleasing to the eye. He is very reserved but seems to be spending a lot of time observing the world and, I believe, to be working out ways of using the information he finds in his artwork.
Now the next part of what I am about to say is completely unnecessary but it's more of my observations of this bloke. He travels from one side of Melbourne to the other to teach at our school. I mean he is travelling a good 45 minutes from the inner northern suburbs to a real suburban school. It must be a culutral shock.
Once he has arrived he squirts some sort of clear liquid (no, it's not water in a fancy bottle) under his tongue. I've seen him do this two times now. It is quite disconcerting. I believe it to be a herbal concotion of some sort. He is a strong vegetarian (again, nothing unusual here) and has made lots of comments about my lunch............
I have called him strange. I mean this from the angle that I can't quite guage him. He is not a typical teacher BUT then he views himself as an artist who occasionally teaches. This is a different view for most teachers at my school. They are, on the whole, dedicated, career teachers. I can't quite fathom how he finds working at the school we are at, and this is the point from where I begin my definition of his strangeness. I think it is more an indication of my inability to categorise him than anything to do with him.......
I am hanging out to my holidays and catching up with me. This term has been emotionally challenging, both on a personal and professional level. I have been working incredibly hard for the term - we had our huge concert, which was too long, 3 weeks ago. I do the massed singing at the end, which is quite a head spin, but taxes me through the rehearsal process. 700 kids and teachers who seem to be there to watch the 'show'. It's frustrating.
I also have the year 8 band who are cute but all over the place musically, and I have the choir. They are developing in ability and size. I decided to have new uniforms this year. We made them. It took so long to make them. We made 78 of them. Only 73 were used. They looked effective but each one took about 2 hours to make. I cut half of them out. I sewed a dozen of them. They took a long time.
So now I have presented half of the reasons that I haven't been on line for a while. Hopefully it won't be as long next time.