I went to school today to begin setting up my classroom, even though I swore up and down that I was not going to do it. I was only there for about three hours; Mr. Malarkey had business in the Bronx and I was otherwise going to have to get up ass-early to take him to the train station. So I figured that I may as well be productive, and be a good, liberated wife who drives her husband to work instead of the other way around.
The fact that I did decide to go doesn't mean that I am not pissed, still, about having to go back on Thursday, and I don't like to do anything to make my colleagues look bad. But that didn't matter; the two new teachers were there anyway to make all of us look bad anyway. They were both in the building yesterday and will be back tomorrow. They even asked the AP if they could come in Saturday.
I am glad that I went, though. I got a good jump on things. The last time I had to set up a classroom was 2003; I coached full time in '04 and in '05 I wasn't assigned my class till late September. Another teacher set up that room and used hideous border and backing paper that didn't coordinate at all, and I had to live with it all year because I didn't have time and didn't want to hurt her feelings.
My principal was a little disappointed that more teachers didn't come in because other schools in our network have already had nearly their entire staff in. I do get the danger of giving up too much of our own time willingly because we'll find ourselves giving up more next time around. I try to think about things on a system-wide basis and on a school-wide basis, and on a school-wide basis, I consider myself and my colleagues fortunate. On a system-wide basis, well, I feel cheerful at the moment and want to keep it that way so I won't say how I really feel.
My principal is really the anti-Leadership Academy principal. He's not perfect, but he's always been good to us, to the point where sometimes I wished that he would crack down harder on certain people who weren't performing their basic duties (like lesson planning). Prior to the 37 1/2 minute thing, there was an unspoken agreement that we could leave early if we didn't teach 8th period. And we never had those monthly faculty conferences. Generally, he just expects us to teach, to manage our classrooms, to do our jobs. So going in today was just a part of the give-and take. He appreciated that I was there and said so, and that means something too.
And after ten years, you'd think I'd be able to get that damn bulletin board paper to lay perfectly flat and smooth, but no. It'll never happen. But at least this year I get a room with lovely coordinating borders and matching paper. It's enough.