Be warned, my students are very loyal to me. If you say something snarky about me in their presence (which you shouldn’t anyway-it’s unprofessional.) my kids will tell me.
And, in turn, I will write a snarky blog entry, which I don’t really want to do because it’s lame and whiny. But it’s been a slow week for quality blog ideas.
I’ve become uptight about my homeroom. Last year I “lived” in two spaces- the coach room and my homeroom, and it was hard to be neat. So this year, since I have only one “home” I’ve tried very hard to make it look nice and be functional. The classroom library is massive, and takes up a lot of space. Two student desks pushed together form our writing center, which is loaded down with dictionaries and reference books and the Yaffa crate with the kids’ portfolios and folders, along with other random things. My desk is shoved into a corner, and when I get to work in the morning I sit at one of the kids’ desks, because if I sat at my desk my back would be to the door and that creeps me out.
The math teacher approached me recently about needing space for a math center and wall space for charts. Between closets, bulletin boards and chalkboards, the best space for hanging charts is on the windows. I agreed to let her have the windows at the front half of the room, and five student desks, also at the front half/front corner of the room. Because of the space crunch, my two writing center desks are there too, because I have no place else for them.
I like to get lots of sun in the room, so I keep the shades almost all the way up. I asked MT not to hang anything on the shades, just the windows.
Of course, MT pulled down two shades and stapled charts to them. I seethed a bit, then pulled up the shades that afternoon when I was teaching. She noticed the next morning, and complained to the kids, and a few claimed that they did it, even though it was me. The next day, I pulled out the staples (who puts staples in shades anyway?) and taped the charts to the windows. Now the charts are at eye level, where they should be anyway, and more sun comes into the room. MT noticed, and said to the kids, “So I suppose Miss Malarkey thinks she’s an administrator now?” My kids, ever loyal, told her that they, not I, taped the charts to the window.
Today I went in after they had math to find my writing center materials on the floor. When I asked her about it, she said she needed the space, and I reminded her that I gave her the five desks, and that I had no other place for my writing center. She didn’t mention the question to my kids about my wanna-be administrator tendencies. If she had, I would have told her that we both know a math center is only going to be for show and that it will likely gather dust, just like it did last year.
Of course, at the heart of this conflict is the fact that most secondary teachers think that their subject is the most important one in the world. I admit to being guilty of this.