Wednesday, September 05, 2018

First Day Back

People kept asking me yesterday how my summer was. I had to tell the truth. I woke up in the morning and it was finished. I cried for 90 minutes but it still didn't come back. Perhaps that was not the optimal approach, but that doesn't necessarily mean I won't give it another try.

There were the usual disasters, things that no one ever thought would happen that happened anyway. No one really knows what to do about those things, so I won't go into detail. Those things seem to happen everywhere anyway.

There were two former agency fee payers in my building, and I signed up both of them. I signed up every new teacher I met. It was easy and they were happy. I was fortunate enough to get some time with teachers new to the school and new to the system. They had a lot of questions this year. I was encouraged. There have been years when there were no questions whatsoever. The then-principal told me they were so great they knew everything already. Personally, I've been doing this for 34 years and I don't know everything, I figure as soon as I think I know everything, I probably know less than I did when I realized I didn't.

I wrote a long Keynote presentation for when I met with staff. In case you don't know, Keynote is the Mac version of PowerPoint, I like it better than PowerPoint. However, the display in our auditorium has some strange connection that isn't HDMI or anything I've ever noticed before. I ended up looking at my presentation on my laptop and sharing it with staff via my mouth. That's okay. It just goes to show you that the machines break down but the people go on without them.

I do know people who agonize over having the computers go down. I'm bordering on that, having made up this presentation with all cool transitions and stuff, but what are you gonna do? I mean, just because I might sit and cry upon realizing that summer is gone is no reason to sit and cry in front of the entire staff. Some would say that's not leadership. Yet how many of us wish we had a supervisor who would just sit and cry rather than telling us how it's bad that students come late, and they shouldn't come late, and then they get all high and mighty and start telling us that we shouldn't come late either. That's your Boy Wonder supervisor for you, and he's probably late every day.

I only had three reorganization grievances, and I was pretty proud until I got to Queens UFT for a meeting, where other chapter leaders were boasting they didn't have any. Who the hell do they think they are having big fun while I'm struggling to write grievances? This is yet another tech issue, in fact.  No one sent in the election form for our school. Though I got it filled out last week, I still haven't got access to the chapter leader section at the UFT website. And why should I? We're only the biggest school in Queens. I don't need any stinking resources.

I got to see my two crappy rooms yesterday, and was given the choice of consolidating into one crappy room. I chose the crappy room with tables rather than chairs. That way, my students can all sit around and have little conversations about how crappy the room is. I can teach them adjectives.

The room is:

a. small
b. diminutive
c. inadequate
d. miserable
e. all of the above

I see a test coming. It will be a test to see how long I can go without complaining about the room. This will be a very tough test for me. I only began complaining yesterday, and I haven't stopped yet. What do we have, 180 days in the year? That's 178 more opportunities. You have to grab life and take it where you need it to go. I am, therefore I complain.

I wish all of you a great school day. I hope you get to do something fun. I know I will, even if it entails complaining. It's one of the things I do best.
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