6:17 p.m. - 2001-05-01
Good News, Good News
I received my "rehire" letter today. Whew. That's a relief. I was wondering if they'd tolerate me for another year or not. Though, I did have to endure the eval by my administrator today, I think I'll be ok (he's retiring anyways).
And...my beef about this rehire shit is this... IF you are going to hire someone and make it "appealing" to work at your school, then why cut them for next year (via newspaper article, then reference at a budget meeting, THEN via axe letter)?
A friend of mine got the "axe" yesterday. I kind of feel terrible. Her position, albeit necessary, was cut in order to re-route funds to another department.
Speaking of do onto others... the guidance counselor approached me yesterday. He made it very apparent that I MUST pass a senior who has been failing my course all year. So, with a deadpan look, I said, "Well, why don't you tell him that he has to pass my class?" And the response was something you'd expect, "Well, I did, but I still want you to make sure you pass him."
So, I get this lil speech about how I must let him graduate b/c MY class is the ONLY one he is failing (which, btw, I know is bullshit... He's failing four of the five). Well, my horns are coming out now. (I feel as tho I'm becoming my mother...that's scary!) I WILL NOT PASS A STUDENT WHO DOES NOT DESERVE TO PASS. I WILL NOT PAD A GRADE IN ORDER TO MAKE MYSELF LOOK GOOD. ~AND~ I WILL NOT PASS ATHLETES, GOOD BAD OR STATE CHAMPION.
I decided this when I was in HIGH SCHOOL...based on my observations THEN. Times haven't changed and neither have I. I still think its terrible to pass students based on their level of schooling AND their athletic ability. There were several times when I let the coaches have it about the antics (i.e. "But, he's my star wrestler, he needs the grades to compete next year...") Do I look like I give a shit?
No, I don't.
Because once they break or tear something that permanently removes them from sports, who do they blame? (Besides the other guy?) ME..the teacher who didn't show them how to read correctly.
So, with that in mind... this lil bastard better kick it into high gear or he's not gonna pass. Come hell or high water, I will not be pressured (even tho the admin changed a student's grade on me after the 1st marking period when I said he got what he earned...alas, the lowly first year teacher was sadly mistaken).
Today, we had an assembly. From what I'm told by the kids, the school plans one tear-jerker every May in order to cut down on DUI's and Drug OD's (fat chance). Today, this man told a heart/gut-wrenching story about a drunk driver in a 3/4 ton pickup driving INTO his house, through the brick walls, OVER his bed (killing his wife, who was wrapped in a mattress and sophocated to death), shot-putting him into the dining room. OMG! The kids were crying, the teachers were crying, everyone was crying except me. What the hell is wrong with me? I think I got teary when he told us about his denial ("My wife isn't dead, I just ate three bowls of pasta with her a few hours ago..." and when he saw her in the casket, he PICKED her body up and headed for the door...because he thought it was a bad dream). WOW.
Impact-ready. Nothing like a bit of a tear jerker to make kids think about drinking and driving and respecting one another.
Soon following this really GREAT (and it was) assembly, the principal takes the mic and proceeds to make an announcement about releasing them back to class. WHAT does a knuckle-headed senior do? BOOS THE PRINCIPAL. Wow, I'm glad they learned THAT lesson. Imagine what he would've done if he didn't hear a man tell a heart-breaking story (and then a story about a few h.s. kids who died that he knew, b/c he was a teacher (or coach)...naturally).
I'm glad our kids are of the sensitive stock.
Well, I have to work on my sensitivity. I still am amazed that I didn't cry. EVEN THE MALES COACHES/TEACHERS CRIED.
I went to speak to the man (who was eating lunch in the caf and pimping his book about "teen power" or something equivalent to that...) and told him that I understand loss. I lost my brother in a motorcycle accident 1 month before his h.s. graduation. (He wasn't DUI, he was messing around on an uninspected motorcycle he bought from some shady character for $400.)
THAT almost made me cry when I said it. And that happened over 10 yrs ago. (I did share it with my students in ONE class once. Because a kid was in a DUI accident that should've killed him. But, because he's one lucky bastard, he will probably do it again... I say that b/c he went out drinking the next weekend and let someone ELSE drive him home.)
So, now that I've given emotion, insensitivity, and a lot of words...I shall end with this one comment.
SCHOOL ENDS IN 6 WEEKS.