The English Teacher

June 22, 2008, 5:46 pm
Filed under: Damn it!

It’s annoying to receive emails from students asking me to change their final grades.  Summer vacation has started!  Stop worrying about grades and go out and play!  Geez.

Bad news?
January 18, 2008, 4:34 pm
Filed under: Damn it!, Future

At a recent faculty meeting, I learned that there is a distinct possibility that some teachers will be asked to look for other positions.  As much as I don’t want to freak out, I can’t help worrying just a teeny bit.  After all, I was asked to find another school at the end of last year because the enrollment numbers were too low to keep all the teachers on staff.  Since I was one of the newest faculty members, I was asked to leave.  This sounds really harsh, but I’m actually pretty fortunate since I’m hired by the district and not the individual schools.  However, as one of the newer members of the staff at this school, there is a good chance that I may be asked to leave again. 

September 24, 2007, 5:08 pm
Filed under: Daily Life, Damn it!, Future

I got an email today informing me that an aide in one of my classes requested to be removed because he felt “uncomfortable” working with me.  That was indeed a surprise to me; however, I shouldn’t have been so shocked since it was pretty inevitable.  I have been having trouble with this aide since he showed up to class.  Basically, he didn’t really do anything and when he did, he either gave students the wrong answers or got them in trouble.  Even worse, he would lie about what he did and try to cover it up by saying that it was all a part of his “method.”

Frankly, I thought we were working better since the meeting we had last week.  We actually met with an adminstrator as an objective mediator and I believed that we had worked out our problems.  Apparently, I was mistaken.  I believe that the aide became offended when I asked him to stop giving answers to the students.  For some reason, he became incredibly offended by that and stormed off.  It’s all very ridiculous, really.  However, I stand by my request.  I normally don’t give my students the answers to problems.  Instead, I teach them how they can get to the answers on their own.  It’s like the story about the man and the fish:  You give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.  You teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.  What really annoyed me about the aide is that there are two distinct instances when he gave students the wrong answers.  One time I tried to cover up for him because I didn’t want him to look foolish in front of the students.  The second time, he felt the need to tell a student that she had chosen the wrong answer on a QUIZ.  As a student with specific accomodations, this is a student who isn’t particularly confident in her abilities so she, understandably, became flustered.  She changed her answers and ended up getting two wrong (the second one was connected to the first one so if the first one was wrong, then the second one was, as well).  When she got the quiz back, she was a bit upset because she had been right the first time but she changed it because of what he had said.  I looked over her quiz and it was apparent that she was telling the truth.  First of all, I don’t understand why he was walking around and telling the students what was wrong and what was right on a QUIZ.  Secondly, it was a simple vocabulary quiz.  An aide in an English class ought to have some basic knowledge of vocabulary.  If you don’t, you don’t go around telling students to change their answers.

The good thing about all of this is that I’m getting a new aide in the classroom and I’ve heard that the new one is quite good.  I do feel bad for whoever gets stuck with my old one.  However, I am worried about how this is going to reflect on me.  I know this is purely selfish, but I feel as if I’m gaining a pretty bad reputation as someone who has trouble with her students and colleagues.  While I do feel perfectly justified in this matter, what matters is how my supervisors perceive it.  I don’t want to be called in at the end of the year and told to look for another position for the following year.

April 25, 2007, 8:34 pm
Filed under: Daily Life, Damn it!

I spent thirty minutes making a movie based on the tableaux my students performed and I had to delete it because I forgot to add a scene!  It’s little things like this that can be incredibly frustrating.