It’s been a really shitty week and I’m feeling pretty down right now. But I also recognize that some good has happened, and I don’t want to overlook that. So in the spirit of “Goods and Bads” (what we call Highs and Lows at our house, because my daughter kept getting confused on which was the good thing to share, the high or the low) here is a look at the past week. I’ll start with the bads, because I always want to hear bad news first. (It turns out there were a lot of bads, so the goods will have to wait for tomorrow, but I promise I’ll post them).
- This week was really busy, and almost all of the events were obligations that I dreaded. I hate having a calendar full of cringe-worthy shit that I must attend.
- One of those cringe-worthy events was Open House at my school, which is by far my least favorite night of the school year. I hate schmoozing with parents who want to turn a two minute handshake into a mini end-of-year conference. I also wasn’t at school that day, so I had to go early to make sure my room didn’t look like a bunch middle schoolers with only a sub to keep tabs on them had occupied it all day. I was also super nervous that the mom who has been writing shitty emails about me to my principal was going to be there (because she said in one of her emails that she would be), but luckily she never showed, or at least I never saw her. Still, I spent the whole night nervously scanning the room, anticipating her arrival. It was exhausting. (But my room was in surprisingly good shape, so that was nice).
- My mom wanted to get my daughter a trampoline for our backyard for her birthday and it was on sale so we had to give her an answer pretty quick. We said yes and she ordered it, but then we did some research and realized that trampolines are incredibly unsafe for children under 6, and while we knew there was some risk involved in jumping on a trampoline (and had created a list of rules to mitigate that risk), we were not at all comfortable with how dangerous simple jumping on a netted trampoline is for smaller kids. So after much agonizing, we told my parents to return it. Of course by then my daughter had figured out it was coming (long story) and she was upset, and my mom was annoyed (rightfully so) that we hand’t done the research before she bought it, and I was disappointed because I know my daughter would love it and she really needs good ways to burn off her seemingly limitless energy. Sometimes being a responsible adult is such a bummer.
- My son wakes up, ready to greet the day, every morning between 5:30am and 6am. I doubt further elaboration is necessary.
- My son also remains decidedly two-and-a-half. That compounds the exhaustion of waking up with him at the butt crack of dawn.
- My daughter’s birthday party is in two weeks and I’m not at all ready. In fact I’m not even close to ready. It’s totally stressing me out. I HATE that her birthday is at the very end of my school year. It creates all kinds of stress.
- There are four more weeks of school left. This is the critical tipping point, where there are not nearly enough days to get everything done but too many days to be excited about summer’s imminent arrival. There are also TONS of assignments and projects and tests to grade. And the kids are fucking maniacs. (Truthfully, I’m not doing much better.)
- Our Blu.Ray player mysteriously stopped working over a year ago. Suddenly we started getting a “No Input Signal” line on our TV when we tried to use it. We haven’t replaced it because we mostly just watch Net.flix and we could hook our computers up to the TV when we really wanted to watch a movie (ahem Disney) that wasn’t free through one of our services. Except that sometimes we only have the Blu.Ray of a movie (not sure where the accompanying DVDs are going, because we always buy the set with both) and even when we do have the DVD, our computers are so old and slow that hooking them up to the TV is a pain in the ass. So I finally bought a new Blu.Ray player at Cost.co and my husband finally set it up and we’re still getting the “No Input Signal,” even with a new cord, and trying all the inputs (including the cord and input port that allows us to successfully use the Ro.ku). It just doesn’t work. So clearly something is wrong with our TV, but WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH IT THAT IT JUST DOESN’T REGISTER BLU.RAY PLAYERS?! That makes no fucking sense! Especially since they were two totally different kinds of players. Anyway, it’s not so much that the TV doesn’t work, it’s that it works in such a annoying and frustrating way that defies the laws of electronics. And now we can never watch a fucking Blu.Ray (or even a DVD again without using our computer), until we get a new TV. So fucking annoying.
- My house is a fucking shit show and it’s stressing me out.
- And the BIG ONE (to be written in regular paragraphs because it’s that big):
My VP–who is actually leaving for a high school position next year (I think I forgot to mention that here)– pulled me into her office on Friday and dropped a pretty significant bomb on me. She told me that our incoming principal and the will-be-principal for the other middle school in our district want me to teach two classes at the other middle school and three at mine. They also want me to teach zero and 1st period at the other middle school and 4rd, 5th and 6th at mine. That means they want me to be teaching at 7:45am when I wanted to have my same schedule as this year to start teaching at 9am, so I can be home in the mornings and take my daughter to school. When I mentioned wanting my same schedule, my VP said the new principal wouldn’t go for it regardless, that evidently he’s not about making accommodations like that. So best case scenario I can stay at my school all day but still have to be there at 8am (which will be a massive burden for my family) and worst case scenario I will be teaching on two campuses, lose all sense of community at my work place, and gain the considerable stress of reconciling scheduling differences between the schools on certain days, and commuting between them (they are about 7-10 minutes away from each other, depending on how you hit the lights).
Oh, and the school board decided that we will be trashing our Spanish 6 classes so that all 6th graders take the same “World Languages” class, which allows them to pick between five languages on a computer program. This decision was made in the name of “equity” because they want the course offerings at both campuses to be as similar as possible, and they have had a historically hard time finding and keeping a quality Spanish teacher (hence, the desire for me to teach 7th/8th grade Spanish over there for part of the day). I created our 6th grade Spanish curriculum almost from scratch, and it’s a damn good program. It’s also VERY POPULAR. The fact that they decided to throw it away, without even speaking to me about it, feels incredibly disrespectful. I don’t necessarily love teaching 6th graders, but I’m really proud of what, and how, I teach them, and I’m really disappointed to see it thrown away for some bullshit computer program in the name of equity.
The most frustrating part of all of this is that I’ve been trying to get a meeting with our incoming principal for over a month and he keeps avoiding me. And I also told him that I hoped to keep my current schedule in one of those emails, so he knew that working at 7:45am was going to be incredibly disappointing for me. (I would assume he’s also realized that no one wants to teach at two different campuses during the day, and broaching that possibility needed to be treated with a certain amount of sensitivity, but who knows.) Either way, the fact that he didn’t make a meeting to talk about all this with me himself, but instead sent someone who doesn’t give a shit (and can’t even answers my questions if she did) because she won’t be here next year, feels really fucking disrespectful. One of the reasons I decided not to look for a new job is because I’ve had positive experiences with this man and had heard he was a respectful and effective principal at the other middle school. I had considerable hopes that he would make positive changes next year. Now all that goodwill is gone, and I’m left with the prospect of working with a principal who has already treated me poorly.
I’m so angry at myself for not looking for a job during the prime months of the school year. I can still look, and obviously will, but there are not many positions posted in the summer, at least not many desirable ones. Of course, it wouldn’t have to be that great to be more desirable than what I’m probably going to end up with. (And no, I’m not sure yet if they can MAKE me work on two different campuses. My guess is they can’t, but that they’ll offer me something so shitty at my own school that teaching 7th/8th grade Spanish at the other middle school is preferable.)
The union rep at our school is also a good friend, and a fellow language teacher. She has already assured me that they can’t make me teach zero period and 6th period because zero period is outside of the contractually obligated day. So I guess that is one good thing. Even if I didn’t want to be with my family in the mornings, teaching from 7:45am to 3pm would fucking suck.
Can’t you tell how stoked I am that it’s Monday?