One day weeks are a waste of academic time and effort. But hey, its the first day and I had no control over the schedule so, I made the best of it. That's my job. Sometimes I call it MacGyver Science, MacGyver Teaching, or the underpaid superstar! Teaching is like acting, you are on the minute the kids enter the room and keep performing until they leave. It's not like the government jobs at the Courthouse where they can sit at their desks, chew pugua and have the doors on computerized timers lock at 4:15 to go home. We have 4 Troops to Teachers at Hopwood this year. I think being deployed to Iraq is the perfect training for entering PSS. Or it's like being in the Peace Corps with better benefits. I had my homeroom all day. We played games, did team building activities, turned reviews of the handbook and procedures into a scavenger hunt and had fun.
I got my termite infested door replaced this summer and will make due with long, un-moveable tables that seat 12 students (a much, much too big group at one table) in a room designed for 20 students (there are 30 on my roster for each class for a total of 180). I have my homeroom kid's names memorized.
I covered up the sinks with plywood last year, because they were recepticals for garbage and betel nut. I asked to cut the tables, remove the sinks and make them moveable, thus making my room more ammenable to 30 students. Capital Improvements said, "well, we spent several thousand dollars, 15 years ago building that room as a lab and we don't see how remodeling the tables would be a good idea". Okay, no offense, but I'm the fricking science teacher who has 30 students in my class! God Damn It!!!
It's all right, I'm flexible, I make do. I painted the walls a cream that matches the cream on all the walls outside, because the school had left over paint. Last year I got 5 gallons of pink for $10. It was the only color ACE had. I'm not a fan of pink but it was better than grimy walls that hadn't seen anything but gecko poop and termite wings for 5 years until I took over the room. So I feel a little renewed. I covered my luevered windows with old carpet padding from my old apartment and magenta (again pink!!) butcher paper. Now its the battle of adhesive tape v.s. humidity. We know who will win. I'll be constantly retaping, borrowing Mario's ladder, or precariously climbing up on chairs, utility sinks and book shelves, to smack the paper back up on the wall. My floors need waxing, but Ronald, who does the waxing for extra cash to make up for his measely wage as a parapro, is off while his wife is in the hospital. He offered to donate sick leave to Doug last year when Doug missed 4 weeks of work. We graciously refused because I knew he'd need it more than us.
I am an optimist. I have PDA's enroute to create a paperless classroom. I also ordered some probe ware. Don't know where that is at the moment.
I painted "Science Never Sucks" on my door. The security guard came and told me today (Sunday) that someone had vandalized my door. I smiled and explained it was me who painted it and pointed to the printed sign on the inside of the door that said the same thing. I think he only saw "science" and "sucks".
Near the end of the year last year, my team took our students on a field trip to the Kagman Watershed Education Island and Tank Beach to do a cleanup project. Then we went to ChaCha to watch Hopwood 8th graders challenge Cha Cha 8th graders in a game of softball. Three 7th graders stowed away on my bus. Imagine my dismay, anger and frustration when these totally unfamiliar faces got off the bus at the watershed park. I drove them back to Hopwood and lectured them about how irresponsible they were, blah blah blah, posed empty threats about them being on my team next year, blah blah blah.
Guess who's in my homeroom?!!! I had a lot of fun with those boys on Friday (wicked Mr. Burns esque grin on my face).
Final observation from the first week:
The CNMI Civics and Economics book refers to African Americans as Negros.