Do you ever think you sabotage yourself?

sabotage

I believe I threw a challenge out to the Big Whatever last night, when I declared I was going to sleep in. Despite ensuring the alarm was definitely switched to the off position, and checking it twice, I woke not long before dawn. Dawn!

That was it. My brain snapped into activity. Still wondering how to adapt an ICT coding unit for 10 learning support students (in one class!) who have numeracy and literacy levels equal to a year one (some less!) A couple are do not report students, meaning they don’t get A,B,C…E, but rather just comments about what they did and achieved, but they still need to be included in all acitivities. Luckily, next term, I will have a Learning Officer (current term for school aide) to assist with the class, but they are high support students – 10 in  a class of 14! Luckily it is a far smaller class than usual. My other ICT class has 24 students, only two are learning support.

No best solution there, but then my mind just wandered my inner world. Up and down, over there and back here. It didn’t help that Augie Dog slept by the side of my bed the entire time. Not only slept, but snored! He didn’t move until I sat on the side of  my bed and placed my feet beside his nose! He was to his feet in an instant. A shake of his fluffy golden retriever body and he was ready for his Saturday. I wish I was!

Wondering out to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, I flicked on the morning news. More terrorist attacks. Then, I heard President Obama burst into song, singing Amazing Grace at the service for Clementa Pinckney. It brought tears to my eyes. Such a simple, but powerful moment. A gift to see a leader with humanity, a rarity in Australia these days.

On the plus side, I am still in my pyjamas. I shall cling to them like as to a life saver today.The good thing about vacation is that there is always time to nap.  And Augie? Same activity, different position. Asleep, beside my chair. It’s a dog’s life.

world domination is neigh

… one Flamingo Dancer at a time.

FD baby

The April Bride, Daughter2 , is currently, as described by Mr FD, our Gestation Unit. A new little person is due to join our family in late December! Petite Fille will have a cousin!

Not quite a honeymoon baby, more a slightly pre-honeymoon baby. We estimate D2 was about 2 weeks pregnant on their wedding day, which might account for why I had to expend so much effort into buttoning her into her wedding dress (no so much baby, as baby fluid bloat!)

This wee one will have the Flamingo Dancer surname, as baby’s Daddy has taken our surname. Nice timing too, well not for the baby having to have a Christmas birthday, but for moi – I will be on school holidays and so able to travel to Perth for the impending event!

So, my evilosity will spread through the generations, to eventually reach total world domination. One baby at a time. Slow but sure!

Happy Days.

walk a day in my shoes

bob hair

Put my tunic on backwards this morning, and considered leaving it so, as we are all declaring we are going backwards at the school instead of forwards lately!

On the way to school I was followed by a motorcycle cop who gave me a side glance (!), saw a hot air balloon sailing in the sky and thought, I would never want to do that, and was accompanied by two wood ducks into the school grounds.

“And remember Mrs Flamingo Dancer loves you!” I said to the retreating backs of my home class.

“Oh Miss you are so sweet” she said.

“Sweet like a peanut butter sandwich!” he answered.

I am sweet like a peanut butter sandwich! High sugar content peanut butter obviously.

 

Why do they make “slippery when wet” signs so lightweight that a gust of wind knocks them down? Meaning I have walk across the slippery surface to reposition the sign?

 

“Don’t you love the nice feeling after you do a dump?” he said.

“Mate, the Librarian is standing right behind you.”

 

“Miss, I cut my butt on the heater at the weekend.”

 

Can no one replace a chair under the table?

 

Today I had two classes to supervise simultaneously. One was the senior physics class and the other, the work skills students. The physics kids filled whiteboards with equations. The career kids discussed a porn king and took selfies.

Once again I had to explain to a female student why she should not use the c*** word because she didn’t understand that she was calling herself inferior by calling another person by a slang word for a female body part. Be still my feminist heart.

The local paper has been including parts of a life size poster of a NRL player (football not soccer) in the paper each day. Minerva was insistent that I remember to rescue the third in the series today. I did. It was a poster of his team shorts clad groin. Can imagine the talk in his club locker room today. I know what it was like around the library!

 

The Archbishop came to visit. I greeted him as he entered the library. He ignored me. He-ignored-me!  One can only surmise that he is deaf as well as stupid. We were invited to take tea with him after school. I had other things to do … like get on with the rest of my life.

Home : a hot dog with balsamic onions, cheese and bacon, and a moscow mule in a tall tumbler to drink.

shower

I’m laden with sadness

Multitasking, ipad and TV at the same time, I fumbled with the cable remote and hit a music channel instead of the TV channel I was seeking.

The song, “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” was playing, and suddenly I was taken back to childhood, when we were still three children at home, with Mum and Dad. The memory felt like it was a winter’s night and we were all doing our own thing.

I don’t think it was of a particular night, more images created by emotion. The image was so strong, that in my mind’s eye I could see Dad sitting in the kitchen reading a paper, Mum at the sink, my brother and sister in their rooms.

As the song continued and the emotions washed over me, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness, and of course, loss, for nothing is as it was then.

The power of music, and even more, the power of memory – and love, above all, love.

The moon in June and other blues

winter socks

June arrived with a shiver. We have been living foggy, 4C dawns. Rising at 5am is never a thrill, but there is no potential for joy on a cold, dark, winter’s morning. Mr FD stokes the fire before he retires for the night and the last couple of mornings I have risen to a not so harsh 17C within our double cavity brick home. Yeah for brick and wood!

Yesterday, as I drove down the hill, I was gifted a view of the setting moon, just above the horizon. So elegant, so silent. I carried the joy until I saw the first student walk into the library.

Minerva and I had a deep conversation about how physically and emotionally exhausting the present crop of students are to work with. Minerva has been at the school over ten years, and so has more experience with the demographic, but the narcissism and sense of entitlement that we are battered with each day is just wearing us all down. One teacher who has been at the school 17 years  and elsewhere before that, has declared one year level the worst in her long career.

I started writing report comments this week. You know, those things that we send to parents where we aren’t allowed to tell any truths. As frustrating as it is, spending hours to choose sentences from a small, restricted comment bank that never suits the student in need of the comment, it does mean that semester break is only three weeks away.

winter break

Two weeks winter vacation. No plans, no commitments. I shall stay in my pjs the entire time (I have multiple pairs, I will shower and change), except for when visiting Petite Fille.

Long weekend approaching. Invite to a first birthday party for the wee baby born prematurely last year. She has passed all her milestones and is a glorious little girl, now crawling (chronological age 12 months, but she was born three months early). Petite Fille will be attending as a cousin. If their Mummies are first cousins, what does that make the little girls? Third cousins? First cousins twice removed; though that is more an American description, I think? Playmates? Friends. Mates.

The most pressing thought is what does one wear to a First Birthday party? Machine washable?

birthday fashion

The Bully Mistress

wonderland

I think I have been blooded as a teacher, if such a thing is possible. Metaphorically speaking, of course, though I would’t have minded spilling some blood.

Having quiet a pleasant lesson with my year 7 class on Friday, when one student announces that a student absent that day has created an online chatroom titled that the subject “sucks” (no doubt spelt sux, knowing the particular student, a  twelve year old, girl). By extension I therefore sucked.

Another student replies, “Did you see my comment?” Followed by three of the loveliest girls in the class declaring “I deleted it instantly”. I didn’t make a fuss, merely carried on working as it is best not to make an issue and give the matter legs.

Afterwards, I forward it to the Bodies That Be, and asked them to have a conversation with said student about the decisions she was making and the consequences of her own behaviour.

IT followed it up, students were pulled from class for assistance in passwords and access and it appears that the chat room has had it name changed and been shut down.

No doubt, the absent leader of the pack was alerted, and I hope will suffer a long anxious weekend waiting for Monday to arrive and her return to class.

This type of thing happens to many teachers at some stage. It is so easy these days when parents don’t instil the right values in their children. What puzzles me though, the girl in question is not one I have really had issues with. In fact, I have gone out of my way to assist her with technology issues throughout the term. Yes, she can’t handle simple things like remembering her password, but she can set up a chat room! I guess, I must have taught her something!

There are boys in the class who are almost uncontrollable, and other subject teachers are having the same problems as I, so it is not really my teaching or pedagogy in particular. I can only surmise that she is trying to fit in, or be Queen Bee.

I am not angry, I am more disappointed than anything. We have had a major problem with bullying in years 7-9 this year. I think because helicopter parents have created narcissistic kids with no moral compass. When the school approaches parents to try to work with them and the student, the parents push back and try to bully the school! Students continually attempt to bully teachers, and are ruining lives in the process.

I also feel so sorry for those students, who do the right thing, have that moral compass, for they get short shifted because of the time and energy directed towards the difficult students.

So Little Queen Bee, will be welcomed warmly back into my class next week, and we may just have an entire lesson on cyber bullying, with a very fine example of chat room bullying and “mean” girls.

loaves, fishes and a morsel of bread

vintage aladies

We ladies who lunch, did lunch. Previously, I mentioned that if I ordered a glass of wine, they would order water, if I ordered dessert, they always seemed to refrain.

This outing, I ordered a main course, and they settled on just an entree size.

My meal was delicious. Besides, I am convinced they went home hungry and ate vegemite sandwiches.

piggy

it’s the lies that always change things forever

bad

I understand incompetence, and I accept decisions that I may not agree with, but the one thing I find very difficult to tolerate is when management lies to me, especially when I sit opposite them at the table.

Today, management lost my respect and my trust. I sat across the table and he, on behalf of they, told me one lie after another. Lies that I was easily able to disapprove. Then, he, on behalf of they, thought waving  possible promotion some time in the future, dependent on someone leaving if it was to be any sooner, would soothe it all away. Did he, on behalf of they, expect to still have my respect when I left the room?

We all make mistakes, and we all fail at times, but to lie is a choice, and I find that very difficult to accept, or to forgive. Respect zero.

I guess it makes the job easier in the long term – care factor in that area now zero.

 

it is just a step to the left… or was that right?

tabs

I prefer to think it is exhaustion and stress, and not the ageing process or something nastier. Yes, I lost my coffee cup only to find it behind the open screen of my laptop and yes, I lost by detention pad only to find I was holding it.

I thought I had hit the trifecta when I arrived at work, picked up my mobile from the passenger seat and realised that it wasn’t mine. I had picked up Mr FD’s.

That’s ok, I thought. I have a mobile, and he will have mine for the day. No problem. Except another look at the passenger seat and I spy my mobile as well. Oh dear.

I went into my office and sent Mr FD an email telling him not to panic I had his mobile. Next stop was the staff room where I regaled colleagues with my unconscious slight of hand trick that had seen me leave the house with two mobile phones.

Minerva, my erstwhile library assistant, just shook her head. She shakes her head a lot in reference to me. She has made me promise that if I ever leave for another school that I take her with me. I think I make feel better about her own life.

I was a little worried though that I could have lifted an extra mobile without actually being conscious of it, and was wondering if I should book myself into somewhere quiet and sunny for a bit, when I returned to my office and found an email reply from Mr FD.

You don’t have my mobile, you have Son’s. He left it in your car last night when he borrowed your car.

So, I haven’t lost my mind, yet, though it did seem a nice place to be for a moment or two.

Five down, five to go

closed

Friday night, pizza and a second glass of wine.

Half way point of the school term. Five weeks down, five weeks to go.

So over teaching ICT that I could punch a computer monitor in the screen. Teaching the exact same subject three times a week, after teaching it twice a week last term is driving me stark raving mad. I am not getting better at it, I am getting worse as I hate teaching it.

And then, the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, gets up and pretends he invented the wheel of ICT by suggesting that all our kids be taught coding. Our kids are being taught coding. It has been in the curriculum ever since Julia Gillard changed the Australian Curriculum, a government Bill Shorten was a member of at that time.  He may be the one I punch out.

I am bored, the kids are bored, and we are all trapped in damn coding together. I think it is putting kids off IT rather that exciting them.

Teachers had professional development for three hours after school one evening. That made it an eleven and a half hour day for me. Tell me again how teachers only work 9-3… and you might be the one I punch out.

blah

Luckily, the PD was interesting. Basically, pop psychology on how to be a positive work place and emotionally intelligent. The pop quiz showed that I am HIGHLY, nay, EXCEPTIONALLY, emotionally intelligent – like who would have ever thought otherwise? (Remember, I am looking for punching material).

The one person who really needed to be told to take a dose of positivity   pretended to be sick and left before the session started. The guy who keeps sitting beside me in all PD!  Not that it can be viewed as all bad, as at least he didn’t sit beside me nay saying everything.

Anyway, if you have to be there, make the best of it was my mantra and I quite enjoyed it. The presenter kept making us change groups, we could never sit next to the same person twice, so we were running around the place carrying chairs, but it was kind of fun. I must have gone too far with all the niceness though, because by the time I got home that night I was suffering from a massive migraine and needed to stay in bed the entire next day. Too much niceness.

Though I suspect the headache was already coming on prior to the PD as that morning I lost my coffee cup and searched all over the library for it, only to find it sitting behind the open screen of my laptop.

Then, I couldn’t find my RTC (detention) pad, and searched all over my office for it, and yes, found it on top of my diary that I was holding the entire time.

It was nice to know I provided Minerva with some entertainment.