Monday, August 11, 2008

The Thorough Training of HM

I survived the first day back to work. Let it be noted that my row of tables was 3rd out of 4 to go to the breakfast buffet. We had an informative session about bullying, which flew by faster than the other guest spots in years past. From there, we were funneled right into our building meetings, which also flew by. Perhaps because I didn't have a watch. I gathered such swag as a District Resources packet, a giant plan book, a teacher's handbook, and a copy of the attendance policy and dress code to discuss with my 1st hour class on Thursday. I also found out the reason that I have not seen a class roster is because we are supposed to access that online. In the new gradebook program we did not know how to use until today. I've found it, but I can't print it. Go figure. Not that I had time to fiddle about, what with the whole 15 MINUTES that we had to work in our rooms from 2:45 until 3:00. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Lunch was a good deal. Not only did Mabel pay me a grand sum of $2 to drive T-Hoe, but my fortune reported that "You are admired by everyone for your talent and ability." Mabel's was more controversial. It said something about her and her 'wife'. Mabel, it seems that we hardly know ye. But I WILL give back your $2 tomorrow. It's not like that time she who can't be named tried to rip off a two-dollar refund from you after she borrowed $6.

Upon our return, we headed to a computer lab for technology training. We have new phones. I, myself, am not a fan of phones. I don't want to talk to anybody. And mine is at the back of my room, so any time it buzzes or rings, I will have to traipse back there. I am near the point of rearranging my classroom. But then I wouldn't be able to look out the window. Ugh! Who wants to spend her day looking at students for 7 hours? But getting back to teaching old dogs new tricks...the lab was all set up with the desks shoved back and the red cushy wheely chairs lined up in rows. The hard blue plastic chairs were also lined up in separate rows. Each chair had a packet of instructions on it. When TheParkingSpaceStealer came in, I said, "Oh, I am saving all the chairs that have a packet on them." She gave me the usual look, and said, "Funny." Only she didn't seem to be laughing. On the inside or out.

Being teachers, we immediately moved those chairs six ways to Sunday. Some traded a plastic for a cushy. Some traded a cushy for a plastic. Some pulled a chair to a desk. One used a chair as a footstool. One of my lunchtime cronies plopped a chair right in the only space for the back of the room to exit. Thank goodness there was no fire. We would have perished. Or in the very least, we might have gotten a nasty, hacking cough from smoke inhalation.

We had a PowerPoint to whip up some motivation before going to MathCrony's room for instruction on the care and usage of the SmartPad. You know, the SmartPad. It goes with the projector that I did not get. So I had a 45-minute presentation in which I was taught how to use something I won't have until next year. But I didn't know that when the PowerPoint started. And it started with a bang. The music sounded just like the music we play at graduation, when there is a slide show of seniors as babies and as graduates. I turned to Mr. H, my trivia buddy. "This is so moving!" I wiped a pretend tear. Mr. H appreciated my dramatic stylings. He gave a snort. It was quite motivating. The PowerPoint, not my rendition of graduation emotion. It powerfully pointed out things like: China's top 25% smartest people are more than the entire population of the United States. OK, that lost something in translation. But it meant that China has more smart people than we have people. Good for them. Instead of poisoning us slowly with their paint and contaminated food, why don't they do something constructive and send a man to the moon six times and bring him back alive. Not one man. Men. Oh, I forgot. I don't actually think WE did that, either. Face it, people. We couldn't even pop microwave popcorn back in 1969. We didn't have cell phones. Calculators cost $300. How could we send men to the moon AND bring them back? Apparently, we did it a mere 8 years after President Kennedy called for it. But we can't do it again unless we spend 15 years working on it? With today's technology?

Don't worry. I don't teach that to my students. We debate the 'evidence', though. It's critical thinking, by cracky!


DeadpanAnn said...

We have phones in our rooms, and it irritates me when it rings during class. Just turn the volume way down and don't answer it when it's inconvenient. Once the dial-happy people figure out you don't go running every time it rings, they'll think twice about how bad they need to talk to you before they start dialing during a class.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Miss Ann,
I like that approach.

When I worked for the unemployment office, a new guy who bragged about having 3 college degrees (yet was living with his mother and working for the State of Missouri) tried that little trick. Thing was, it was his JOB to answer the phone. My friend Alice took the switchboard calls after 4:00, and she directed every one of them to that guy. When the calls bounced back, she said, "Oh, Real Name didn't pick up. Let me transfer the call back to him." Then the people got mad and asked for the manager and gave Real's name. Heh, heh. He got a LOUD verbal reprimand in front of the whole office. The supervisor even went into his cubicle and adjusted the volume himself.

I love justice.