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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Not my finest day

This morning, I got to exercise the algebra muscle in my brain and figure out a puzzle without using a paper. Mr. Hard Drive, our IT guy, drove by while I was out in front of the school doing my morning duty and presented me with a math problem.

"A guy on a bike is following a path that goes up and back down a hill. He rides for five hours. Going up the hill, his speed is 8 mph; coming back down the hill, his speed is 12 mph. How many miles did he ride?"

I won't post the answer here, so as to ruin the joy of discovery. And I do mean joy, as solving that problem was the high point of my day.

Lump was back from suspension and up to his usual modus operandi today. You can pretty much set your clock by when he's going to raise his hand and tell you he has a potty emergency -- 8:00. Also, have I mentioned how much of a hypochondriac he is? My knee hurts, the knuckle of my fourth toe is aching, my outer elbow appears swollen. Two weeks ago, he called me over and just pointed at one of his eyes. When I asked what he was trying to show me, he said, "This eye is big." If I had been a little more quickwitted (and slightly less mature), I should have recoiled in horror, slapped my hands over my mouth as I released a gasp of terror, and let out a bloodcurdling scream.

Today, I took my morning class outside to the field so that we could do the experiment for our science project which involved rolling a basketball on grass and on wood chips. Lump kept disrupting the project, so I finally told him to go stand in a spot about 10 feet away. Instead, he started walking towards the building with no intention of stopping. I shouted at him that if he was going to go inside he better be sure to go by the principal's office. Later, when he decided to grace us with his presence again, he claimed to have stopped by the principal's office, but I highly doubt that he did. It was quite obvious that he HAD stopped by the clinic, though, to tell the nurse all about the mysterious ridge that had shown up on the inside of his thumb. I'm sure he made her day.

When we came back inside from doing our project, I discovered that one of the kids from my other class had been acting like a fool and running up and down the halls. When I asked him what was going on, he decided that he didn't need to answer me. It really irritates me that so many kids, at least at my school, think that that's an acceptable choice, and that they don't really need to respond when an adult asks them a question. I had to spend about 10 minutes dealing with him, including getting one of the bilingual teachers to call his Spanish-speaking mother.

That was 10 minutes I really didn't have to waste, as the science projects are due tomorrow, and we were under the gun. Couple that with two of my team members being out, field trip permission slips needing to be sent home, and the short-notice advance warning from yesterday about all of the fourth and fifth grade teachers coming into my room tomorrow during class for a learning walk. Yeah, I'm feeling a little stressed.

So I made a little bit of a misstep this afternoon, and I did something that I normally don't do. I didn't break any laws, commit any crime, or violate anyone's civil rights, but I said something that I've tried to excise from my at-school vocabulary.

One of my kids kept playing around while I was trying to give instructions to the class. He was across the room from me, but I looked him directly in the eye and told him to go stand in the corner. Then I resumed talking to the class, but this kid started trying to talk over me, pleading his case. I told him to stop talking and go to the corner. In all, I had to tell him three times before he finally went to the corner, and then he still kept telling me how this other kid had done such and such. So I had finally had enough, and I shouted, "SHUT UP!!!"

Like I said, I almost never say that at school, and I didn't feel too proud about saying it today. But on the bright side, the rest of my kids were perfectly quiet after that. For about 10 minutes.

3:00 could not come fast enough today. Hopefully tomorrow will be a much brighter day. Because after today, I feel like one of my thumbs is bigger than the other, and that one of my nostrils has turned green. Lump and I can visit the clinic together.

In a much lighter note, Richie over at Bellringers has put together a really awesome Carnival of Education for this week. I really can't tell if she's mocking my t-shirts or promoting them, but either way, they get a lot of mention. Check it out, and see if you're smarter than a blogger.


IMC Guy said...

I had a fourth grade EBD girl continue turning other students' computers off in the lab. Finally I told her to log off her computer and she started walking towards the door. When I asked her where she was going, she said "Hell!" My reply - "Have fun!"

Probably not my finest day either!

Jack said...

48 miles, right?