My Miserable Day at Work

For some reason, my friends wanted details about my miserable day at work on Tuesday. (Teaching, not organizing).  Why were they so curious?  On friend responded “Your icky day makes our icky days feel not so bad”. Another replied “Honest reality is refreshing”.  Though not related to organizing, I do occasionally share what’s on my mind.  I do have one class that does not “spark joy” and I would happily declutter them to someone else…so there— I’ve tied it in to my decluttering and organizing theme. I continue…

I had come down with a bad cold a few days prior.  I felt miserable. Sneezing and congested, achy,  scratchy throat, and voiceless.  Laryngitis is not good when you’re a teacher. As much as I wanted stay bed, it’s easier to suck it up and work than deal with sub plans or better yet, having to call around to find your own substitute in addition to writing plans. For the most part, the students were cooperative and sympathetic knowing their teacher was sick.

A few things that happened during the day that really irked me, like the student who got angry because I told her to turn in her cell phone.  School policy says phones must be turned in to the office upon arrival to school.  The homeroom teacher, who also the assistant principal, came into the room for something.  I casually pointed out so-and-so was busy with her phone.  After being ordered to turn the phone into the office, the student returned to class.  The student, who is problematic in general plus “at-risk”, wanted revenge.

First she shoved my desk. Next she threw a bent open bobby pin at me when my back was turned. Even with laryngitis, displeasure can still be expressed.  The student refused leave the room and when the assistant principal/homeroom teacher came to the room a second time. I handed her the bobby pin expecting some disciplinary action, or at the very least, make the student apologize. Regardless of the misdeed, the student was wasn’t removed from class, didn’t apologize, and got away with the unacceptable behavior.

The VP apparently thinks that seated and silent is best.  How can there be learning otherwise?  I’m a very hand-on and interactive teacher.  There is generally a buzz of activity in the classroom. Apparently my learning engaged students were “making too much noise” and “how could they be learning without a book?” This prompted the second visit to the class (the “noise”)  After class, the VP called me in for a little conversation in the principal’s office about this.  Additionally, a parent of a student had called about blahblahblah regarding their child’s learning (multiple subjects involved).  I had already spoken with the parent about blahblahblah and how it was affecting my class, so I was already in tune with what was happening, so I don’t understand what the issue was. I do not like little conversations in the principal’s office.

Instead of teaching two lessons with my 5th/6th grade boys class, I had one lesson because of some activity I was not informed about.  I really dislike changes in the schedule without advance notice.  As flexible as I am, it is very annoying to prepare a lesson and then not teach it. Normally I wouldn’t have minded one less lesson. However I was giving a test and they needed both lessons to complete it. I only meet with them twice a week. Due to a holiday on Sunday, they won’t complete the test until next Tuesday.

The 7th grade boys class was given a free lesson from the homeroom teacher to play on the sports court. I was overjoyed to not to teach these darlings.  Really, it is not a problem to give up this lesson. I was just not overjoyed to monitor them outdoors where it was 99°F in the shade.

Would it have been better to have stayed home? Who’s to say. It wasn’t the most eventfully day. On the other hand, some heartwarming  things took place that wouldn’t have had I been home sick.

  • The grade 7 girls class has been wanting to learn Spanish. Nostalgic of teaching my former subject, they were bright eyed and bushy tailed to learn. Half the class are naive Russian speakers and there is one native French speaker. Since this was of high interested, there were few behavior issues to deal with. We made table translating the  words into five different languages. Though l spoke minimally (no voice), all were engaged in the lesson with the exception of the girl who had the cell phone issue.
  • My 8th grade girls class finished their third book of children’s literature of the year, a milestone to be celebrated. (We read The Midwife’s Apprentice).
  • When on the sports court with the boys’ class, one​ of the boys set up a chair for me under a tree, a noble gesture of which I was very touched.
  • My misplaced cell phone were returned by an honest messenger. Recently, my watch broke, so I rely on my phone to tell the time. I unknowingly had left it on the desk in the classroom when I had last checked the time and forgot to put it back in my purse.

That was my school day for good and for bad. I think the worst part was feeling under the weather seconded by the little conversation in the office.  I’ll chalk it up to a miserable day.  The next one will be better because as it’s said “this too shall pass”.

Karen, T.K.K. (The Klutter Koach)

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