Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I can't keep it in, I've gotta let it out

Teacher Days Week: Day 2: The Enteachering.

More getting ready for the kids. The usual busywork: making math folders, handwriting folders, journals, name tags, chair tags, orientation packets for parents, calendar pieces, etc.

There were only two high- (or perhaps low-) lights to the day, besides a tasty free lunch.

The first was sexual harassment prevention training, led perhaps inevitably by the world's most androgynous lawyer, who was, no exaggeration at all, a living breathing real-world Pat from "Saturday Night Live." Except for the grossest quid-pro-quo chauvinist scenarios, I am guilty of most of the things she listed as taboo. I have no thought-to-language filter. At one point, she mentioned in the process of making a point, "I'm not saying that anyone wakes up in the morning and asks themselves how they can most offend their co-workers that day, but..." When she said that, four or five teachers looked over at me pointedly. I'm the counter-example.

The second was a talk from the art teacher about how we can't post the kids' art in the hallways and we have to respect the physical space by not having non-school-sanctioned furniture, personal items, microwaves, or anything else anywhere visible. Nearly every member of the faculty quietly resents the art teacher for her aesthetic ascetic crusade, which began last year and resulted in a mass removal of literally roomfuls of perfectly good material (pencil cups, shelves, books, stamps, bins, file folders) across the entire school. I have more or less ignored everything she has tried to initiate, but then my room has always been fairly bare anyway.

A lot has changed in the year and a half since I abruptly dropped this blog. I'm on my third assistant, dozens of faculty members have come and gone, the Head is new, I had a very brief and ridiculous relationship with a co-worker (always a bad idea)... I'm trying this year to be more friendly and positive. It's hard, though. I mean, I've always been helpful and courteous when people actually need something, but I have typically derided the everyday empty courtesies. Not only is it hard to change habits, it's also hard for others to see small nudges toward improvement from someone who has until then shown three or four years of disinterest.

No comments: