Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Turns out I remain mute. Mute with another school day under my belt. In case you are wondering why I didn't stay home, a Mute Me at school is infinitely better than an able-voiced sub in my classroom. I would've had to write sub plans that no one would've followed anyway, so it's easier just to go. See more detailed explanation for sub avoidance over at hipteacher's blog.
It turns out that having a teacher who can't talk isn't nearly as fun the second day as the first. All of my instructions were written on the board. "We have to read them?" whined one little darling. Other times I would whisper-shout across the room. "Huh?" "Huh?" "What?" came the responses, drowning out my pathetic attempts at teaching. So forget that. I made them teach.
I put our test warm up on the projector and kicked back in my chair and pointed. Gesticulated. Wigwagged. Signaled. You name it, I tried it.
"I feel like we're playing Charades! This is fun, but you're not very good at it," was my lovingly delivered morning feedback which came with a hug, but by afternoon I had a kid in tears. More on that later.
For the time being, I kicked back in my director's chair and watched proudly as my little stinkers one by one trooped to the projector and taught a review question. The TAKS is 3 weeks from tomorrow, so we can't be wasting review time, now can we? They told me that they preferred the lesson when I taught it. "Why?" I whispered. Turns out that it's frustrating to them when no one participates or people give stupid answers. Huh. Who knew? I feigned surprise. Heh.
You'd think a day with no voice would be complicated enough, but let's factor in today's forecast. This morning, the newcasters jinxed my day o' silence with this vague prediction: "There's a slight chance we might see some mixed precipitation, possibly some snowflakes tonight. The temperature should be around 37 degrees." No big deal. I heard it too while I got ready this morning. You know what the kids heard? "IT'S GONNA SNOW! THERE'S NO SCHOOL TOMORROW!!!" For real. It was the first thing each and every child told me upon entering the room.
Student: "It's gonna snow!" Student stared at me with face-eating grin until I acknowledged them.
Me: "I heard that."
Student: "What's wrong with your voice?" More staring.
Me: "It's broken."
Student: "How are you gonna play in the snow?" Confusion. Wave student to locker.
Next student: "Hey! Mrs. R! It's gonna snow!"
Me: "That's the rumor."
Student: "Huh?"
Me: "That's what I hear."
Student: "I can't hear you." Point to board, wave student away.
Student: "Hey, maybe you'll get better on the snow day tomorrow." Ummmkay.
So, by the end of the day we had 19 unconfirmed snow sightings out the window (0), 13 instances of me whistling at kids with my whistle that means "come" to Gus the Beagle, 5 opportunities taken for some cursory germ breathing on select kids, and one case of genuine tears.
I was attempting to yell at one young man for being a general turd for my partner, his dyslexia teacher, and finally, me. This "yelling" involved a lot of hissing, pointing, and gesturing toward his checkbook, which is now flat out of money, due to his brilliant behavior over the last month. Said young man realized he didn't have enough money to attend our Super!Fun bribery event in March. He also admitted to being a turd, stealing from a locker, cheating on an assignment, writing on a bathroom wall and not doing his homework before finally breaking down into tears in front of his peers and crying, "I can't understand what you're saying! I can't hear you! I can't think of anything else I did, just tell me!" as he beat a fist onto a desk. Note to self: feign muteness when trying to get children to confess in future. Good tactic.
I'm off to bed after my fun day with my Robitussin, my Diet Cherry 7-Up, and my upcoming NyQuil stupor. Yay!


Mad Hatter said...

dude i feel you. i had a cold a week ago and lost my voice. my kids thought it was hilarious to shout things at me and get only a glare in return. but you'll get revenge...they'll start getting sniffly soon. hehe

Megan said...

This post made me laugh so hard I snorted. Thanks for the entertainment! Just wait till the little ones are hacking up a storm. Good idea having them teach, though; I'm gonna steal that one!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like one heck of a day! But definitely better than having a sub. I don't understand how there can be so many useless people out there. It always amzaes me since I take pride in doing a good job. I've never understood people who just don't care. Hope you get a snow day so you can have a day to heal up. My doc told me to take 12 hour sudafed to reclaim my voice and it seems to have worked.


Badaunt said...

Just wanted to say I'm really enjoying your writing. I like to moan about the conditions I work in, but I've been reading a few US public school teacher blogs recently and I'm starting to realize how lucky I am...

katielady said...

Ginny, you continue to reinforce my idea that you should write a book. Did I say MY IDEA? That's right! I've been saying it for a while now. Thanks for always entertaining us. I didn't quite snort out loud, as I was at work and that sort of thing is frowned upon. And, it's the kind of work I have come to expect from you.