Monday, July 18, 2005

You'd Think Today Was a Tuesday.

Howdy kiddos. I'm here to report on another day. Unfortunately, today was a teacher inservice day. I spent the day learning the ins and out of Asperger's Syndrome. This workshop was much better than my usual How To Teach Writing Seminar, which I've been to at least 43 times. Asperger's and autism are both fascinating to me. I've taught kids with both, but they are all so different! It was fun to learn some new techniques for how to use their obsessive interests as a tool to help them correct some social issues. Good stuff! Anyway.

The bad part was that I took a wrong turn on the way there (par for the course going anywhere with me, even if I've been there before), was slightly late (5 minutes), and had to sit in the front. How, may I ask you, am I supposed to get any work done sitting up there under the speaker's nose? I spent all day practicing my "Yesssss....I hear what you're saying" thoughtful nod. I alternated it with the pen pressed to lips/brow furrowed "'ve really got me thinking now" expression. Between my bursts of acting I would jot down my planning-for-next-year thoughts in a clandestine-I'm-taking-feverish-notes manner. It was all very tricky and stressful. I also had to sit across from, instead of next to, my teammate. This really throws a wrench into the note passing. All in all it was a total bust.

Then I came home to a jury duty summons. This would not be such a big hairy deal if it wasn't the third time I had been summoned in the 3 years that I have lived here! I am only 29 years old and I have been called to jury duty 5 times in all. My mom, on the other hand, has only been called once. Random selection, my foot. You don't have to serve if you've served within the last three years, which I obviously have. So why do they send you a notice? In this day and age is it really so difficult for a computer to filter out the names of people who have already served? It doesn't seem like rocket science! Imagine the amount of postage that is being wasted. That's my tax dollars at work. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Oh, and the results of yesterday's quiz were quite good. You are very good students who have been paying careful attention. The choices for how to handle a no name paper situation were:

a) Add handwriting analyst to my job description.
b) Hang the no name papers on the board for kids to claim them.
c) Throw the papers into the garbage can.
d) Call the 4 kids up to my desk and let them find their paper for me.

The correct answer was indeed A. In addition to the title of teacher, I am also a therapist, nurse, diagnostician, janitor, secretary, organizational leader, news correspondent, actress, coach, and handwriting analyst.

Answer choice B would at the very least earn me 4 parent phone calls and an email from the principal regarding the 4 phone calls she just had to deal with. She would like to know why I am breaking code 467b26r of the policy for student feel goodness and self-esteem.

Answer choice C would earn me 4 parent conferences, 2 phone calls from lawyers, and a face to face with my principal. I would then have to call ATPE and invoke my legal representation. This would all have to be taken care of off contract time and would really cut into my tennis league.

Answer choice D would just be poor judgment. Can you even begin to imagine what would happen if I singled out 4 kids and had them (hushed whisper) walk back to my desk? [gasp!] They would most certainly die of utter humiliation and shame. Clearly the wrong choice.

So there we are. I am actually quite skilled at identifying handwriting. It's a little respected art form. I should teach an inservice on it. I wouldn't make anyone sit in the front row. Humph.

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