Monday, December 20, 2004

Ask me how cold it was

It was so cold today that the only thing more bitter than the cold itself was the students. Yes, that's right. We awoke to single digit temperatures and negative digit windchills. A heavy dusting of snow and a few icy patches were apparently not enough to keep us home, or even give us a delayed opening. I was prepared to face the wrath of adolescents who feel they have a God-given right to a snow day now and then. Really, they handled it better than I expected. I think the chilling winds woke everybody up so that they weren't dragging their feet. My classroom thermometer actually hit 72 degrees today. That is by far the lowest it has been all year. It normally stays at 80 because I have no windows and a heater that has one setting: hot.

Anyway, I survived day one of the Longest 4 Day Week in History, as we are calling it. One thing that is making it easier is a bit of good news I received from my department head. I was scheduled to have an observation the week we returned from Christmas/Winter break (as it is officially called in our district). Because I officially started work in January of 2003, this would be my final observation before I was reviewed for tenure. I had been playing with my unit outline for sometime so I could have a great topic to teach, but every time I got it planned out I would get another memo about an assembly that week or something special we were supposed to be doing for our 1st periods. Finally, I emailed the AP and asked if we could move it to the next week so I had a little more leeway. She met with my department head and the principal and decided they didn't need to see me again. So, basically I will just have my yearly review, without the burden of the observation hanging over my head the entire break. (I have to admit, though, that based on what I have heard from other teachers, our observations are not that bad. They are actually <> POSITIVE! Still, they are not my favorite thing.)

The librarian taped The Christmas Truce off the History Channel for me today. I previewed it this afternoon while putting together bags of pralines for my coworkers. It's not as great as I had hoped. It is more morbid and depressing than I expected. I'm still going to show it though. There is a war going on right now and I don't think my students get it at all. Last Friday, my 3rd period students were talking about their futures. One student said he was going into the military because "I just want to kill somebody." Another student agreed and said "I don't care about the skills training and crap. I want to put a bullet through someone." Obviously I have my work cut out for me, but this is one of the reasons I chose the job. That, and the excellent hours and pay of course.