Have You Ever Thought About What Makes You Crazy?
Here’s a fun list for you: Mrs. Mimi’s Top Five List of Events That Make Me Want To Poke Myself In The Eye and Run Screaming From the Building
5. When “special” teachers (phys ed, art, music, etc) are absent yet, despite the fact that said teacher has called in or requested the day in advance and therefore said teacher’s absence is known to everyone in the front office, you don’t find out until you are standing in front of their door with a line full of disappointed 7 year olds. How is this bit of information so difficult to communicate clearly and in a timely fashion? How easy would it be to remedy this problem that happens FAR TOO OFTEN?
4. When you have to submit a formal “request” for photocopies that includes the date, the number of copies, the reason for the request and a blood sample. Because, even though you have several advanced degrees and a general interest in the maintenance and well-being of the photocopier, you are not qualified to press it’s glorious buttons yourself? Or because budgets are tight and schools are forced to ration paper and you are not to be trusted in your paper consumption?
3. When push in/pull out support acts as if their schedule is optional or merely a suggestion despite the fact that I am busting my own balls to get everything in and plan around their ‘schedule’? Then they stand in your doorway with this far off look on their face and you are, you know, teaching and therefore unable to have a little chat about what to do now. (Note: Similar to the girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead, when pull out / push in services are good, they are very very good and when they are bad, they are horrid.)
2. When other adults in the school building are just outright nasty to children and hold them to an expectation that they themselves can not live up to? For example, those individuals who SCREAM at children to BE QUIET during a fire drill and then GO BACK TO THEIR OWN CONVERSATION?! Very do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do because I probably don’t do anything productive?
Drumroll, please, because we are ready for the number one event that makes me want to poke my eyes out and run screaming for the building! Can you stand the anticipation? What is she going to complain about next?!
1. When your moments of brilliance are thoughtlessly interrupted by a knock at the door, a ringing classroom phone, an unnecessary announcement over the intercom or someone ballsily (Can I petition to have “ballsily” added to the dictionary? I kind of love it.) walking into your room with some minor question/request/thought that could absolutely have been handled by a note in a mailbox or an email? You have no idea how many times I have wanted to simply punt Interrupters right back into the hallway without blinking an eye!
Some of you may know that I’ve started a Nerd Out book club in which, just about once a month, we choose an inspirational or practical book to read and reflect on in an effort to inspire ourselves (since no one else seems to want to do any inspiring around here these days…). This month we are reading Donalyn Miller’s book The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child. She writes,
“The greater issue of limiting classroom interruptions is a systemic one, but how to recoup lost time with students is within a teacher’s reach.”
And I began to wonder, how many other professional people are asked to regularly find way to recoup time lost to constant, thoughtless interruptions? How many times does someone walk brazenly into a board meeting at Businessy Business Headquarters and say, “Hey – I know you’re in the middle of something but did you get me that paper I asked you for? I haven’t checked my mailbox or email yet, in fact I have done nothing pro-active or thoughtful to deal with this, so I thought I’d just stick my head in here and interrupt you.” I’d venture that the answer is never. Or you do and your ass is fired.
How many other professionals are given a specific and fleeting amount of time to accomplish a gigantic goal and then have to deal with that time being treated disrespectfully?
How many other professionals are given just a few hours to solve the world’s problems (you know, because the world’s problems are the fault of teachers) and then told to solve those problems in a highly prescriptive way that comes with hours of additional paperwork that must be done outside of all those original hours?
Is the problem that people inside education but outside classrooms don’t understand how precious our time is or that they don’t see us as professionals?