Thursday, August 30, 2007

Welcome Back!

The first day of school. They were ready for us! The bathrooms were not all open and the ones that were open did not have toilet paper or paper towels and the floors were disgustingly dirty. Nice way to be welcomed back.

Principal Suit flew into the meeting and stuck his thumb out at the people sitting in the last row and yelled "move up." We all thought that was an especially nice greeting. He then began his address to us with the words "Welcome home." We all have places we call home, this school is not one of them. After shushing us, he told us he had a good day planned for us and we were going to continue the fun we have here, singing and laughing, just like camp. He told a bad joke and then showed some Civil War movie that I think was supposed to pertain to leadership, but I am not sure (the auditorium was so hot that I walked outside for most of it.) After what seemed like a 24 hour period, we continued in the student cafeteria which, is air conditioned. We sat in groups and talked about resilience. We heard how he was resilient and became principal--lucky us. The only thing I learned is that one of the teachers I like has a really cute lower back tattoo.

My friend and I sat with some of the young teachers, and told them to pay attention, since they did not have tenure yet. One of them came up with this:
You can be mediocre and not get fired because there are not enough teachers around to replace us.

Being a math teacher, she is 100% correct. What a sad commentary. What a sad fact that someone so young has picked up on this already.

The highlight of the day was lunch at Subway, since it is one of the only places within walking distance. At least we all got to sit around and BS in peace and in quality air conditioning.

After lunch we looked at some paper explaining some guidance stuff. The kid's guidance counselors are coded in their homerooms. Some counselors use first name initials, some use last name initials and one uses a final letter of her last name. Nice system. Easy to remember.

The afternoon ended with departmental meetings. My AP rambled on as usual. He made his usual derogatory comments about a colleague that retired in January (a good teacher who he just did not like.) He contradicted everything he told us to do last year. Before handing out programs, he said:
It is not my job to program to the UFT contract. I program for what is best for the school.

My program is fine. I wish people whose program is not would grieve, but most are too timid. That is why he gets away with this stuff. He finally handed out programs but did not go over what the course codes mean. I am not 100% sure of the courses I am teaching. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

This post is dedicated to a good teacher in my school who is currently out sick. He is recovering from the treatment he received for a cancer on his tonsils. I know he feels terrible about missing this exciting day. Hopefully he can experience some of the pleasure he missed through this post.


Jonathan said...

ME21/ME22 are Algebra
MG21/MG22 are Geometry
MR21/MR22 are Algebra II/Trig
MMxxx for more advanced courses, except
MC1X/MC2X for AP Calculus.

There can be some variation, but most schools adopted some form of these codes.

You want to know some history codes? :-)

Pissed Off said...

I'm trying to figure out MB31

jonathan said...

In math (not other subjects) Mx31 means 3 terms, 1st term. I think the B is just Math B. It will take a few years for your school to phase out A and B. Are your freshmen taking algebra, or Math A?

Pissed Off said...

I think we are giving me but ma is also being offered. There are so many courses I lose track. All I want to knw is what I am teaching.

jonathan said...

MB31 is probably the first term of a 3-term Math B. MC1X is likely an AP Calculus. There are some options for pre-calc. MM1 or MM21 or MC1 (no X).

I am teaching ME21H and MG21H (easy enough) and then an elective with a monstrous code: MMPHPC.

I try to avoid geometry, but it seems to find me. By taking this class I keep my toes wet, and since it's slightly accelerated, but also has kids with some algebra gaps, I saved a colleague an unnecessary half-prep.

norm said...

"This post is dedicated to a good teacher in my school who is currently out sick."