So I'm not really a big fan of this whole "blog qua journal" thing, but I feel like after two months of civil service immersion, it may be time to invite some self-reflection back into my life. And who's more necessary to the process of self-reflection than the teeming masses of the internet? So here I go.
Today, one of my black students called the German exchange student "Hitler" while asking him for a pencil. I think he meant it to be funny. Following the sharp intake of air from the rest of the class, I told him he couldn't do that, to apologize to the German kid, and then go to the Vice Principal. Now the problem with this is that the VP is leaving at the end of this year and has become remarkably lax. So I let the kid stay after apologizing. I think tomorrow, when he's not expecting it, I'll ask him how he would feel if one of the kids called him a "filthy nigger" and see if I can't impress upon him the need for some cultural cache, even if it is only refraining from calling others homicidal megalomaniacs.
Today a student came into my room screaming at me during brunch that she had worked really hard on her essay and done really well on it, and should at least have a B, though she currently has a D. When I tried to explain to the student that her grade was an indication of the fact that she had turned in none of the assignments this semester that would demonstrate she had been doing any of the required reading, she stormed out and asked me to just give her the F. Most of my students are getting F's because they neither did the reading, nor any homework, nor the essay.
Today I also discovered that the list I was given of books we have to choose from is faulty. This comes, unfortunately, after having already let the students choose what to read from the list. We happen not to have the two most popular books. I asked the librarian if she could check with the other libraries in the district, since I know one of the other schools has a set of at least one of the books, and fellow teachers tell me this is done not infrequently. The librarian looked as though I had just asked her to move the rock of Gibralter and said 'she'd try.' I suppose I will copy chapters for them until I can track down enough of the books, but the prospects don't look good. I expect to have to buy them.
After I finish typing this, I will plan tomorrow, create a new seating chart, create a list of vocabulary definitions and examples, grade vocab quizzes, create a calendar for the next month of days they will have book discussions, and go buy at least one copy of the book, sixty of which have mysteriously disappeared from the library.
Really, today would indicate that I have a job that is not only thankless, but involves taking verbal abuse, requires every spare moment of my time, is stressful, and unrewarding. You may wait to see what tomorrow will indicate. But I, I am going to call my friend about getting a different job.