Friday, September 24, 2010

How I Spent My Friday From 8:00-3:00

What I learned at my Professional Development Day:

City kids, the kind in New York, have some unique insult vocabulary. Thank the Gummi Mary, I have never been called a gonorrhea syphilis-dripping b*tch. Yet. But if I am, I know how to respond. I should step to the offender, lean into his face, and with just enough crazy, whisper, "Maybe I am, and that's why I'm acting like this right now."

If you check your cell phone to see how much longer it will be until you can pry yourself out of that seat of torture, you will find that only 5 minutes have elapsed. Each time.

When the verbal and hard-copy rules concerning Professional Development Day were made known to all faculty, those rules specified that jeans were permitted, but no tennis shoes. That faculty would sign in at both morning and afternoon sessions. As the session began, all in attendance were ordered to silence their cell phones. So of course one person bounded down the stairs, showing off his tennis shoes, an hour into the presentation, answering the ring of his cell phone, later returning until an hour before the session ended, upon which he and his wife gave each other the high sign across the little theater, and headed out separate exits.

The proper answer to a student who says "Your mother is a dirty hoor," (they're New York kids, with different accents than Missouri kids) is to chide the insulter with, "At least MY mother is working."

In a bit of reverse psychology, you can trick an oppositional student into turning in work by taking away his power. "This assignment is for all the other students, Johnny--not for you. I want you to NOT do the assignment. Of course, you will still get your zero as usual. Just be sure you don't do that work. It's for the others." Johnny will want to defy you, so after a few times of being told NOT to do the work, he will do it. Because you told him not to. YEAH, RIGHT! What's really going to happen is that Johnny will continue to NOT do his work, and his parents will storm the principal's office demanding to know why Johnny is being denied his free, compulsory education.

We were not a good audience, us Newmentians. Nor were the Basementians. Basementia Buddy took special exception to the notion that a student who improves to do 4 of 7 math problems correctly could conceivably get a better grade than one who only gets 25 out of 30 right. A Newmentian asked, "What's the valedictorian speech going to be, 'Me smart?' " I might be paraphrasing there, but the gist is the same.

Your heart will skip a beat when you check your phone clock, and see that only 3 minutes have gone by since the last time you looked.


Jennifer said...


I took notes from your post so that I can use those wonderful techniques when subbing.

Baby Bro's school district has a consultant coming the first friday of every month to talk about differentiation.

I heard rumors the Ag Teacher and Coaching Staff are working a plan to skip next week.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I know this is going to be hard for you to believe...but that rule-breaker WAS a coach! AND, his coachy buddies were mildly chastised by the presenter, who had traveled all the way from New York, because they would not join in a singalong at the end.

Jennifer said...


I am oh so Shocked! Shocked I tell you that the guilty party is a coach. (can you read the sarcasm in my words??)

Hillbilly Mom said...

Yep. I didn't even have to turn around when his phone rang. I only needed one guess to pinpoint his identity.