Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Still Courting Trouble

I find myself in an old school as the sun sets and the darkening room makes the computer screen clearer.  I called it a career last June and exited from the world of renewal schools, teacher evaluations and common or uncommon core testing.  I made a big party, got lots of plants for  presents and spent four weeks in Europe.  Teacherfishtravels has a lot more to say about that.

But I missed it, and when an old principal called and asked if I would work a few hours in the after school program, I thought six hours a week, that sounds like the right amount of time teaching for me.

Walter tells me he didn't fail because he was stupid, it's his behavior.  I ask him why He isn't smart enough  to behave, and he says his mother wants to know the same thing.  I stop.  One mother is enough for anyone..

Walter, Fenton and Jamal come whenever I am there. There are far more students that need to sit in front of the computer screens and complete a course that it is laid out in six units, four sections each.  And all must be completed by answering correctly 70% of the quiz questions at the end of each section.

Because students who couldn't pay attention with a teacher teaching  his or heart out in a classroom can sit in front of a computer screen for sixty hours and independently complete the coursework. But heck- cracking the whip is what I get paid for.

Fenton is completing a unit on scientific method.  At least that what the screen says.  Fenton is shining his head.  He  continually rubs  his perfectly coiffed head while checking his image on another screen which is rigged so the computer's camera displays his image.

"What is a good experimental question?" Fenton asks me.

"How many times will you fix your hair before Ms. Teacherfish hits you?"  I suggest.

And then I add that surely one of theses days my mouth will get me in trouble.

"Not so easy this behaving thing" Walter chimes in from across the room.

"Nah," Miss, "not today,"  Fenton assures me, "We like you."

There comes a time every Sunday night, that I feel some anxiety, my plans aren't done, my shirts aren't ironed and is this the week the superintendent is coming?

And then I remember- I'm done.

But I do miss moments like that one.

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