Friday, February 19, 2010

A Rant...

Dear _________________,

When you come in for an unplanned and unscheduled "observation" on the first day back after a four day weekend (which was immediately preceded by 100th Day and then Valentine's Day celebrations, please remember that what you see is neither normal nor typically considered to be "acceptable" in my eyes.

Please do not comment on the disorder (or disaster) in my classroom. Don't "suggest" that I have my students help to clean up periodically throughout the day. Trust me. I pick my battles. This was NOT the day for that battle. Most days we have clean-ups before recess, lunch, PE, and after centers. Most days we have a routine.

Please do not pick up workbooks from the (admittedly messy) piles. Honestly, they are none of your business. Telling me that it appears that I am behind in leaving "teacher tracks", and that prompt corrections/responses are vital in primary grades is a given. What you do not know, because you didn't ask, is that I check the work carefully as they do it, making corrections as we go. The fact that I am behind in leaving stickers on pages is regrettable, but more regrettable is the fact that you didn't check to see if the answers were correct. Also, when there are incorrect answers on the page, it's probably because I was dealing with one of my "strong-willed" students. Again, it's called picking my battles. One page with wrong answers will not kill anyone.

Please do not tell me that you can see that I have "strong-willed" students in my classroom. I know that what you are really saying is that the kids are out of control. I know! Did you not see my face!?! It is also bothersome that you commented on the fact that you know that students play up when you are in the room (unannounced). I know it, you know it, they know it...don't rub it in.

Finally, please understand that 80% of my class is male. Not only that, they range in age from a young 5 to barely 8 years old. This means that every day is full of strong-willed children doing things that make normal human beings shudder with either disgust, fear, or dismay. Dealing with hitting is a normal part of my day. Rude jokes/words/pictures are part of my day. Tantrums are part of my day. Sometimes pretending not to see things is the best plan. If I occasionally ignore the much-deserved retaliatory punch, it's ok...everyone deserves pay-back sometimes.

Please know that I do appreciate that you noticed that I consistently follow through with consequences/discipline/expectations.

My bottom line is this: Unless you have taught my group of kids, in my classroom, on the first day back from holidays, then take a lesson from me...pick your battles.