Wednesday, November 21, 2007

You know you're a...

It's started: The bitching. This is the one part of classroom teaching I did not miss while being the art teacher. That is; formulating the grade lists and the bitching that inextricably follows. It happens IMO because things are not fairly done. My philosophy on life is that everything MUST be fair for all. I am not one of those people that handle unfairness or favouritism well. Since life isn't very fair then you can imagine how much trouble I have dealing with things in everyday life. I don't simply say 'oh well, that's a spot of bother and just deal' oh no. I stew. I muse, I think, I brood, I get angry and I almost explode if things are not balanced. If things can be made fair then I want them to be fair. To me, that's just the way things should be - even to the point of knowing that if I have it 'too good' that it's time for me to give up some of mine so that others around me can be balanced.

When it comes to formulating grade lists I'm extremely practical about it. I feel that where possible:
1) spread out the pains, painful parents, lovelies, smarties, nutters and weirdos so that everyone has some of each.
2) every child should get a friend - but not have any grades loaded with a group of about 7 girls who "just can't be separated" what bollocks!
3) balanced grades in terms of gender, academic strengths/weaknesses.
4) no child to be with anyone that they are scared of or who we've heard they don't get along with.

In my opinion, this makes the grades more or less balanced. It gives each grade a variety of children with enough like minds to make learning groups of differing abilities. Ie: a normal classroom. Meanwhile Prin's idea of formulating class groups is to think about which kinder they came from or daycare centre and lump them in together with who they spent their last year with. Not only does this undermine teacher judgment of who we think do and don't work well together but it also means that certain grades get loaded with kids from a wonderful thorough kinder and other grades get loaded with the kids from creche who sadly do nothing more than roll around on the floor.

Guess which grade I have my name against for next year? Yep, plus one notorious parent with a child who every teacher already knows (she doesn't even go to the school yet but yes, we all know to look out). This particular parent almost demolished one teachers rep a couple of years ago just because she didn't like him. There is also a child whose brother I taught in my second year of teaching and by golly these parents are ...not nice. There's also the sister of JB. Now, in case you don't remember JB I'm going to refer you back to this post. Apparently his sister exhibits the same tendencies as her brother. I have to say, these days I just adore JB and I was right, of course he dose have aspergers and is still rather strange (but calmed down a lot). In this proposed grade of mine there's TWO OTHER children who don't talk and two with suspected processing issues. Fab.

If all the grades looked like this I wouldn't have a problem, but it's only my grade that looks like a bomb hit it. It's not a case of Prin thinking that I can handle all these "issues". It's just that she didn't want to split children up from the kinder they went to in order to make the grades more fair.

Anyway, suffice to say. I'm really not happy about the situation and of course the team knows it and rather they also know there's nothing I can do about it because Prin doesn't want to hear it. Though I'm using this vehicle of blog to vent, I really don't want to ruin everyone else's nice grades by going to Prin either. I don't want to be the teacher that can't handle it. It's a shit situation and I don't know how to make it nicer for myself. Teaching a grade of prep children is probably the hardest teaching position in the school (I know, since I've been around a bit now) and that's with a normal grade. I hate to think about what's going to happen next year if this grade stays the way it's set out now.


Like Amanda, was looking at my recent search engine history and was pleasantly surprised to see that the smut that usually drives people here has been been somewhat curtailed for now. I gather then that I must finally be high brow! Yay! Well maybhe not, but it's interesting to see what bring people here. Even if it has nothing to do with drunk nuns. Once query I thought needed answering..

you know you Melbournian when you

* have at one stage or another whether you are drunk or not sung the words to a your footy team's theme song OR at least to Up There Cazaly.
* Wear layers of clothes that can be easily peeled off or put on depending on the weather. One never assumes..
* love John So even though you really know nothing about him except that he's mayor and has an accent.
* Know where the nearest umbrella is at all times (though really not relevant for the past three years).
* Either love or hate Federation Square but agree that the concrete wasteland full of skater bogans that was there before was waaaay worse.
* Would never swim in the Yarra River, not even for a thousand dollars but LOVE seeing others do it, especially if they are from the Northern states (teehee).
* Remember who Carmen Chan is, or know someone who knows someone who knows someone who lived near her when it all happened.
* you drink real coffee (or are trying to give up), and none of that Starbucks shit either. In fact you look down upon Starbucks. Come to think of it you laugh rather heartily when other people say they got good coffee in say Adelaide or BrisV that one time.
* Have feared the wrath of a Tram driver who dings you with is ferocious bell of doom. DOOOOM!
* Have met someone at Flinders Street Station (and were late - ...and made the joke about being on 'Hurstbridge time' or something).
* Have actively avoided that derro on Smith Street who talks to himself.
* Have seen the bearded large guy who wears dresses on Brunswick Street.
* Still think nostalgically of the silver space suit street busker that would dance weirdly to electronic space music on the corner of Burke and Swanston St.
* Know that eating out is pretty much a pleasure wherever you go. Awesome food, almost everywhere.
* You can find your way to Haighs Chocolates with your eyes closed.
* You've frozen your tits (or other) off at Docklands.
* You remember when it was fucking scary to go anywhere near Spencer Street Station. In fact you refused to go there alone and you still don't *quite* trust it not to be dodgy.
* You miss having a zillion public holidays like the rest of Oz.
* I say "Jeff Kennett yellow penis on the Tulla" and you probably know what I'm talking about.

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