Thursday, October 18, 2012

31 Days: Real life of a working mom. Day 18.

Well, yesterday was my surprise drop in evaluation! So it technically happened on day 17 of my series, but we're just going to go with it for the story for day 18. That ok? Let me just tell you, it was a complete and utter surprise! For sure! Grab a chair, sit down, and get some coffee. This story is just too funny not to share.

First of all, so far the administration has been dropping in around the same time for most people. That doesn't mean they always do that because I have heard of other times happening here and there. That also does not mean we have been told a particular time. However, if you watch people's habits you can pick up on some things. Last year I scored "high enough" on the teacher's rubric that I don't have to do all my evaluations this year. Instead, I'm getting evaluated on a drop in at the administration's leisure. Great, right?

Um, no.

I think I would rather have my low score with my happy planned evaluation followed by a drop in second semester. I know that is kind of crazy, but with the drop in they will come two more times for "walk throughs" anyway. So I score high, but now I have three times instead of two? Makes sense to me. I love government mandates.

She didn't do our announcements this morning, and I didn't even see her in the building. (She & her would be my particular administrator.)  At lunch, I asked my friend, "Is Mrs. X even here today?" No one seemed to have seen any evidence of Mrs. X so most of us figured we were in the clear for the day. After all, it was past said time that Mrs. X seems to prefer so that meant deep sighs of relief.

Happily, I took my little wee ones back to our room to finish up some math we started before lunch. We took a restroom break, put away all of our lunch boxes and moved on into math.

Then Student A called Student B an "insane idiot" at which point Student B burst into hysterical tears complete with crocodiles and deep breathing Lamaz exercise hysteria.  At this point, I redirected the class to please continue with their group activity on writing in math while I took Student B into the hall to calm her down.

Imagine my surprise to throw open the door only to see Mrs. X standing there. For a minute, I thought she was coming down to speak with me about one of the many problems going on in my room. Two seconds later, it dawned on me what exactly was happening.

Mrs. X looked at Student B, looked at me, and gasped, "Um...OH. Oh, my!"

I smiled politely and said, "Um...well, yes. This is fun! How great to see you!"

Student B hiccuping loudly.

Mrs. X, shaking her head, trying not to laugh, "Well, I'll just go get myself situated while you take care of this."

"Ok, will do. Give me just a minute," I replied at which I noticed we were both trying not to laugh hysterically at the complete humor of this situation.

So at some point after conferencing with Student A & Student B, my mind is racing a million miles a minute thinking these things:


I guess we could do....

Oh, wait. No, I don't want to start another subject. Let's just keep doing math.

Well, we've already done math for about an hour.

But if I start this...then that will...and then I will wonder...and then the transition...and I just got Student B to stop crying...

Oh, just go with it. You're teaching math, Mrs. X dropped in on math, and math she shall continue to see.

So I return into the room with Student A & Student B and charge forward with my lesson I had already basically completed. Only I turned it around a bit, and we did a writing exercise in math! Brilliance sometimes comes to me off the cuff. I don't know why. But I ended up doing a beautiful lesson on writing across the curriculum using math terms from the Common Core. Teacher score!

And while I did have a beautiful lesson, we were now about an hour and a half deep into math! At some point, well. Kids need to not do math. You know. Because they are tired. And it is now snack time, but Mrs. X was still there. I'm running out of things to do, and then in walks Mrs. Y oblivious to Mrs. X sitting at my desk.

Mrs. Y:  Leah! Oh my goodness! Are you really going to get this done by this day? I mean, I don't think that is what Mrs. X said to do?

Me frantically doing everything but waving my hands at her to say, "MRS. X IS RIGHT HERE!" I did a bunch of head bobbing to the side to motion for her to look up at Mrs. X.

Slowly, Mrs. Y realizes what is happening.

Mrs. Y: OH MY!  I'm soooooooo sorry, Leah! I'm sooooo sorry!, carry on!

By now, all of the adults were just hysterically laughing. Mrs. Y is laughing. I'm laughing. Mrs. X is laughing. We are all just laughing. I mean, it is pretty comical by this point.

And also? I had really run out of things to do, but she was still there. So I have the students take out their Mountain Math (a spiraling program that goes through basic math concepts over and over all year to keep things fresh in their minds), and started spouting off some nonsense such as:

"Children, we are now going to take a journey up to the top of Mt. C with Ranger C! Let's explore the vast land of foot 15. We're getting higher today, guys! We are higher up today! Now go look at number 15, and try it in groups."

"Don't forget children--if that mountain lion comes after you, tackle it yourself. We might be in a group, but you have to be able to fend for yourself." (Um, this is in reference to students can work in groups, but you have to be able to do your own work.)

"Don't let the mountain lion attack leave you frustrated! You can fight him off!"

Huh?? Where did that come from? So suddenly, we're taking a trip with "Ranger C" instead of their teacher Mrs. C. I'm talking about mountain lions eating them, and then I'm rambling. I'm going to get the worst score ever. Either that or, "What in the world were you talking about?"

Finally, after a while talking about our trip and reviewing some spiraling concepts...she left. And I about fell down in the floor. Nope, I took the kids to the bathroom again because 1. we'd now done math for two hours 2. they looked pitiful (over mathed out) and 3. it was time to eat snack so our hands needed washing.

After that? We went out for a very long, laid back recess.

Whew! What a day!

When I told Mr. C (or Ranger C's husband) about my day today, he just laughed and laughed and laughed.

I'll let you know next week if I was a genius or an idiot with my mountain lions. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

And that, my friends, is the real life of a working mom.

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