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Showing posts from April, 2008

A Sign From God

I'm sending in my resignation from my district! As I think I had explained earlier, I took a leave of absence to make sure that I wanted to quit. I do. The sign from God, in case I had any doubts, was this: I got a letter from the district saying that I am on a previously approved leave and I need to tell them if I am coming back or not because I can only be on leave for one year... blah blah blah. This is the good part: "Please complete the attached form(s) as appropriate to indicate your employment plans for the 2008-2009 school year. Should we not receive a written reply from you by April 24, 2008 , we will interpret that to mean that you do not intend to return, and we will terminate your employment with the District." The date on the letter? April 22 . The postmark? April 23 . They gave me exactly no time to say that I wanted to come back. Since my mail comes after the district office closes, for me to reply by the deadline requested, I would have

Good News!

I got a phone call this week - out of nowhere - from a former student. We'll call her "Shawna." She was my student during the 2000-2001 school year, which was my second year of teaching ever, and my first year of teaching third grade. She was smart but really angry (I think her mom was in jail, which goes a long way towards making kids have anger problems). She was also a total tomboy, playing mostly with the boys and dressing as non-feminine as possible. This makes perfect sense when you find out that she lived with her dad, older brother and younger brother. Another interesting fact about Shawna is that her dad had her when he was 61 years old. Her mom, obviously, is younger, but her dad has a couple of dozen kids (I don't think I'm exaggerating; if I am, it's not by much) with various women. I think that Shawna and her two closest brothers might be the only kids he's actually raising, and raising by himself. Last year, when I was still teaching

More Craziness

First, here is a picture of Solomon's teeth so that you can all see how scary he could look if he wanted. Of course, that scariness might be negated by the fact that I can put my hands in his mouth and move his lips around and he isn't really bothered at all. Anyway. The neighbor's ex-boyfriend came back and the neighbor was hollering and really upset because he broke into her house again so I called the police and the landlord. The police - who told us on Sunday that he would be arrested if he stepped onto the property - came and said that since the boyfriend had also called the police, they were sure he was just fine and look! He wasn't even on the property. Yeah, that's because he stepped OFF the property as soon as the cops came and was standing 6 inches off the sidewalk by our house. Before that, he had been on the front lawn screaming at my neighbor who didn't have the sense to just go back inside her house and quit arguing. She tried to talk to the po

Solomon the Hero Dog

This is off-topic, but I just have to sing the praises of my dog right now. Some of you have met my dog, Solomon. He is very gentle, so much so that my friends' 16 month old can feed Solomon his entire dinner one piece of kibble at a time out of her little hand. She can also try to push his head into the water dish so that he won't be thirsty and he doesn't retaliate in any way. He has not fussed when toddlers have pulled his tail, stuck fingers up his nose, when I step on his feet (which are frequently in the way), or at any other time. But he knows who the bad people are. I didn't get to witness his heroism, but my roommate, "T," was home when our upstairs neighbor tried to break up with her boyfriend. Apparently, boyfriend was not too pleased about this and yelled enough that our neighbors who run a rat dog day care called the police. The neighbor brought her 3 year old down to stay with T and eventually came down herself to hang out in our apartment beca

Two Exciting Things

First of all, Stephanie is in Europe at this very moment! She is probably the only kid on the trip whose daddy couldn't just write a $4500 check for the trips, judging by the surprised response I got from the agency when I asked about fundraising possibilities. But I don't think she will care. Her dad deserves some serious credit for working double and triple shifts to get her there, and my friends who donated money are pretty awesome too. I'm excited to hear how it has gone. Secondly, Oakland's middle schoolers created a poetry anthology that has been made into a real book and is for sale at the Barnes and Noble in Oakland on Saturday, April 12. I think it will be a very interesting read.

Testing Stories

In honor of testing season (already!!), here is my favorite testing story. Both of these stories are from a friend who will remain nameless but may be related to the person I'd like to be president. During my friend's first year of teaching, one of her second graders was so freaked out by the CST [standardized test] that while she had her back turned, he stood up and peed on the test. He, of course, told her there had been a leak in the ceiling, but the other kids ratted him out. And anyone who's ever even seen these tests sympathizes with the poor child. I'm not sure what the teacher did with the test though. Another story from the same person: The other story was about a student and the ice cream in his desk. A girl told her teacher earlier in the morning that this boy had ice cream in his desk. The teacher went over to check and found 4 melted otter pops. She threw them away and the class continued about their day. During workshop right before lunch, sh