Dear Teacher: You don’t suck

Yesterday, I went through new teacher training for the new job.

Teacher training is teacher training is teacher training. It’s pretty much all the same thing. It usually consists of a lot of “getting to know you” activities, strange games, and collaborative list-making to show what you already know about a certain topic.

It’s basically like being back in elementary school.

But that’s usually just the first day. See, they make you feel all safe and secure the first day, then *BAM*, they lay it on thick the second and third days until you walk out of that conference room feeling so worthless and dejected that you’re fairly certain you should never be allowed to set foot in a school ever again.

It. Is. THE WORST.

It’s like being asked to come in for a routine check-up on your thumb, and being sprung with an enema, a pelvic exam and a mammogram instead.

Because the second day of teacher training consists of a whole lot of:

According to recent test results, you all suck as teachers. You’re all racist homophobes who are only here for the free summers. And if you dare to disagree, you’re going to have to prove you don’t suck. Because we all know you do.”

And then they proceed to tell you that you are the reason for all of the following:

  • Teen suicide, teen pregnancy, and teen drug use being on the rise
  • Minority kids being being killed in gang wars
  • The American economy being in the toilet
  • American students no longer being able to compete with other nations
  • The Kardashians being so popular.

You, as a teacher, suck. Therefore, all of society’s ills are your fault. Why? Because you had a subconscious bigoted agenda where you told the black kids they couldn’t read, the girls they couldn’t do math or science, and the boys that doing well in school made them look like sissies.

I KNOW! I was NOT aware of my subconscious agenda either! So, I was forever thankful the powers that be brought it to my attention so that I could be a more effective teacher!

So, along I went, skipping merrily into my classroom, determined to brighten the lives of every child I met.

Only, I was so dang depressed and ashamed of myself, skipping was out of the question, and it was all I could do to drag myself to the car before I started bawling my eyes out and questioning my existence.

Am I right, teachers? All the non-teachers think I’m totally exaggerating and I’m totally not, am I? That’s how bad it gets. Occasionally, you end up with teachers leaving the sessions crying. And everyone is so stressed out by the end of the day, it’s a miracle that no one goes postal.

SO, imagine my surprise that at my first teacher training session at a private school… there was NONE OF THAT.

Get this. These radicals actually believe the people they hired are GREAT TEACHERS. They ALSO believe that they’re there for the students. AND that they’re passionate about their jobs… and WANT to improve things for their students, school and community.

I WILL NOT. They actually BELIEVE that!

It was the first time I had left teacher training feeling halfway decent about myself.

So, to all the private school people who put together these training sessions and workshops…. thank you. Thank you for believing we’re there for the right reasons. Thank you for believing we have the skills to do our jobs. Thank you for encouraging and supporting us rather than blaming and degrading us. Your public school colleagues could learn a thing or two from you.

And to all the teachers out there kicking off a new year, I leave you with this: You do not suck. Don’t believe the hype.

 

 

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Charity Tuesday: Under the Same Sun

Charity Tuesday.

On a Wednesday.

Because yesterday was a teacher workshop day.

And I didn’t plan ahead and schedule a post.

So, we’re doing it today.

But usually it will be on Tuesday.

Just so we’re clear…

Charity Tuesday.

What day? TUESDAY. But instead we’re doing it today because of aforementioned reasons.

Moving on.

For this VERY FIRST INSTALLMENT of Charity TUESDAY, I wanted to talk about the charity “Under the Same Sun”.

Most of you have probably never heard of this charity. I know I hadn’t. That’s probably because we were unaware that albino children in Africa are being hunted for their limbs.

People with albinism lack pigment in their skin, eyes and hair. Traditional African communities view albinism as having mystical powers thought to bring wealth and good luck. Because of this, African albino children are being hunted for body parts which can then be sold for thousands of dollars on the black market to be used in potions. In Tanzania alone, there have been 8 attacks in the past year.

Under the Same Sun is a Canadian charity dedicated to helping those with Albinism overcome deadly discrimination through advocacy and education. “Under The Same Sun (UTSS) is founded on the belief that all persons are created in God’s image and as such are worthy of love, respect and, above all, dignity. While UTSS is active at the UN and globally, much of [their] current focus is on the crisis faced by People With Albinism in Tanzania. [They] have developed offices there with a highly innovative and effective approach to this issue. This is beginning to bring about the societal transformation needed to stop the stigma based attacks and killings. From there, UTSS is reaching across Africa and the world to stimulate a movement that roots out stigma and discrimination by planting the seeds of empowerment for people living with albinism.”

Why this charity and why now? Because of it’s recent relevancy in the news, and because it’s a largely marginalized population without much support or media coverage. How many of you were aware of this issue or this charity? I’m guessing very few. Therefore, I wanted to highlight a worthy cause few have heard of.

If you would like to donate to Under The Same Sun, click here. Under The Same Sun is a Canadian federally-registered charity and is in accordance with The Income Tax Act of Canada. They also have a 501(c)(3) exempt organization in the US known as “Under the Same Sun Foundation (USA)” for their US donors. Furthermore, UTSS is also registered and recognized under The Non-Governmental Organizations Act, 2002 of the United Republic of Tanzania. All funds donated go directly to assist persons with albinism in Tanzania – they are not used for administrative purposes.


 

For more information, click on one of the following links:

Sources:

 

Things That Made Me Go, “Hmm…” – Week 39

First things first:

I HAVE had my coffee. However, yesterday was a particularly maddening day so before we get started with things that made me go “Hmm…” this week, allow me to get this off my chest.

  • My new apartment smells. I thought it was “old apartment smell”. You know, that mix of mildew and mustiness that occasionally accompanies basement apartments? I thought after airing out the place, vacuuming repeatedly and using various air freshening devices the problem might be taken care of. Not so. I didn’t really think much of it until the previous tenant stopped by yesterday to tell me that, “Oh, by the way, that apartment was flooded and that’s why I moved out.”

I’m sorry…. Come again?

Huh. Funny, because the landlord never mentioned ANYTHING ABOUT THAT. Hm… I WONDER WHY. And then it all came rushing back to me. No wonder all the old ladies in the building had been asking me, “Has he replaced that carpet yet?” I thought they were just crotchety old bitties with nothing better to do than complain about old carpets. NOPE. NOT THE CASE.

And then the informant got all nervous and was like, “I’ve been praying and praying about whether or not I should tell you! PLEASE don’t tell him you heard it from me! I’ll get kicked out!”

Um… first of all… no, you won’t you silly, little paranoid fruitcake. There’s these nifty things called “laws” that would prevent that from ever happening. Secondly, you had to pray about telling me this? I mean, I’m a big fan of prayer, but some things are just about common sense and human decency. Isn’t that kind of like asking God if you should warn your neighbors about a serial killer hiding in their closets?

ANYHOODLES… now I have to put on my big girl panties and get all bitchy and be like, “LISTEN HERE, BUB!” and actually confront the dude. Which is not in my nature AT ALL. And honestly, all I want to do is hide underneath the bed until the situation goes away.

UPDATE: I actually called and left a testy voicemail with the guy. And then I accidentally called back and when he answered, I panicked and hung up. Because that’s how I roll.  *sigh*

  • In other news (you know, the kind that actually affects someone other than myself…), this happened this week. And honestly, when I heard about it, I laughed out loud. Because it’s kind of like setting a rabid pitbull loose in a daycare and expecting everything to be fine because before letting him off the leash you pat him on the head and remind him to “be good”.

That’s what I said!

I’m not even being sarcastic. That’s genuinely amazing.

What was that? Oh, you think I should highlight this cause for my Charity Tuesday post too? Oh, you bet your bippy I will…

  • I could comment on the disgusting behavior of two disgusting human beings both of whose names begin with the letter “J”, but I would rather not sully this post by mentioning them or their harrible behavior. So, we’ll just skip it.

I could continue, but it’s rainy today and I’m tired and all the stress of having to call and be angry with the landlord has really worn me out. Sooo… I’m gonna call it a day.

Over n’ out, good buddies. Thanks for reading.

An Open Letter to Wannabe European Hipsters

Dear Wannabe European Hipsters,

As happy as I am that you had the opportunity to backpack around Europe for a year, this by no means makes you a bonafide European nor does it improve upon your really cool pathetic Hipster-like tendencies. The fact of the matter is, you’re simply trying to hard as evidenced by the following:

  • No one cares about your new-found knowledge of European coffee drinks. The barrista is not impressed by your knowledge of Italian macchiatos, and everyone in line behind you hates you for wasting their time.
  • Socks with sandals are not an actual fashion statement. I don’t care if you’re the King of France. You look like a dumbass.
  • Short shorts on men should never be worn. I don’t care if it’s all the rage in Europe. This here’s ‘Merica and our men wear cargo shorts because no one wants to see that much leg on a man. It’s gross. And creepy. And weird. Please stop.
  • Showering on a daily basis is not an option. It’s a requirement. I don’t want to hear about your skin’s natural oils. You smell. Go shower.
  • Yes. We are all super proud of the fact that you can grow a beard. Most men can. But having a long, bushy, untrimmed beard does not somehow make you more virile, more superior, or more European. Again, it just makes you look like a dumbass.

That being said, please stop any and all of the above.

Thanks.

Love n’ kisses,

–Annie

Random Thoughts on a Random Tuesday

Why random thoughts on a random Tuesday? Because I said so, that’s why.

  • This morning, I had my first dentist appointment in THREE YEARS. (Don’t you judge me. I have harrible tooth anxiety. What? That’s a thing. That’s totally a thing.) To say I was concerned was an understatement. I thought they were going to be scraping my teeth for a full five hours and then sending me to an oral specialist for some kind of unknown, unpronounceable mouth thing. Turns out, the scraping only took half an hour and I had no cavities. I know what you’re thinking…

.

Because it’s exactly what I was thinking too. Although, I did get a short lecture on flossing more. And then I was told that the gum-line near my bicuspids had receded to the point that my roots were exposed… and eventually, I would probably need a skin graft. Which I already knew about… and thus the reason I had been avoiding the dentist for the past three years. But now that I won’t have dental insurance (you know, after having taken my vow of poverty for the Catholic diocese…), I can surely put it off for another year. But eventually, I’m going to have to put on my big girl pants, and just bite the bullet. But not right now. For now, I shall celebrate my mostly healthy, and conspicuously clean mouth.

  • In other news, I know shockingly little about Joseph Stalin. This occurred to me after watching a documentary about him on the History Channel. Did you know he was in power up until the 1950s? And he started all kinds of concentration camps in Russia? WHO KNEW?! I mean, I vaguely remember skimming over him in World History in 11th grade, but otherwise? Yeah, we didn’t really talk about him. It was always Hitler, Hitler, Hitler. Well, what about Stalin? Mussolini? General Mao? Saddam Hussein? HMM??? Shouldn’t they at least be given a footnote in our history books?!

Why should Hitler just get to stomp around like a giant while the rest of us try not to get smushed under his big feet? The other ruthless, murderous dictators are just as cute as Hitler, right? The other ruthless, murderous dictators are just as smart as Hitler. People totally like the other ruthless, murderous dictators just as much as they like Hitler, and when did it become okay for Hitler to be the boss of everybody because that’s not what ruthless, murderous dictatorship is about! We should all just stab Hitler!”

Mean Girls? Oh, nevermind. It was stretch anyway. Needless to say,  I will be picking up history books from the library and brushing up on world history. Because… you know… being dumb about stuff is never ideal.

  • I have made a decision that from here on out every Tuesday on this here blog is going to be”Charity Tuesday”. It is here that I will highlight a charity and/or worthy cause worth giving to, promoting, or volunteering time to. And then you guys can take it from there. And retweet it. And repost it. And reblog it. And get other people to care. Because every little bit helps, right? Right. And I’m feeling particularly charitable lately.
  • I have been deplorably lazy with reading other peoples’ blogs lately. I PROMISE I will come around and catch up. There’s really no excuse for my lack of visits. I’m just lazy. And sometimes busy. But mostly, just lazy.

*sigh*

With that being said… I suppose I should finish my laundry. And maybe work on some lesson plans. Maybe brush my teeth again (you know, for good luck or… something).

Catch you on the flip-side, peeps.

 

Things That Made Me Go, “Hmm…” – Week 38

Alright, kiddos. Ready for this week’s rundown? No? Not quite? Well, get ready, because I’m not gonna wait around for you guys…

  • This happened this week… and it was BRILLIANT. You go, John Brown. And don’t you dare apologize for anything. You did exactly what everyone has been wanting to do for the past 5 years. Bravo, sir. BRAV-O.
  • I came across this harribly lame lovely little snippet this week. It both frightened and enthralled me. I mean… REALLY, Alana Stewart? The woman’s gotta be some kind of alien life-form. That’s just… I mean… Holy Crappers, Batman! I guess I shouldn’t be so concerned about being 30, huh?
  • This also happened this week and it is literally the cutest thing EV-ER (…aside from the stupid rhyming scheme.) Who wrote the copy for this story? A four year old fairy princess?

The whole. Entire. Time. Poor jurors…

Okay, peeps. I realize that’s only four miniscule snippets, but gosh darn it… I’M BUSY. You should be happy I even posted this week. Good grief. The demands from you minions are getting just a wee bit ridiculous don’t you think? No? Well… YOU’RE WRONG. So there.

Lastly, in case you haven’t done this yet…

GO FOLLOW MISS CORA ON BLOGLOVIN’!  Seriously. What are you waiting for? Go do it. Why? Because I said so. And you may think I’m not the boss of you, but we all know I totally am, so… why fight it? Go do it. Thank you, minions.

Over n’ out, good buddies. Have an excellent end to your weekend.

 

Everyone has gone completely insane.

Um…

So…

Yeah…

Can I just take a moment to vent? Because this is how I feel right now…

It’s ALL. TOO. MUCH.

  • I have no power at the new apartment because apparently I have to haul myself down to the utility… place… and show them a picture ID and “sign up” to get power at my new residence. What is that?! That’s even a thing?! Since when do they shut off the power to one single apartment? I don’t… I mean… I’ve never heard of anything so absurd! I have to “sign up” for electricity? What is there, some kind of waiting list? What is this, East Berlin?

  • I’d love to get started on this whole “Lesson Plans based on the new Reading Curriculum” thingy… but I have no teacher or school codes with which to use the resources offered by the curriculum on which to base my Smart Board Lessons. Nor do I have any DRAs or formal assessments from which to base my guided reading groups on and I’m all just flying blind here people… Hey Kids! Welcome to class! I don’t know what the heck is going on either! Let’s just watch PBS!

This will be me the first 3 months of school…

  • I have no couch. It’s supposed to come in… once they find one at their many warehouses… wherever those are… they don’t know. They don’t even know the approximate time frame. Maybe four weeks. Probably not. But maybe. Could be. Who knows? Nobody knows anything. At all. Why do I even bother?

  • The school will be closed for a WEEK AND A HALF so they can WAX THE FLOORS. Um… okay. Not like any of the teachers need to get into their classrooms RIGHT BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS. I’m sure all those parents paying tuition will love coming into EMPTY CLASSROOMS on Back to School Night. And then they’ll wonder why they pay so much for their kids’ tuition because clearly the TEACHERS AREN’T WORKING AT ALL. What are they paying us for? To drink coffee? Clearly. And then all the parents will walk away all disgusted and dismayed at how much we make to do NOTHING. Thanks, Janitorial Staff. Good thinking on that one.

Just…

*sigh*

There are no words.

I need a break from my life.

It’s like one step forward and six giant leaps back EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY. Because you can’t just… you know… do something. No, you have to jump through at least 16 different hoops for every single teeny tiny item that needs to be taken care of. It’s like bureaucratic red tape has taken over the entire world and everyone has gone COMPLETELY INSANE.

I don’t even know why I bother.

I just…

Whatevs.