Monday, August 15, 2016

"Sometimes my glaucoma be hurtin..."

This year, I have an extremely interesting 7th-period class. There are no words to describe them. I love them, but they're interesting. They're hyper, moody, angry, loving, sweet, and feisty all at the same time. It's crazy! One day last week, I asked one of the kids if he was going to behave today in class because he normally doesn't. Well, it's not that he's misbehaving. He just won't stop talking. Ever. Non-stop talking. For 51 minutes. Ok, maybe not 51 minutes. Sometimes he goes to the bathroom. Anyway, I asked him if he was going to be good today. His response? "I don't know, Mrs. Scott. Sometimes my glaucoma be hurtin', and I can't act right." Oh. Ok. I didn't even respond to him. I just accepted the fact that he wasn't going to be good. And he wasn't.

Being the new teacher on campus is like being the new girl in the class. All the boys want to talk to you or have your attention and the girls hate you because you're stealing their shine. Like with all schools at the beginning of the year, there was a little chaos with scheduling. Rosters change every class period, so it's impossible to really know who belongs where in the beginning. Enter J. J came to my class the first day of school. He wasn't on my roster, so I penciled him in. J came to my class every day, took notes, and did the work. Over the weekend, I updated my roster, so I could have an accurate roster for the upcoming week. Lo and behold, J isn't even in my class. When we got back to school on Monday, I told him that he's been going to the wrong class and that he needed to get a new schedule to follow. The gag is he knew that he was going to the wrong class. He had English 4th period then came to me and took English again 5th period. Apparently, he thinks I'm pretty and that meant he should be in my class. After I finally got him to go to his 5th-period class, we had Open House. Do you know that he brought his mom by to meet me? She was so embarrassed. I was tickled.

I walk around my classroom while I teach to help with behavior issues and other classroom management things. Friday, my kids were working independently. It was their first work on your own activity, and I wanted to make sure that everybody was working alone. While walking around, I noticed a kid measuring his thumb with a ruler. He was quiet, so I didn't ask questions. Then I heard, "Man, my dick ain't THIS short!" *clutches pearls* The kids around him start slapping him telling him to look up. I'm standing there embarrassed. He looks up and sees me standing there and he's embarrassed. He starts apologizing and explaining. Apparently, somebody told him that a guy's thumb is the same size as his penis when it's soft. He tells me this and there is further embarrassment. The kids who can hear this conversation are DYING laughing because he just won't stop. He's trying to explain the blunder away, but he's making it worse. I just told him to put the ruler up and give me 25 push-ups for being inappropriate in class.

My classroom has hardwood floors that are really pretty, but my feet and legs hurt so bad by the end of the day. What can I do? I don't want any issues with my bones and muscles from it. I haven't tried gel insoles yet. That's my next thing. I don't want to be an old lady!

Do any high school teachers follow me? Let's collaborate! Most blogs I read and/or follow are elementary or middle school. I want to read some high school stuff! Drop some links or emails, so we can connect!

K. Scott

Saturday, August 13, 2016

It's a New Year!

*peeks in* Hey, y'all! It's me, the teacher from Room 300.  I know it's been awhile, but hopefully, you haven't forgotten me.

The 2015-2016 school year was a doozy for me.  I was just trying to stay afloat most of the year.  I felt stressed, overworked, and very much underappreciated.  No matter what I did, it wasn't good enough for the new administrators.  It was a year of bullying, nitpicking, and shadiness. I went from being "Teacher of the Year" for the 2014-2015 school year to being told, "you're not a good fit for the school" (even though I had been there 10 years) in the 2015-2016 school year.  It was AWFUL! I HATED going to school every day, but I knew those kids needed me.  By the end of the year, I was exhausted. I was tired of fighting a battle that I had no chance of winning.  I was tired of trying to convince the administrators that I was a good fit for the school when clearly they had already formed their opinion. I was tired of the slick comments about me being pretty and light skinned. I was tired. Reluctantly, I resigned. I resigned without already having a job lined up because I was THAT desperate to get away from there. I'm not going to lie, I cried. HARD. I was so angry and so frustrated. I was angry because they attacked my gift and my calling as a teacher. I was frustrated because I knew that I had done my job as a teacher, and they wouldn't let me be great. After I turned in my letter of resignation, I felt so relieved. Then the panic set in. What was I going to do? Where would I find a job? The schools that I wanted to work in didn't have openings. All the schools I didn't want to work in had plenty of openings. I had a lot of higher up connections in a few districts around me, so I started calling around. They would recommend me heavily. I'd get an interview and it would go great. Then they'd ask THE QUESTIONS: "Your resume is impressive, and you seem like an excellent teacher. What would *insert principal's name* say if I called him up?" or "Why'd you leave your last school after all of these accolades?" Then they'd call the administrators. I wouldn't hear back from the schools or they'd hire someone else. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on there. This happened several times. The level of panic and worry that I was feeling was through the roof. How was I going to help my husband pay bills? What was I going to do for work? I don't have any marketable talents or skills. I mean, I do, but... never mind. *laugh track* Anyway, every rejection phone call was an attack on my self-confidence. The rejections made me question whether or not I was a good teacher. Did I make all of that up? Maybe I really did suck. Maybe I should find a new profession. The self-doubt struggle was so real.  On June 20th, I got a text message about a job in the district south of my old school. I humored her by saying I'd apply. Truth be told, I had NO intentions of applying there because I had heard terrible things about the school. I had already had 1 stressful year. I didn't need another one. Plus, I had some promising interviews coming up. Ten days later, I got another message about the same job from someone else. I just said "thank you" and went on about my day. Later that evening, I talked to my husband about it, and he told me to apply. I didn't and had no intentions of doing so. The only reason I decided to apply is because he brought it up again. I emailed my resume to the administrator, and like the others, he was impressed. We set up an interview for that week. I went in for the interview expecting to just go through the motions. At this point in the job search, I was defeated. When the interview was over, I had a job. I was hired on the spot! I didn't accept right away because I needed to talk to my husband first. We talked and prayed about it, but for some reason, I was still hesitant about accepting the job. It was probably fear. And I still had one more interview to do at a school where I really wanted to teach. I did that interview, made it to the top two, and got rejected. The interviewing administrator was very apologetic. She said I was her pick but she couldn't get everyone else on board. I told her that it was ok because that meant that I didn't have to turn her down when I accepted the other job. The words fell out of my mouth before I had a chance to stop them. Had I FINALLY decided on a school? I had! I emailed the administrator and accepted the job.  Now, there's a lesson to be learned here.

As a lifelong learner, I'm always looking for opportunities to grow and to become better. For 10 years, I taught 9th grade English. Twice I got to teach something else along with English I, but for the most part, I was stuck in English I. I didn't mind it, though. It was comfortable. Easy. I had gotten to the point to where I didn't really plan for it. I would come up with a bomb lesson and activity 5 minutes before the kids walked in and nobody knew. I had gotten complacent. I had turned into the man in the Bible who hid his 1 talent. More times than not I would say that I didn't feel effective as a teacher anymore. I considered coming out of the classroom. Fast forward to the summer. Every job that rejected me was for a 9th grade English position with the exception of 1. Even if I had gotten one of those jobs, I wasn't going to grow. I would've forever been known as the teacher who gets 9th graders ready for 10th grade English. God knew that I needed to leave where I had been for 10 years, leave what was comfortable, leave my husband (we worked together. Ain't no divorce, bih) in order to be the kind of teacher I wanted to be and that He called me to be. Sometimes you have to go in order to grow. That'll preach right there! With that being said, allow me to reintroduce myself:
Hi, I'm Kristin Scott, and I'm the new English II and English III teacher at Crystal Springs High School! Now, you may be reading this trying to figure out why this is such a big deal. I mean, I'm still a teacher, right? Yes, I am still a teacher, but I'm teaching two new subjects and I'm in a school where I can really be the teacher I know I can be and feel appreciated because of it. I love my new school! I feel so at peace. I have to be there by 7:15 every morning, and you know what? I'm there at 6:50 most days. On my late days, I get there at 7. Last year we didn't have to be at school until 8. I would get to school about 8:30 or 8:40. I was in no rush to get there. I stay up late planning lessons now. It's been great! Even though we've only been in school a week, I can already tell that it's going to be a great school year. God will always put you where you need to be. Just stay the course.

I know this is long, but I need to thank my wonderful husband and parents for always believing in me and encouraging me when I wanted to quit and be a stripper. You guys are AMAZING. I also want to thank the people who gave me good recommendations. Thank you to all the people who prayed for me and encouraged me during the time of uncertainty. And finally, I want to thank my old administrators for forcing me to recognize my value as a teacher so I could grow and start the process of taking over the world of education. Ron Clark, I'm coming for you! And thank you, the readers, for even reading this long post. I plan on getting back into blogging. I already have tons of material. LOL! Tales from Room 300 will now be Tales from Room 32. It has a nice ring to it:)

K. Scott

Sunday, April 26, 2015

#Iwishmyteacherknew

Last week, teacher Kyle Schwartz gave his 3rd graders a Post-It note and had them to complete the statement "I wish my teacher knew..."  The results were heartbreaking, heartwarming, and inspiring.  It really put into perspective what our kids have to deal with on a daily basis.  The assignment was so touching that a coworker and I decided to try it ourselves.  The results weren't so heartbreaking, heartwarming, or inspiring.  Somewhere between the idea to have them answer the question and the actual writing we forgot that we teach high school kids and they aren't right.  We were quickly reminded as we read through the cards.












I mean, really kids?!  It's our fault.  We've known these kids all year.  We should've known better. They weren't all bad.  I had some sweet ones and some troubling ones.  I'll share those tomorrow.

This past Friday was a very eventful day at my school.  We had a situation and had to be placed on lock down.  Pretty scary stuff!  In the midst of us all panicking (because of lack of information), we failed to lock the doors to the 9th grade wing where my classroom in located.  Because my classroom is on the end right by the door, I have the key to lock the door in case of an emergency situation.  The teacher on the other end of the hall has a key as well.  I told my seniors that I had to go lock the door and that I'd be right back and to stay in the room and to not open the door for anybody.  Two of my football players refused to let me go alone so we go and lock the door.  In the meantime, the teacher at the end of the hall can't find her key meaning I had to walk all the way to the end of the hall exposing myself to whatever had us on lock down.  Again, the football players refused to let me go alone.  We ran full speed to the end of the hall and get the door locked.  For whatever reason, the door made a loud POP sound when I locked it.  About the same time the custodian rounded the corner from the outside of the building. 
Me: *frozen* (I haven't processed what is happening yet)
Medium sized football player: *also frozen*
Biggest football player who volunteered to walk with me: "Oh, shit! We're shot!" *stumbles and falls over himself as he runs up the hall leaving us while we're still trying to process what is happening.*
Me and medium football player: *finally unfreeze and figure out that it's the custodian*  To big football player "Man, how you gon' volunteer to be bodyguard and leave us?!"
Big football player: "Man, that man scared me!  I didn't know who he was!"
Me: "You're fired forever from being the bodyguard."

At least I know where I stand with that kid.  At the first sign of danger, I'm a goner.  LOL!  The situation ended up being something small, but our admins chose to be careful rather than sorry.  Of course, the media made it seem like there were 50 shooters in the building and the kids were rioting and everybody was dead.  None of that happened.  A kid wasn't supposed to be at school, he got caught, he tried to run, didn't get far, there was a scuffle, he lost again, situation over.  The end.  

We have 4 more Mondays where I am!  How many do you have?  Are your kids crazy like mine are?  Just keep holding on!  The end is near!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Light Skins and the Demons Within

In a few weeks my kids have a big project due.  They have to interview a person of their choice and write a narrative from the interview.  Naturally we've been practicing this in class with their classmates and I must say that I've been impressed with their work.  My kids can write!  I made them interview a classmate that they wouldn't normally talk to.  I wanted them to step outside of their comfort zones and possibly form new friendships.  In some classes, it's difficult to do that because the classes are small or everybody in the class knows everybody.  When that happens, the interview usually goes south.  Here's an excerpt from one such interview.

"I decided to ask her some questions so she could express her thoughts on certain topics, which brings us to our first question.  I asked her what are her thoughts on being a light skinned in today's world.  Well, what she said is that she doesn't like the stereotypes people put on her breed.  Like they don't text back, or they think their all that.  Judging by how she spoke on this, she isn't team light skin not team dark skin.  She's just team skinned.  I think asked her what is her favorite TV show?  Fortunately, it wasn't something stupid and feminine like most girls watch, she said it was Adventure Time."  She like it because it is weird and random.  So this shows that Miss Light Skin has a good sense of humor and doesn't embrace the light skin demon inside of her."

Uuuuhhh... What?!  And that wasn't even all of his interview!  The sad part about it is that he was so serious.  When I was telling the next class what not to do in the interview, they knew exactly who wrote the interview.  Apparently he got his little heart broken by a light skin and he never recovered.  Bless him.  This is the same kid that said that said cute teachers aren't mean, unless they're light skinned.  Then they're evil.  Then he said that I don't count and I must be a mutant.  I'm not a typical light skin.  I mean, who raised this kid?!

I'm beginning to think my kids do stuff just so I can blog about them.  Whenever one of them does/says something totally ridiculous, they ask if I'm going to blog about it.  I ain't mad though.  It makes for interesting classes.

Monday, September 8, 2014

WJTV Player of the Week

One of my precious babies is in the running for WJTV's High School Player of the Week!  Go to www.wjtv.com and vote for Donovan Lewis.  He kicked butt Friday night against Ridgeland!   Vote everyday from multiple browsers.  We want him to win!

Throwback story of the day:
Last year one of our kids failed to eat lunch before he took his medication.  This wasn't one of his better ideas (he didn't have many to begin with) and he fell ill shortly thereafter.  I'm known for fixing kids sandwiches when they don't eat or have lunch, so I fixed him a sandwich.  You'd think I would have gotten a thank you or some other expression of gratitude.  No.  He said, "I knew I'd have Mrs. Scott making me sandwiches one day."  Like, seriously kid?  Next time it happened he didn't get a sandwich from me.

This year, I have the sweetest kids ever.  They always want to hug and love on you.  It's really weird because I have 9th and 12th graders.  I don't think I've ever experienced anything like it.  One day was particularly rough for me because the story we were reading reminded me of the day that my brother died.  Naturally, I cried in class.  Do you know that every class cried with me and told stories to make me feel better?  It was almost like they understood where I was coming from.  I've had many moments like that where my thoughts would trail off and I'd miss my brother and my kids would be right there with me making sure that I was ok.  Of course, I start crying more because I get all choked up because they care about me and what's going on in my world.  It's a never ending cycle.  LOL

In the midst of the tears and story telling, I normally have that one kid that wants to relate but can't quite make it.
Me:  "Right now Lizabeth is feeling lost and confused because her dad is crying and she just doesn't understand what's happening in her world.  Has anybody ever experienced what our narrator is feeling right now?"
Kid:  "I have.  When my dad died, my uncle was crying and I had never seen a man cry before.  I mean, he's a mitch (read male b*tch) anyway so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised."
Me:  *blank stare*  "You don't get to talk anymore."
I mean, I was with him up until the end.  He really didn't think anything was wrong with what he said.

I have a few classes that are mostly boy classes.  This would be ok if they weren't so gross.  I'm at my desk getting ready for the next activity when this kid stood up in the middle of my class and blew snot on my floor.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Apparently the tissue was busy and he had no alternative.  I almost cussed.  That's disgusting.  Another thing they do is poot.  I have to get on to them all the time about acting like gentlemen in front of a lady.  They don't care.  They're boys.  It grosses me out.

Don't forget to vote for Donovan Lewis as WJTV's High School Player of the Week!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Being short sucks

One of the perks of being married to the boys basketball coach is that I get to teach all of the freshmen basketball players.  It's always loads of fun because they all want to impress coach's wife.  Of course they're mischievous but once I threaten to tell Coach they straighten right on up.  They also like to crack on each other quite often which is pretty hilarious.  They don't hold back either.

Me:  "I'll read this passage because some of the language is difficult and I don't want you to get discouraged or frustrated and not want to read.  Now, I'm not going stop you from reading if you want to try it, but it is difficult."
Very short basketball player: "Mrs. Scott, I'll try to read it."
Me:  "Ok, great! Go for it!"
*VSBP reads through the passage beautifully*
Me: "Very good!  You read that passage like it was nothing! Good job!"
Teammate (whispering to VSBP):  "Man, the words in that passage are bigger than you are."
VSBP:  "Uh, Mrs. Scott, I think we need to have a class talk on bullying because Teammate is talking about me."
Me:  "What'd he say?"
VSBP:  "He said that the words were bigger than I was."
Me: *falls out laughing*
VSBP: *stares in disbelief*
Me:  "Oh, my bad...  You didn't think that was funny?"

He eventually laughed and we moved on.

Something fun that I enjoy doing is scaring the new teachers a little with how I talk to my kids.  New teachers are fresh out of school with their lofty ideals and textbook discipline plans and they often get burned out because that stuff doesn't work and they can't adjust.  I'm not knocking new teachers.  I was a new teacher once.  I'm just saying... Never mind.  It really doesn't matter.  If you're a teacher, you know what I'm talking about.  Anyway, a kid came over to the teacher table during lunch which is a no no unless you're dying.
Kid (rocking and fidgeting the whole time):  "Mrs. Scott, I drank a lot of milk and now I gotta lot of energy and I can't control it.  I need some more milk though.  Can you buy me another milk?"
Me: "What?!"
Kid (still fidgeting): "I need some more milk.  I got too much energy."
Me:  "Boy, if you don't get out my face and go sit at your table!  You are not about to worry me today.  Go on now!"
New teacher: *wide eyes staring in astonishment*
Me:  "Girl, sometimes you have to talk rough to these kids for them to get it."

All that take them in the hall and conference with them privately for 30 minutes  to discuss what they did wrong and what they need to do to fix it just doesn't work.  I wish I would stop my instruction to deal with you because you're acting out.  Child...  I don't have time.

Have any of y'all seen my teacher body?  It hasn't come in yet and I was wondering if y'all had seen it.  I'm pooped!  There's no tired like beginning of school year tired.  The struggle is real for real.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Because geography is hard

On the first day of school, I was going through my powerpoint presentation that introduced me to my kids.  I had slides that talked about my family and what I liked to do.  One slide talked about my love for traveling and listed all of the places I had traveled.
Me: "Has anybody in here ever been out of the country?"
Kid: "I have!"
Me: "Cool! Where have you been?"
Kid: "New Orleans!"
Me: *blank stare* "Uh, New Orleans is in Louisiana.  That's, like, the next state over."
Kid: *gets up and looks out the window* "Where?"
Me: *face palm*

I know New Orleans has its own culture and can appear to be a foreign place, but it is still in the United States of America.  Bless his little heart...

The first day of school is the time for all of those cheesy get to know you activities and to sit around and sing "Kumbaya" with your kids so y'all can get to know each other and bond. *eye roll*  Anyway, over the last few years I've been having my kids tell me what animal they would be and why.  Most of my kids understood the assignment, but there were those that just didn't get it.  At all.

"I'd be a kangaroo."
"Why?"
"Because they jump."
"Do you jump like a kangaroo?"
"No."

"I'd be a bird because they fly all over the place and they get to see everything."
"But what does that have to do with you?"

"I'd be a panda bear because they're cuddly.  I don't like cuddling or people in my personal space.  Unless it's my momma.  She can hug me."

Then of course there are those that are quite interesting.

"I'd be a killer."
*blank stare*

"I'd be a cockroach."
"Why?"
"Cuz you know how y'all leave food out and stuff and cockroaches come behind you and eat the left out food?  I do that.  I eat the leftovers."
*blank stare*

I was going through my introductory powerpoint and I started talking about my friends and how awesome they are. *Shout out to Bria, Cynt, Keetra, Kaley, Maranda, Mandy, and Robyn* I told my kids that it's important to have good friends in your life because they make life's difficult times a little easier.  My friends have been there through 3 of the hardest times in my life: the death of my granny, my ectopic pregnancy, and the death of my little brother.  I didn't use the term ectopic pregnancy when I was talking to my kids.  I said that Coach Scott and I had lost our baby.  One of my inclusion kids was confused by this phrasing.  He raised his hand very politely and asked, "Mrs. Scott? How did y'all lose the baby?  Did it get lost?"  Bless his little heart!  He didn't get it.  I explained it to him, so I hope he understands now.  

We've only been in school 3 days and all of that has happened!  Looks like this will be a blog worthy year!