Monday, August 07, 2006

Okay, I am so not a this from Peri's blog

You Are a Dragon

You are very charismatic and incredibly popular.
People are drawn to your energy, but you are a very difficult person to get to know.
You are very active - you are usually hard at work or play.
You enjoy drama, and you enjoy anything unusual or eccentric.

Why this year is different

(Read the next one - Rambling... - first)

New district, new administrators, new ideas.

And yes, new policies just like always - but new policies that might actually work, since they are really new ideas. Most ideas in education are just the same old thing, recycled. Not in Melissa, Texas. Creative teachers who are encouraged to be so. Innovative administrators who are not afraid to work - not just to stay busy, but to actually WORK on what matters. Amazing - I have never even heard of anything like this, much less seen it in action.

So yes, I am sitting through meetings and looking forward to the times when I can work in my room (and, by the way, we DO get paid for that here), but I AM EXCITED! This is what I got into this business for - it ain't the big money, or the fame, it is the chance to really make a difference.

I knew when I saw the mission statement that this was a special place - Melissa ISD is the district that all others in Texas and beyond will emulate.

Wow. And they we mean it.

Rambling on school starting...

School starts next week.

I am not supposed to dread this, since I graduated a long time ago. But I usually regard the start of school with a mixture of dread and excitement - much as I did when I was a student.

It is not the return to the classroom that bothers me. It is the "in-service" days just before school starts.

If you are not a teacher, you might have always wondered exactly what teachers do on those days - or, if you are somewhat brighter than that, it never occurred to you. The fact is, we don't know either. We hope for the days when we get to work at actually getting ready to teach, but those are few, and usually unpaid.

No, usually we get to sit through interminable meetings at which we are told the new policies, which have just about as much chance of working as the old policies, and to hear about this year's fashionable program (and now it is not fashionable to call them programs, so the hyper-intelligent administrators go out of their way to explain that "this is not a program," though they never explain the difference). We just grin and bear it - it will all go away as soon as it doesn't work, which is usually pretty quickly.

But those are not the worst.

The worst are the motivational speakers.

Is anyone really motivated by finding out what color and geometrical shape they are? I do not know that it made me a better or more motivated teacher to learn that I am a blue squiggle. I was once, also, brown; because, apparently, I like to fade into the background. Incredible - if you know me, well, you get the idea (I was wearing a camo t-shirt that day). Once, we heard a recycled speech all about how gen-x'ers had no organizational skills and it was up to us to save them from themselves. I pointed out afterward that many of us in the audience actually were gen-x'ers; albeit, founding members of the order. A note to any principals who might be reading this (yeah, right) - spend the money on copy paper, it is much more useful.

But, this year is different. See next post.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My newest tattoo

I know, it is kind of campy to go with something like this right after Pirates II came out, but I have been using it as a logo for my karaoke company for almost a year now, so I'll justify it at that.

And no, I harbor no illusions of being a pirate any more than I think I am Superman (see the link at right for other tattoos), but there is a personal story behind each and every one of them, and that is all that matters to me. None of them are straight from the book, though a couple of them are close, and each has some symbolism, either hidden or obvious or both.

I think that the star in the eyepatch brings me to 28 stars. No goals there, and no significance to the number - but hey, I like stars.