A Hall Monitor’s Tale

A Hall Monitor’s Tale

I started writing this post during hall duty and IMMEDIATELY abandoned it when hall duty was over. You may be thinking that my hall duty wasn’t very long but IN REALITY I am an incredibly slow writer. So anyway, this was just sad and lonely and in my drafts and I’m never going to finish it so here it is have fun people:

A Hall Monitor’s Tale 

Or, You’ll Have to Wait There’s Someone Already in the Restroom

It’s standardized testing season, the most wonderless time of the school year. This is my 5th year in education and I’m pretty used to our state’s standards: The Standards of Learning (it took me THREE YEARS before I understood why out-of-staters laughed whenever I mentioned the S.O.L.s.)*. In these five years I’ve been a substitute teacher, a school-based substitute, an instructional assistant, and a full time teacher. So I’ve given SO MANY SOLs, I wouldn’t even be able to count. The mention of testing has changed over the years due to rules changing and student populations changing but it, overall, it’s mostly the same. Someone needs to read the state mandated script and someone needs to make sure that students are ALONE or SUPERVISED in the bathrooms AT ALL TIMES. Teaching, it’s a very glamorous job.

* Google it and ignore any result about Virginia or Mars timekeeping

I am currently doing the latter job. If you’re a teacher you already know this, because you can LITERALLY do NOTHING while in the room with testing students. You cannot grade papers. You cannot write lesson plans. You cannot look up cute end of year awards on Pinterest. And don’t even THINK about reading a book or magazine. You can’t even look directly at the computers the students are testing on! The state mandates that test proctors are allowed only to exist, they call it “active monitoring”. Basically, you are expected to walk around the room (that has been stripped of any student work or posters), not looking at anything, waiting for a student to raise their hand and ask one of the few things they are allowed to ask. There is a really funny but sad We Are Teachers article about this entitled, 17 Things You Can do While Actively Monitoring a Standardized Test.

If they ask to use the restroom, the student is sent to a hall monitor like me, whose whole purpose is to make sure only one student is in the bathroom at a time. Because. Cheating? Also, we have to make sure testers are not lollygagging at the water fountain and that non-testing students aren’t making ANY noises.

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TEACHER TALK

TEACHER TALK
supreme
Except, you know, not evil

This post brought to you by Teacher Supreme, another co-worker of mine who has a real teaching blog  where she talks about teaching and not whatever harebrained thing crosses her mind (nice burn on myself, myself!). She tagged me to answer these questions, and I know this is supposed to be a blog about my budget but maybe I’m on a budget because I’m a teacher hmm and also THIS IS MY BLOG AND I DO WHAT I WANT:

 

 

1) What has been your one biggest struggle this year?

Several things come to mind but, as I’ll mention in question #4, I don’t know that “struggle” is the word I would use because after years and years of really crazy, awful jobs I wake up every morning feeling like 50% “ugh, waking up” and 50% “oh my god, I have a real career I like and it hasn’t proven to be a dream for yet another day wow”.

So anyway, ummm, my struggles include, loosing my full-size classroom that I was already sharing and getting a non-classroom room with no windows (this implies that my old classroom had windows, that isn’t true though) that used to be a break room and I now share with another self-contained teacher instead of a resource teacher. There is LITERALLY just enough room for our two desks and enough chairs table/desk space for our biggest class. It’s nuts. BUT ACTUALLY: even this struggle is okay because the self-contained teacher I share with is one of my best friends (so is Teacher 3, the resource teacher I used to share with! Sharing a classroom with me = INSTANT BESTFRIENDSHIP) AND it has a sink in it, which was my greatest wish.

2) Share two accomplishments that you are proud of this school year.

  1. Getting a sink. I’m proud of this because I asked for a sink and even though I got stuffed into a break room that is so small that I literally can’t get to my desk when students are sitting in their chairs I still GOT what I asked for. Proving that I’m, at the very least, sometimes listened to. Do you know how much easier it is to care for my classroom turtle with a sink? When I do water changes I can just siphon the old water straight into the drain IT’S INCREDIBLE.
  2. Becoming the Science Department Lead Teacher. This is less impressive when you realize I wasn’t voted in or anything, I saw there was an opening and I wanted to do it and administration said yes, that’s literally the story. But I’m still proud of it because I got snacks to be an institution at the science department meetings. EVIDENCE: When I had another teacher lead the meeting because I had another meeting he brought snacks and later he told me that it was because he thought the teachers would be expecting it. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

3) What are three things you want to accomplish this year?

  1. Helping form the Gay-Straight Alliance. This is already in the works thanks to a better organized teacher than me who had a meeting after school today to plan that was already rescheduled once because of me and then I up and got sick and missed this one, ugh. I’m the worst co-worker, sorry all the people I work with ;_;
  2. Increase the pass rate for the 8th grade Science SOL for our gap groups. Ugh, I actually really want this. But before you’re like, wow, leadership has CHANGED you man, I want this for the kids because I have a group that I taught science to last year and they’ve passed a handful of SOLs among them and I KNOW THEY CAN DO IT, HO YEAH.
  3. More projects that my students are actually excited to do. Class is more fun when students aren’t constantly whining “ARGH, WHY DO WE HAVE TO DO THE SCIENCE FAIR” and are instead like “OH MY GOD, CAN I USE THESE PIPE CLEANERS FOR THE ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM??” which really happened once!!!!!

4) Give four reasons why you remain in education despite today’s rough culture.

  1. Because I spent so many years in retail. And I know that other jobs are shit. Teaching may be stressful, but it is not even a little bit as shitty as the various jobs I have had. (This includes the literally shitty jobs, like working at a Doggie Day Care)
  2. The looks on my students’ faces when they accomplish something after working hard. You know what was the most amazing this year? When we had to have a mini science fair because of Snowzilla, when I told my four top students that they were invited to participate in the fair their faces just LIT UP they were so proud.
  3. I LOVE the people I work with. I mean, like, love. I work with amazing people at an amazing school.
  4. Sharing awesome knowledge with students. I love teaching science! I’m like, did you guys know that you started as one cell? You were first a zygote and look at you now IT’S AMAZINGGGGGG

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5) Which five people do you hope will  challenge themselves with answering these questions?

Michael, Ginz, Teacher 3, Goddess, and Teacher 2

Only one of these people has a blog BUT THAT’S OKAY