F. Scott Fitzgerald said,

"There are no second acts in American lives."

Most people think he was crazy.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My plans for total world domination...

I have an interesting group of academically gifted students this year. They enjoy the whole concept of being "renegades." I guess they were assigned to the right teacher, because this whole 'teaching Physical Education' thing is right up my renegade alley.
I am very fortunate that the woman who teaches with me is supporting my response to having to lead exercises. She feels as I do--that if I lose 10 minutes a day from a class period to lead exercises, then over the course of a week, I have lost AN ENTIRE CLASS PERIOD!!! This is ridiculous, as I have a test at the end of a year that gauges whether or not I've taught my students ENGLISH/LANGUAGE ARTS, not how to follow a silly exercise video.

So, I decided to chunk that 50 minutes into two 25 minute blocks. And instead of a lame exercise video, we're learning a production number from "A Chorus Line."

Our goal is to be a singular sensation.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

$hit like this is why I might be clinically insane.

Okay, so this blog isn't Kirb Appeal. Because I am not always appealing. Sometimes I act like the kids I'm supposed to teach, which mostly makes me annoying. But I have a feeling I won't be teaching middle school much longer, so it's fine. (If you know of any job openings for has-beens, let me know.)

In another quest for financial incentives (or "kickbacks," as I like to refer to them), our school system superintendent has mandated that each teacher MUST teach 10 minutes of physical education a day. We can squeeze this in "at our convenience." If you teach a tested subject, as I do, it's never convenient. But I have to cram it in there anyway, along with "CareerStart" (kickbacks circa 2006) and "Learning Focus" (Paying Kickbacks Since 2007!). None of these have any actual bearing on my subject (English/Language Arts), but it doesn't matter. Someone, somewhere, who probably knows somebody, is having his hand greased because he has told teachers they need to implement more crap into their day.

And the "kickback du jour" is Physical Education.

Now don't get me wrong--I think it's really important for kids to exercise and I like getting physical. But I am not now, nor have I ever been, a physical education teacher. I teach kids to read and write, not run. And I really don't have time (or the knees) to run with kids. But whoever is getting this money was thinking. He knew that teachers were going to plead ignorance and/or poverty when faced with this mandate, so he has supplied us with VIDEOS!

These are not just any videos, folks. These are not old Jane Fonda tapes or yoga DVDs or even the "Dancing With the Stars" workout. No siree! These are videos of students doing excercises! Exciting, right? 10 minutes of exercises like stretching your hands over your head! And touching your toes! WhooHoo! I can hardly stand the excitement!
And after ten minutes 'exercising' to a video that not only didn't get me sweaty, but didn't increase my heart rate at all, I decided that if it was mandated that my students exercise for 50 minutes a week under my tutelage, we were really going to exercise MY WAY!
(No, Pete, that doesn't include a pole.)

And I began to hatch my evil plan.
I'll keep you posted.