A week of Failures

This week of failures. 

I put on a golden yellow t-shirt, matched perfectly with my scarf and notice a small hole 
my sweater covers it up
pretty much
My daughter says"Don't worry about it! Why are you always worried about stuff like that? It doesn't matter. You should see what MY teacher wears." 
At peace with my outfit, I pour some juice
grape, 100% (fights off stomach bugs, I hear) 
and promptly spill 
purple streaks on my golden yellow T
Decision made
Outfit changed
More laundry

I teach
Area of a parallelogram
We draw triangles, and create rectangles
and try to remember formulas
and pencils
we always try to remember pencils
and math books 
and notebooks
and how to stay on task
"How did we find the area of a rectangle?" I ask
"Base times height times 2?" they guess.
"Can I go to the bathroom?"
"When's our next field trip?"
"Did you watch the super bowl?"

My teaching partner and I stare at the released items
Practice for the state tests
A formula sheet that we hope our students understand
And word problems full of so. many. words. 
We skip the "no calculator allowed" problems, nodding to each other that they make sense. 
We stumble through one where the answer is-|3|<-|2|,-(-2)<-(-3) 
Say that one out loud
And think of a struggling learner, reader, mathematician you know.
We get through the ratios, the rates, and the many
word problems. 
We stumble again at a question asking us for an equivalent equation 
I believe the goal is to assess the distributive property
and to trick the test taker
We peter out after a few tricky problems
After all, our planning period is almost over
My teaching partner reminds me, 
"Wow. We were working on that for all of 10 minutes and I'm over it...and we skipped the ones we knew we could do if we HAD to." 
The students HAVE to, and for how long? 
An hour? 

We finally hired people to finish fixing up our house
An Amish builder
detailed, friendly, fair
a craftsman
and his sons
Early each morning, my husband drives to get them and they begin their work.
I hate the mess they walk into each day
I imagine their house is not cluttered with 
legos and mail, and so many shoes
I should spend my time on this --
straighten up
clean for these Amish builders
But I don't. 
I'm busy or tired 
or both
So they move the trays of legos, and then they put them back when they are done. They step over backpacks, and move the Cheerios to a different counter.
"Mommy. They organized our shoes, put them in order. They weren't even all put away before!" my children lament
Even they know this is ridiculous.

We are out of class snacks
So I stick some popcorn in the microwave
"Ms. Thought? Um... Is something wrong with the microwave? It's smoking." 
The room still smells of burnt popcorn as I get out the air popper
with it's missing top
That's okay, I balance a ceramic mug to keep the top closed
and the room is filled with the pop pop pop pop
and the burning smell is diminished some with the smell of fresh popcorn
Nacho cheese is the decided flavor packet, so I shake it on
I didn't know you aren't supposed to use the whole packet
Kids cough as they eat and realize my mistake 
I make more popcorn to dilute the invisible cheese flavor
They drink water, and at least some of the kids say
"That's okay. I like this popcorn!" 

At home all the grape juice
didnt quite keep the stomach sick away
Poor sweet kids
Poor sleepy parents

Mr. Thought assures me.
"Next week will be better." 


1 thought on “A week of Failures

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