Friday, May 1 - What's For Lunch?

New on the school lunch menu this week:

Friday, April 24 - The Newest Dance Fad

A teacher came into the office and handed me some rings that were found in the faculty bathroom. They were not costume rings - they were someone's diamonds. A little while later, another teacher walked into the office. This one is known to wear some pretty pricy jewels to school. She once made it a point to tell me that her pearl necklace was worth $10K and I have no reason not to believe her. She's often decked out to the nines with her gold and other jewels.

Knowing this, when she came in I asked her if she was missing any jewelry. Now this is probably funnier done in person but I'm going to try to write it.

Instead of just saying yes or no she did this:

Right hand on left wrist.
Left hand on right wrist.
Right hand to right ear.
Left hand to left ear.
Right hand to neck then over her heart.
Then a slight foot kick.

Nope, she wasn't missing anything.

There was a male teacher in the office along with the other secretary and I during this demonstration. After she left we all busted up laughing and surprisingly he said it looked like she was doing the "damn macarena"! I was waiting for him to say that except for the kick at the end, she would make a good third base coach sending signals to the batter.

Go ahead, I know you want to try it for yourself!

Friday, April 17 - Blah, Blah, Hmmmm

First, let me say that our custodial staff is like the United Nations - they come from all over the world - Poland, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Italy, etc. This can be challenging when you need to ask them a question, or more importantly, try to explain something to them. The custodians are assigned to one or possibly two schools and they have their regular daily chores to attend to.

The "Maintenance Guys", not to be confused with custodians, travel between all the schools to make the major repairs. The "Maintenance Guys" speak English very well, although sometimes it's still difficult to explain things to them.

Yesterday the "Maintenance Guys" came to pick up their paychecks. They're always good for a couple of stories that get us laughing. One of the "Maintenance Guys", let's call him Jack, was relating a story about a custodian, Harry, who is often found napping on the job. Jack said he asked one of the other custodians, a hispanic woman, where this particular custodian was. She told him that Harry was in the Coochie's office. I wasn't aware that we had a Coochie in the district. Turns out a Coochie is a coach.


I got the biggest laugh today when a student came to the office and asked for copies to be made for his teacher. He did say please without prompting and when the copies were done I handed them to him and he actually bowed when he said thank you! I couldn't help but crack up. He smiled too!


Okay, so maybe that wasn't the biggest laugh today. It might have been when the fifth grade teacher came into the office after lunch and announced that he had to go home and change his pants because his zipper broke as he stood there holding the zipper pull in his hand. He said he couldn't go back to class and be expected to teach with the barn door open!


Well, if you haven't found the humor in any of the stories related above that's okay. I bet you didn't know that April 17th is Blah, Blah, Blah Day!

Have a great one!

Friday, April 10 - Does That Ringing In My Ears Bother You

I have been enjoying a most peaceful week. School has been out this week - for the faculty and the students - but not for 12-month employees of which I am one. So I took some personal days and did spend one day in the office tying up some loose ends before the end of the year crush begins.

The reason I say it was peaceful is because there were no bells to deal with. You see, I'm beginning to feel like one of Pavlov's dogs when I hear a bell ring.

I have a phone on my desk and the school doorbell also. And, thanks to a recent thunderstorm and power outage, I have the distinction of having to manually pulling the bell switch for the beginning and ending of school, as well as the late bell and the beginning of Opportunity Period at the end of the day.

So when the phone rings and the doorbell rings at the same time that I'm supposed to ring the school bell, well, you might say we have the "perfect storm" of bells.

Yes, there is another person in the office, but she sits on the other side of the room and is very often otherwise occupied at those busy times. We do have some teachers who will answer the doorbell to help out and I'm thankful for that when they do. But some days, I wish I could just turn the noise off.

So since I only have a 10 min. commute home from work, when I get there I don't turn on the tv and I hope that the phone doesn't ring for at least an hour so I can clear my head of all the ringing. I'd much prefer to open the windows and listen to the birds sing. Hopefully, that will come soon.

Friday, April 3 - The Need to Know

People are inquisitive. It just can't be helped. It is a part of human nature. But sometimes they want to know too much, or ask inappropriate or probing questions in public.

We have all these laws now that are supposed to assure people their privacy - like the HIPPA regulations. You know the line you have to stand behind at the pharmacy so you don't hear the person in front of you talk to the pharmacist about their drugs.

Schools abide by these rules, or are supposed to. But here's what I find unnerving - our nurse insists on sending sick students (8-, 9-, and 10-year-olds) to the office while she makes a confidential call to a parent, yet she will come right out and ask you about your health issues in a room where other people are privy to your conversation. There could be other teachers, students or parents in the room, but she doesn't seem to notice.

It is most uncomfortable.

But there are times that there is definitely a need to know certain things.

For instance, parents often question me when I tell them that they have to sign their child out of school at the end of the day. I have to explain to them that - God forbid there should be a bus accident, we have to know who is and who isn't on the bus for safety reasons.

Or when a class is going outside or holding class in another room. Especially at the end of the day and students are being picked up early. It is very frustrating to have to make several calls around the building looking for a child when their parent is standing right in front of you, only to find out that their class is outside or in the computer lab or some other room and hasn't let the office know.

Then there is the need to know when a substitute or teacher is leaving the building. This is not only for safety reasons but there might be an occasion where we need coverage in another class. Or, there might be an emergency phone call for them.

Most people will offer the reason for leaving, but they really don't have to. All they have to do is remember to sign out. We also ask that they sign in and out for the day. There is a valid reason for it and it does go beyond being nosy.

I must admit, that sometimes I might ask where they're going in the case of the student aide that makes a fairly regular trip to Dunkin' Donuts or McDonalds and I'm craving a cup of coffee or sweet tea. Or if they didn't sign out and we were looking for them, we might ask where they were. Again, most of the time the answer comes easily, but there are times when we are simply told "the principal knew I was going out".

And this is when it becomes frustrating, because the principal doesn't always remember or get to share with us these things before they happen. So the teacher gets pissed because they feel their privacy has been invaded, and we get pissed because the rules are there for the reasons above.

I don't give a flying leap where you've been. And I don't give a flying leap that you had permission to go. If you don't want to be questioned then play by the rules.

All I ask is that you remember to sign in and out so I don't have to send a fireman back in the building to look for you.

Oh, and don't send me your sick, lice infested kids to watch while you make a confidential phone call unless you're going to afford me the same amount of privacy.