This week, in bullet points.
- Work has been tough. Student behavior among middle-schoolers always seems to be at its worst in early spring, but this year has been a disaster on a whole other level. More fights, huge classroom disruptions, four incidents in the past week alone where kids were threatening teachers and staff, and on and on. While I'm luckier than most in that I have a quiet, private office to work in, even the stress of my job is getting worse. I have to hold regular truancy interventions with families, and you wouldn't believe the cans of worms THOSE often open up. I'm on the phone at least once a week with DSS making reports of child neglect (educational and otherwise), and I have to schedule and prepare paperwork for all of our expulsion hearings this year, too. (Processing discipline referrals is part of my job along with attendance and record keeping). It can all be very unpleasant, to say the least, when you work in a school with such tough demographics. Our student poverty rate is up around 70% which explains all the other problems, I suppose.
- I still haven't heard anything about the job I applied for. It's still listed on the district website as open, and I hope that since the job won't start until July they're just taking their time about filling it. But I've decided the best thing to do now is to forget about it and keep looking. I was sad to learn that four more teachers I've known for years and (and really like) have accepted offers elsewhere. This makes 15 teachers that I know of who can't or won't continue working at our school next year. I don't know how we're going to function given the teacher shortage (and our school's reputation).
- WINTER IS COMING BACK. Because of course it is. It's going to get down to freezing a couple of nights next week, and I'm trying to figure out how to save the new young leaves and flowers on the crabapple, fig, and blueberries. Late freezes are pretty common in the spring, but what's not common is how far along everything already is due to the warm winter. If you can even call it a winter this year!
- At least the plants I started in the house are safe. I've already had to start potting up tomato plants and they're growing like mad under the aquatic grow light Gregg found for me to use. Soon I'll be out of room inside, but at least we have the porch to keep them on until they acclimate to the outdoors, and the weather is consistently warm.
- Marco is driving us crazy. He's having some problematic breeding behaviors that we can't seem to stop. Gregg would tell you the main problem is his screaming for attention. (It makes him furious, and it is awful to listen to). But if you ask me, the main problem is that he tries to "feed" a pretend girlfriend as part of his mating behaviors, and that involves puking up food...wherever he can. We've removed all toys from his cage, and so now he regurgitates onto the side of his food and water dishes. I have to wash them multiple times a day and this has been going on for weeks now. It's pretty gross, not to mention, time consuming. If only it were possible to spay or neuter birds!