A Phillie Teacher

I was a starry-eyed teacher from New Jersey. Now I work for Philadelphia Public Schools.

Posts Tagged ‘education’

The New Guy (and Other Rumors)

Posted by aphillieteacher on July 24, 2011

It was a whirlwind spring. The end of school featured the usual exciting release of gossip and secrets; rumors were laid to rest  and new ones were started.

Rumor 1: Our principal will be reassigned. We’re getting someone new!
True. Follow up questions and rumors: Is a smaller school assignment a reward or a punishment? did the former principal lose face or get rewarded? Answer: The ways of the Philadelphia School District are mysterious and never revealed to common teachers.
Rumor 2: A new guy has been assigned as principal to finally bring order to our school.
We don’t know yet if the order part is true, but it would certainly be a relief to have a principal who backs up his teachers. If cell phones are forbidden, then don’t allow them into the building and don’t smile as kids pass you in the hallway openly talking on their phones. And oh yes, don’t threaten to write a teacher up because a student is seen in class with a cell phone. You were supposed to police cell phone possession, not us.

We’ll find out soon enough what this new guy is made of.
Where will I be teaching in September?
The question might be closer to *will* I be teaching in September. I was laid off on June 7 and reinstated 2 weeks later. Current rumors claim there will be more layoffs before mid August which may or may not include me.

Actually  don’t know if being laid off would be so bad; so far I’m having a wonderful summer just lazing around not writing lesson plans or pretending I don’t see waaaaay too much male underwear or listening to language that would embarrass a sailor.

I like not working. Too bad I also like  income.


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Fighting becomes performance

Posted by aphillieteacher on April 14, 2011

Another fight at school today. From what I could see it involved two girls outside the cafeteria, right next to the main office.

It was quite a spectacle: close to a hundred kids must’ve gathered to get a better view.  One parent waiting to see the principal was treated to a front row seat through the office window.

Even after the security officers dragged the girls into the office they continued to lunge and kick at each other, spitting in each others’ faces and even at the officers.

Later in the day, kids replayed the video they had taken on their cell phones and critiqued the fighters’ methods.  “Why’d she put her head down? look. look at this! ” Over and over again.


How to stage your own
Fighting at Not-so-Wonderful High School has gone beyond a stupid way to an settle argument; it’s major entertainment. Someone “talks trash” and the next thing you know,  the kids have violent, graphic entertainment that will last for days.

Potential fighters text their friends about an impending battle; texts are sent to phones all over the building and in no time there’s an mob just dying to watch the mayhem. How great is that?

As an extra bonus, if you have the right Facebook friends, you can see the video again later and even add comments of your own. These are the latest edition of  high school memories.

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Feelin’ the Burn

Posted by aphillieteacher on March 23, 2011

PSSAs ended on Monday. In reaction to sitting still and going for an hour at a time without electronic devices over the past 6 days, the juniors have uglier senioritis than the seniors themselves.

For them, it’s school’s out, leave us alone, you cannot possibly ask anymore of us. We just want to sit in class and uh. . . Talk and goof around.

(Really, kids? Really?? ’cause what’s it gonna be like when you go to college/ get a job, or try to do your own income taxes? )

The point of this post is not the kids feeling burned out; it’s ME.  The last three days have been spent trying to gently corral them back  and make them stay quiet all at the same time for just 5 minutes so I can tell them about their baby-easy research project or get them started on Realism so we can read a cool story called “The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” But as we used to say in NJ: Forgeddabout it. They don’t  want to hear anything.

Today I am toast. Tired, totally cranky and, let’s face it: FED UP.

As much as I dreadfully need a mental health day, I’m going to brave it out one more day so 1/ I can run off stuff for a sub tomorrow  2/take off Friday so I can have 3 blissful days without my beloved students while I regenerate.

I doubt they will even miss me.

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Greetings to you, Mr. H

Posted by aphillieteacher on October 17, 2009

I barely know you, Mr. H. All I know is that you were the one who quit on the second day of teaching in Philadelphia. On September 29 I became the third teacher of “your” class.

I have two questions

  1. did you get a better offer in the suburbs?
  2. or did you know something I didn’t know?

I am hanging on, Mr. H. But just barely.

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