Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Methodical, Miserable Mista

I have a process when it comes to my job. When this process is executed to perfection, life is smooth. I get time to think about how the day went and how the lesson worked. Or how it didn't work. I'm not always perfect. But I like being close.

My lesson PowerPoints are pre-uploaded to my school's e-mail from my Macbook Pro the evening before. The next morning, I arrive to school early and download them onto the Dell piece-of-shit-desktop computer connected to the SMARTBoard. In mere seconds, my lessons are open, ready and waiting to be presented.

Quizzes and homework assignments are pre-downloaded to a USB thumb drive (also the evening before), which I simply plug into the Xerox printer in the main office and print. I always print five additional copies of whatever I need as I have learned from the past that having more copies of material is always a good thing. I don't lose things, but I guess students do. Humans.

All quizzes and homework assignments are graded before I leave for the day, with grades uploaded into a spreadsheet I created that utilizes conditional formatting to colorfully detail how students performed (green = good). My student aides change the date to tomorrow's date on the chalkboard once they're done entering the grades into my spreadsheet. I write the next day's topics on the white-erase board before I leave.

This is pretty efficient when I'm operating at 100% health. I usually am. However, the following things happened today:
  1. I forgot to upload the lessons I had worked on the night before. Luckily, I had my lessons from last year saved on my desktop, but all the lovely tweaks I had made the night before were gone.
  2. I left my USB thumb drive in the printer and walked off with my copies. Luckily, a colleague found the drive and gave it back to me.
  3. I locked myself out of my own room. Twice.
  4. I made a mistake in a math lesson while modeling how to simplify a specific type of problem involving exponents. I actually forgot to use the order of operations in a problem. Luckily, a student pointed out my error. A student who barely comes to class.
I could tell I was getting sick because things were suddenly not falling into place. Yesterday, my throat felt scratchy after lunch. I tried to remedy this with cough drops, orange juice, sleep, and more orange juice.

I guess I'm getting worse, and I feel helpless.

Falling sick always shocks me, as I am rarely sick. I was never absent in high school. The last time I actually missed a school day due to sickness was in the seventh grade: I missed three school days which ultimately led to my first and only "B" in middle school. It was sewing class and never did learn the art of applying my foot gently on the sewing machine pedal. Because of this "B" in middle school, I was salutatorian instead of valedictorian. Because of sewing class. No, because I was sick. No, it was because my sewing teacher was a nut job with no sympathy for hard-working students overcome with illness. Completely crazy.
Says I, the nut job who was never absent in high school and who just wrote an entire post about his control issues. Touche, conscience. Touche.


Mr. and Miss When you are really a teacher, you don't have a last name. said...

Hmmm. Let's have lunch, and you can help to fine tune my own systems? No wonder you are always so calm cool and collected!

Yo Mista said...

@ Miss Em:
It's all a mask.