Thursday, October 27, 2016

Stories from a Middle School Teacher: America the Beautiful

America The Beautiful!
My second year at PEC a new person was introduced to my team. His name was Mr. Cacamatzin no one ever knew how to say his name and constantly mispronounced it. He was part of a work program from Romania (Because again, CMS couldn’t find anyone in the continental US who would work for their school). He looked extremely busy and mean when I first met him, but the more I got to know him the more I realized that he was extremely funny and sarcastic.

During one of the first faculty meetings of the year, Cacamatzin decided to sit next to me. I was fine with this because we were becoming close friends. This turned out to be a disastrous mistake. During the meeting the administrators told us that they were going to have to ask a lot more of their teachers. They were going to need us to fill out three extra forms every benchmark, and turn in lesson plans in triplicate, and a plethora of other things. Each Time they mentioned something new we were going to have to do Cacamatzin would raise his hands above his head and clap while loudly saying, “I LOVE America!”

The more this happened, the more people kept turning to look at him, and the more the administrators would pause to state. No one could figure out if he was being serious or sarcastic. He was being downright sarcastic and I found the whole thing highly amusing. However, I never sat next to him in a faculty meeting again.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Short Stories from a Middle School Teacher: Batman 2016

Batman 2016!

The school was positively buzzing with anticipation during the 2008 presidential election. Our 8th graders were particularly interested in the election because they were learning about how voting is a civic responsibility. Jensen decided that having the kids participate in a school based election for the president would be a great teaching tool (also, I think he wanted to put it on he resume that he helped run a presidential campaign).

Somehow this small classroom vote turned into a school wide election. Jensen bought 1,000 “I voted” stickers, created ballots, and worked out a whole system to help all the students in school have a hands on experience with the election. We turned his classroom into campaign headquarters. We had live feeds of the election from various new networks playing on mobile carts; we had students collecting and sorting ballots, and we had the students writing about why this election was so historic (either the first African American president or the first female vice president).

As we were working on tallying the votes students kept asking me who I voted for, which I refused to tell them because I didn’t feel it was my place to sway impressionable young minds (I prefer to use my power of persuasion for evil rather than good). The question they posed for me was always the same, “Ms. Potter did you vote for Rock Obama or John McClain? You should vote for Rock Obama.” I just thought to myself each of the 67 Times I heard this, “I am just glad that the majority of my students are going to commit felonies before they have the chance to vote.” I don’t know about you but I don’t want who runs my country decided by people who don’t even know the candidates names.

There was a little bit glimmer of hope that day though. As we were tallying the votes Price and I noticed a growing trend. Of the 849 ballots received we received 49 write in votes for Batman. I think that I could get on board for this in the 2012 election. He is well known, trustworthy, snazzy dresser, and has an easy to pronounce name.

Batman 2016
First Superhero in the White House!