A spring break that was fully recharging, warm sun and T-shirt weather rapidly approaching, and an uninterrupted week of quality instruction was exactly what I needed.
And exactly what I didn't get.
Immediately upon returning from Spring Break, R-M school was hit with not just another winter blast but also an intense wave of standardized testing.
Do you think it's possible to make the legal case that I have a right to my class time with my students?
I have students on my roster that I haven't seen for two weeks now.
The remaining students that I have advocate for "free days" with the rationale that they don't want their peers to miss anything.
I call B.S. But even so, we all know the rule about arguing with idiots.
I'm sorry, let me rephrase that. Arguing with people being idiots. See, even my word filter is broken.
These low attendance, frigid cold days, drain the energy and lead to a downward spiral. I'm here to tell my teacher friends, it's real. And they're here saying, "You're preaching to the choir, Barbercheck."
I don't like to complain. Not one bit. My despise for complaints grew as my leadership experience grew. From Boy Scouts, to SAE Baja, to teaching I realized that complainers were, at best, defining a problem in an unproductively negative light, and at worst, well, complaining.
Funny thing is these complaints are never valid enough for the complainer to actually do any actual action to fix the problem. At one point I considered making "We need...," a banished phrase and require it to be replaced with "I'm going to..." For example, if:
"We need to make sure people start showing up on time," or
"We need more money," or
"We need to be able to do whatever we want"
...was to be uttered, it would have to turn into:
"I'm going to show up on time. I'm going to bring a teammate so they show up on time."
"I'm going to XYZ company for a sponsorship"
"I'm going to pitch my idea in a way where you can't say no to letting me do this specific thing I want."
I'm going to quit teaching because everything we need to do is just too much for me.
Just kidding...about the quitting part.
But for now:
I'm going to use my God-given platform to model what amazing magic happens when you leave a classroom mostly unregulated, assessment is in the work itself, and process is valued over product.
I'm going to remember that my B.S. arguing students are a very small minority of the population and that their intentions are not evil.
I'm going to continue to work towards content that is preferred over a "free-day."
I'm going to not beat myself into hopelessness when I fail creating that content.
I'm going to accelerate global warming so this April winter doesn't happen again.
Just kidding. That's a joke. Trump already used that one? Gosh dang't. You know, we really need to-
...I mean.... I'm going to not follow his Twitter.
And, I'm going to build a fricken' snow man after this snow storm hits. And it's going to have a stupidly big grin on his face.