zannes: (Default)
2017-05-01 06:53 pm

Work Rant A Million

I have a student who doesn't belong in my class. I teach what used to be termed SDC, which in this case means lower functioning students, some both academically and socially. There was a student who was a behavior issue, but was academically proficient. He was failing many of his classes, true, but mostly because he chose not to do the work. That could be addressed in the General Education setting. The problem? He's a pain in the ass. One teacher he had raised such a fuss that the administrators decided to move him into my classroom. Remember, I teacher kids who are below grade average by several grades. This kid scored above grade average. The administrators "disinvited" every teacher who disagreed with this new placement into my classroom, including me, so that we couldn't put a bug in grandma's ear that this was a BAD IDEA. Because it was. Only one teacher was pleased by the change. The rest were like, "What the hell is this kid doing in your class? He doesn't belong there." That wasn't an insult, it was just a statement of fact. So, one month in, the kid is failing what is potentially the easiest class on campus. Why? Because he doesn't do the work. So grandma is attacking me about how can her angel possibly be failing my class, which she knows is about 5 grades below where her grandson is functioning. I don't know...maybe he's bored? Maybe the problem isn't the placement, but is with your grandson who just doesn't want to do any work? So she suggests I e-mail her every day with homework assignments or his missing work, and I all, "Lady, I don't even know what he's missing until I enter grades, and on good weeks that might be Wednesdays and Fridays." She gets all snooty about how I'm taking this personally and that her son has a disability, don'tcha know, when all I told her was the truth. Her grandson needs to take some responsibility and do his work. What does she expect me to do? Sit on him until he finishes? Her grandson went from being the one "problem child" in a class of 30 to a class where every single student has a disability. He's not all that special in here. She won't get e-mails every day like with the GE teacher who only had him to worry about because I have an entire class of students I have to concern myself with. Plus, it's May, the time when I have transition meetings both for all the incoming 6th graders AND the outgoing 8th graders. I have 17...no, make that 18, meetings this month. That's a lot, in case you were unaware. That's about what I have in an entire year. I literally have no extra time this month.

Plus, I had a meeting scheduled this afternoon. It was supposed to be a combination annual IEP and transition meeting for an 8th grade student who has a late year IEP. The location was on the invitation. A note was attached to the invitation telling the high school participants they could come at a specified later time since they didn't need to sit through the annual. I spent two months talking to the high school teacher about how it would be a combined meeting held at our school site since it was being tacked on to the annual, and what happens today? THE HIGH SCHOOL REPS DON'T COME. No, wait, the high school speech therapist came because he can apparently read an invitation, but the other two parties do not, and we cannot hold the transition without them. I call the high school counselor and she picks up the phone and I very diplomatically ask here where the hell she is. "Oh, I've been waiting here for you to show up and wondering where you were. The other teacher just went home." I'm surprised my head didn't explode on the spot. It literally tells you on the invitation where the meeting takes place, not to mention the dozen e-mails about this exact subject. I wanted to throttle someone. So the poor mom and her son whose meeting this was had been sitting around after the annual finished for absolutely nothing. Instead of getting these two meetings done in a convenient way for the parent, now we have to hurriedly reschedule because almost every other day this month has a meeting or a field trip or something that leaves me with little time to fill with other things. Oh, then there's state testing which starts tomorrow. So...yeah.

I was less than pleased, and suffice it to say, this day sucked big time. I hate my job right now.
zannes: (redhair)
2016-12-31 08:52 pm
Entry tags:

Fic Index

I've created this index of all my stories in an attempt to make finding stories easier on anyone who may be interested.  Some of the stories are locked, so if you wish to read them just friend me and I'll friend you back. No need to ask.

General categories are given to the stories, but angst doesn't mean dark and suicidal. Just kind of melancholy. And gen was the only explanation I could come up with for a story that isn't steeped in one overall emotion. It's just a story, if that makes any sense. Please read summaries for more details regarding a particular story.

11/28/2013 - If you see anything "disappear" in the future, it's probably because I'm working on turning it into something publishable. You can keep track of what's going to the big-time here at my website or in the Published Works sticky post.


There Be Stories Listed Here )
zannes: (redhair)
2016-12-22 05:39 pm

More Classroom Parent Shenanigans

Yep, just as suspected. My favorite school parent dropped off her Christmas presents to everyone else today, except for me and my instructional assistant (who has also been vocal about letting the daughter be more independent). I just keep telling myself there's only 5 more months of this petty bullshit and I can wash my hands of this parent forever.

Boy, I can't wait to see what I don't get at the end of the year! Maybe I should be extra adamant about teaching her daughter to be more independent to see how big and expensive I can get the other teacher's end-of-year gift! :-)
zannes: (redhair)
2016-12-01 08:15 pm

Work Rant

I am so tired of the petty bullshit from this one parent that I'm counting down the months until her child graduates. Don't get me wrong, I love the kid, but the mom is a piece of work.  I've talked about my working relationship with this parent before - this is the mother who has severely curbed her daughter's independence to the point the girl can literally not do anything on her own, even brush her own hair - and I've been getting more vocal about how her daughter needs to learn life skills so she can be as independent as she possibly can be since she'll be going into high school next year. Mom has not appreciated my relatively diplomatic candor.

We recently had the first part of her child's latest IEP meeting. So, what happens? Right before the meeting, she gives her child's other teacher, who only has her one period out of the day (and let me tell you, I hear from that teacher all of the time about how that student drives her INSANE and she doesn't know how I do it since I have the student nearly all day), a gift wrapped present. The other teacher laughs and shows the bag to me as I'm walking to the meeting, because we both know what this parent is like so it's not like I take it personally after this long. During the meeting, though it seems to pain the parent to say so, she admits to how much growth her child has shown in my class and how it was a good environment for her child. The next day, the other teacher is cracking up and tells me I need to come to her room to see what was in the bag. The second I walk in the door I say, "Let me guess, it's something that says world's best teacher on it, right?" She just laughs even harder and pulls a mug out of the gift bag that says BEST TEACHER EVER.

Because that? That is exactly how that mom operates. If she's pleased with you or wants to ingratiate herself with you, she'll give you little gifts, but if she's pissed with you, she'll give even bigger gifts to other people and make sure you know it. This is not about the things, the gifts, the whatevers, this is about this reward/punishment game this parent has going on with her child's educators. She'd rather punish her child's teacher for telling her she needs to take a step back and let her child grow up and be able to take care of herself at least a little, rather than actually listen to what is being said, open her eyes, and see that she's hurting her child more than helping her by making her child so dependent upon her.

I'm just so tired of it. It's not like these petty machinations hurt me, but it's that the parent hopes that they do. How can you act so childishly toward someone who is trying so hard to help your child be able to take care of herself? What is so wrong in trying to help your child be able to do things by herself?      
zannes: (redhair)
2016-11-20 08:37 pm

Questions for Those of You Who Have Children re: Phone Use

I've got what I think is a good idea for teaching either young kids or kids with special needs how to use the telephone. However, since I do not have kids of my own, I need to research how this is done in the wild. If you have children, please answer a few questions, if you're willing. If you have friends with kids and know answers to these questions, please reply, as well. Thank you for your help!


At what age did you teach your child how to use the telephone? If you didn't so much "teach" them, at what age did they exhibit the knowledge of how to use the phone correctly?


How did you teach them to use the phone? Did you use play phones, real phones, etc.?


Do you have any recommendations for teaching/training tools (like a brand or toy you may have used)?
zannes: (redhair)
2016-11-10 06:46 pm

A Positive Moment During a Time of Despair

I am not happy about Trump's win. It hit me on a surprisingly emotional level on Wednesday, when the future looked really grim.

But that's when something amazing happened.

I am a middle school teacher. My class was discussing segregation and discrimination in post-Reconstruction America and immigration restrictions that were put in place. The whole class immediately starting talking about Trump. These are students with special needs and, even with their limited world experience, they made the connections without me saying a thing. I was both proud they could generalize the information they were learning and saddened that they were able to do so because of recent events. Sometimes, being a teacher can be the most difficult job in the world, but I'm hoping I can help my students become more compassionate and tolerant world citizens. I'm happy to say they seem to be well on that path already, by what I heard them say in class yesterday.
zannes: (redhair)
2016-10-02 02:53 pm
Entry tags:

Work Woes Post of Lamentation

I'm eleven years into my career as a Special Education teacher, but I'm finally understanding the burnout that causes so many of us to leave the profession. This is the second year that I've found my job more stress inducing and frustrating than satisfying, so have once again been considering finding different employment. The thought is scary since I have zero idea what else I could do. Everything I've researched seems to lead to some variation of teaching, but after these past two years, getting a job that's merely teaching in disguise is less than alluring. I'm also afraid of how this would affect my retirement since if I leave after only eleven years, I won't be getting much when I finally retire. For those of you who don't know, teaching pensions don't come out of social security, but their own funding. Since I don't have enough work units for social security, all of my retirement funding is currently relying on the job I have.

It's frightening.

I was hoping the writing might supplement my income in case it gets to the point where I have to quit or lose my sanity entirely, but that income is more of a trickle than anything helpful. Hell, it's more like the faucet that drips every so often so it's rather brazen to call it even a trickle. So I can't rely on that at all.

The only other skill I have is making kick-ass construction paper creations for my bulletin boards (I made the Impala once!), but I can't make a career-hobby out of that. Their odd shapes and laminated paper components would make them nearly impossible to ship (unless I use a flattened refrigerator box!), even if anyone wanted one.

I'm at a loss.

So if you can think of alternative jobs that aren't teaching related that would best utilize my skills as a teacher with a slight artistic bent, then feel free to suggest something. It can't hurt!
zannes: (redhair)
2016-07-19 12:49 pm
Entry tags:

The Devil's Hand Series - Release Day!

It's release day for my series, The Devil's Hand! It is comprised of the previously published "Drawing Dead" and its new sequel "Ace in the Hole".



The Devil's Hand Series )
zannes: (redhair)
2016-04-04 11:30 pm
Entry tags:

Get Them While You Can!

The publishing house that has my two novellas and one of my short stories is closing. If you want to get any of these early titles, get them while you can!

Books )
zannes: (redhair)
2016-03-25 09:02 pm

Yay!

I wrote a short story called "Seeing Red" for an anthology called Bloodlines with Ticonderoga Publications. Today the anthology won the Aurealis Award for Best Anthology 2015. I'm so excited to have been a tiny part of that!
zannes: (redhair)
2016-03-08 10:04 pm

Beta?

I need someone to take a look at a short 3,000+ word story I wrote. It's a short piece about mermen - I tweaked a previous short piece and need to know if the story makes sense in this more remote context. It needs the usual - general plot, grammar/spelling, etc. There are a few purposeful grammar mistakes in speech due to POV, but it's nothing too annoying, I hope. Anyone willing to take a look?

I appreciate the help!
zannes: (redhair)
2016-03-05 11:44 pm

Is It a Sign of the Times or Is This Just a Really Bad Year?

I have had three - THREE - violent episodes in my classroom this year, or at least closely related to my clasroom. I work in Special Education at a middle school and this has not happened to me in ten years of teaching.

Read more... )
zannes: (redhair)
2015-11-15 01:06 pm
Entry tags:

Published Works

This is a list of my published works. You can also find my blog at me new website. There you can find news about upcoming releases or the occasional perals of wisom. Please, peruse and enjoy! :-)



Take a Look and Grab a Book! )
zannes: (redhair)
2015-10-04 03:56 pm

Writing Update - The State of Blah (aka, Why Writing Is So Haaaaard) & New Short Story

The State of Blah (aka, Why Writing Is So Haaaaaaaard) can be found at my writing blog.





I can finally announce that my story "Seeing Red" is now available in Bloodlines, an anthology by Ticonderoga Publications!


He dreamed in shades of blood.

From the bright, fresh wetness of crimson, scarlet, and vermilion, down to the darkest, drying shades of maroon and burgundy that verged on black. Every night it was the same, no deviation allotted to his sleeping cerebrum.

Always the same woman and always the same claret colours.


"Seeing Red" is the story of a man who has been haunted by dreams of blood since a terrible accident in his youth. He finds comfort in these dreams and they direct the course of his life, and his death.

You can find Bloodlines at Amazon. Enjoy!
zannes: (redhair)
2015-09-13 05:51 pm

Not a Fluke!

Good review for Of Heaven and Hell: A Wayward Ink Anthology by Jennifer at The Novel Approach. This place seems to like my stuff. My contribution was her favorite story!


zannes: (redhair)
2015-09-12 05:29 pm

The Novel Approach - 1KRV5 Review

Lisa at The Novel Approach gave an eloquent review of 1KRV5. Drop by and take a look!
zannes: (redhair)
2015-08-29 09:23 pm

Should I Be Pissed?

I saw today that someone has appropriated the title Pagan Gods 'Verse for their own PG spin on Tumblr, at some point in the recent past. Should this be fury inducing? I'm definitely annoyed, but I did take mine down for publication (it'll get there - it's still awesome, even with the changes!). I am not annoyed by the one on AO3 because I got credit for inspiration, but this Tumblr one slightly raises my hackles, though I suppose I don't have copyright to the term. I don't know if it's protective mama bear instinct or what. PG was my baby! *sniffle*

FYI, my future epic will have Pagan Gods in the title, so be forewarned. I birthed it and it was covered in my uterine goo.

IT WAS MINE FIRST.
zannes: (redhair)
2015-04-30 10:24 pm

I Need Your Help

I love my new book 1KRV5 and I don't want to see it languish, but I am not a salesperson. I'm not famous, I have no marketing team. It's just me - and you. I need word of mouth - specifically your word of mouth - to let people know about it.

If you've enjoyed my other works, such as the Pagan Gods 'verse, If You Were an Ocean, My Brother the Fishstick, or any of my many other stories, I think you'd enjoy this one. There's a humanoid cyborg with metal wings, a lonely scientist, and a remote manor, all of it with a bit of Victorian flair. Think Frankenstein, but with a beautiful monster that's more Terminator than Walking Dead.

Imagine a world where genetic experimentation is a reality, common enough that the government had to step in to regulate it. Mikkel's creations are as illegal as they are magnificent, none so miraculous as his most beloved creation 1KRV5, more affectionately known as Icarus. Beautifully designed, but fundamentally flawed, Icarus serves as Mikkel's companion, both in his laboratory and in his bed. This is the story of Icarus and his creator, two beings irrevocably drawn to what they are sure they can never have - the freedom of the open sky and the love of a mechanical creature.

If you're interested in buying 1KRV5, it's only $2.50 for an ebook or $5 for a paperback at this site. It's also available at Amazon and All romance e-books, but the price is a bit higher. If you have read it, please leave a review or rating, if at all possible. You can review it on Amazon, All Romance, or Goodreads. Even just spreading the word about it would help. The more people know about it, the more their curiosity will be aroused and maybe, just maybe, they'll want to read it.

There are over 900 of you out there who liked something I wrote at one point. I'd really appreciate it if you could follow me into my non-Supernatural writing, as well. Word of mouth is my best hope to get news of 1KRV5 beyond the walls of my home.

You can even imagine Jared and Jensen in the title roles. I know I do. It's a great way to get the writerly juices flowing!

zannes: (redhair)
2015-04-18 09:10 pm
Entry tags:

It's a Steal!

If you plan to buy my new book 1KRV5, I suggest checking it out on the Inkstained Succubus site. It's half the price there compared to what it is at Amazon for a print or an ebook copy. It's a great bargain!


Imagine a world where genetic experimentation is a reality, common enough that the government had to step in to regulate it. Mikkel's creations are as illegal as they are magnificent, none so miraculous as his most beloved creation 1KRV5, more affectionately known as Icarus. Beautifully designed, but fundamentally flawed, Icarus serves as Mikkel's companion, both in his laboratory and in his bed. This is the story of Icarus and his creator, two beings irrevocably drawn to what they are sure they can never have - the freedom of the open sky and the love of a mechanical creature.