The Way of the Squirrel King.

I have actually gone for YEARS without having a context for this particular joke.  Amazing.

I have actually gone for YEARS without having a context for this particular joke. Amazing.

You see, the suit of armor is really huge, and the Squirrel King is tiny…so he can fill up the suit with nuts, where they will be safe. In case you did not grasp the lesson of the Mighty Squirrel King, which is to “save nuts.” Also, the suit of armor being extra huge, needing the help of the Lord of Antlers to put on, clearly makes the Squirrel King look bigger and more intimidating than he actually is.

What does this have to do with school today? Glad you asked.

This whimsical pair of panels speaks directly to my Tenth Grade PLC meeting today. for those uninitiated in the ways of LAUSD, “PLC” stands for “Professional Learning Community.” In other words, teachers who team up to plan lessons or content, so that a grade level will be roughly on the same page (in English, that can be a very literal point of fact). My PLC consists of the Lead Teacher, who is very friendly, but on his second year as a teacher at all, a fellow that just got assigned two sections of English and does not want to “fly with the Eagles,” and a long term sub. Oh yes…round that out with me.

The long term sub is in the position that the one time appearance “Literary Amazon” held…making that position the only one carrying as many classes of 10th grade English as MY position. It makes planning meetings like this not all that useful, although I do actually try to be helpful. The Long Term Sub is basically the Squirrel King…there’s a bit suit to fill, which seem like a lot of responsibility and so forth, but very little driving it. You’ll not that I didn’t make the suit of armor like the ones worn by the Knights of the Edu-Mountain…I figure the big suit that the Lord of antlers is putting on the Squirrel King is more suited to some kind of Knight Errant, sans tenure.

An administrator, a fellow that I really like, came to the meeting as well, to sort of oversee the proceedings and keep things on task. We had a few agenda items…set the dates of our “pull out” days (days on campus to plan together, but not in class at all), plan our meeting rotation, and discuss the upcoming academic checkpoints. Not much to do…but without the long term sub there, about 33 percent of the students don’t gain whatever guidance is to be had from PLC meetings. That seems to be a flaw in the system.

Beyond that…I have far and away the most experience and expertise in English on the team, combined. I get that I become a pretty valuable asset on that front…but I’m not sure what I get out of it. That is pretty much summed up in panel one, by the protagonist, and by Pony, who looks, as usual, not so happy about the meeting.

This week, I’m drawing and posting the SAME day, and I think it shows. It is HARD being on that kind of schedule, and it gives me more respect for daily newspaper cartoonists than you can imagine. What a schedule that is.

On the good side, my report card is almost prepared. That is over double the work this year, with my student load going from around one hundred to over two hundred. Still…not so hard, really. Thankfully, having only been in school a few weeks, my fail rate is still low. One would hope….usually at eight weeks you start seeing those changes take place.

Remember the lesson of the Mighty Squirrel King, True Believers.


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