Life at Lee Academy

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Shirille Lee began documenting her time attempting home school through posts on Facebook titled “The Lee Academy for Hardheaded Girls.”

Shirille is keeping her humor while ensuring her girls are healthy, happy, and learning during the pandemic. The featured image above is a “before home school” and then the “after home school” image taken on April 2.

At some point, it became easier for Shirille to adopt a split personality and even brought her Mom in as a substitute teacher. Shirille’s postings on Facebook kept so many entertained that I asked if we could capture them in a blog and she agreed. I hope you enjoy these posts too.

“Clearly a Mom this close to the edge needs to be wearing a parachute,” one of Shirille’s fans.

The Lee Academy for Hardheaded Girls

Special blog by Shirille Lee

Well the first official day of The Lee Academy for Hardheaded Girls is over – thank God.

The Headmaster, teacher, custodian and bus driver left the students with a substitute teacher and went to her other job.

The students had their schedules – I mean classes didn’t start until 10:00 (2 hour delay because the sub is not an early riser- she is after all almost 81).

One student completed all the work assigned- headmaster left Social Studies off the schedule (it has been corrected for tomorrow) but the other student was rebellious.

Not only did the sub have to take her phone for playing gospel music in the classroom during work time, student refused to do spelling because she said the headmaster could not assign spelling words! Well, it’s on now!

The Substitute

The headmaster, teacher, custodian and bus driver will be in class tomorrow.

Plus the sub quit I think. I don’t know if she’s angry or cold.

Day 2

Today at the Lee Academy for Hard headed Girls went better- well depends on your definition of better! We’re all alive and no licks were exchanged!

Our day began with the Headmaster/teacher/Custodian/Bus driver-and newly added, Nutrition Director seeking God for patience , guidance and wisdom!

God is good – the work is done and everyone is unscathed and alive!

Areas the students must work on:

  • Your teacher is not a mind reader! When she calls roll, you need to acknowledge that you heard your name! Don’t cause said teacher undo annoyance!
  • When your break is over, it’s over- there is no “one more minute” or “let me finish my game”. It’s OVER!
  • When said teacher says “little girl” stop what you’re doing and look at teacher with apologetic eyes.
  • Teacher does not care what the schedules say, just do what the teacher said do (don’t argue, the teacher will win).
  • At the end of the school day, just thank God the teacher didn’t flip out from 1-4 and you’ve lived to see another day!!!!

Areas for the teacher:
* Stop trying to get the Headmaster to suspend the students. You know they really need to be in school!
* And at the end of the day, despite your many un-Christian like thoughts about your students, God still loves you!!!!!

Whew, what a day! I may go to bed before my students!!!

Day 3

This day at the Lee Academy for Hardheaded Girls began with the Headmaster/teacher/custodian/bus driver/ Nutrition Director and newly appointed IT person in prayer asking God for patience, guidance and a way to get in touch with the Governor to reinstate public school.

No response on the governor but I know His time is not my time but I hope He sees the desperation in my heart ❤

Classes started promptly at 10:00 with Kimberly working on Social Studies and Jay reading to said teacher.

The teacher realized quickly that she needed to go back to the prayer closet because if you said the word on the first 4 pages, it’s the same word on page 5. Don’t try to pronounce it different, and then look at me when I ask you to go back.

You said it wrong, little girl. 10 deep breaths and we move on.

Then when teacher ask questions about the story you just read, you look at me like I’m speaking a foreign language!

Little girl, you better answer your teacher!!! 10 more deep breaths- break time! (Lord, I’m going to need you to come on here and see about me and this little girl that is in mortal danger)

Kimberly calls because she needs the code for Zoom for her ELA class. Teacher checks her phone for the code that former teacher has not sent – she said she would.

Patience! Patience! Code is sent and we’re good.

Jaceonna and I took a break from work to do some community service, then back to work.

Jaceonna will work independently while the teacher works with the other student.

Kimberly informs the teacher she is on her lunch break. After a brief check on what work has been done, teachers go back to first student to find her sitting there – waiting because she has completed her work.

When teacher asked to see the work she was met with attitude! THAT’S it- go see the Headmaster!

Headmaster gives a heavy sigh and scratches her head. We will not tolerate insubordination – take the rest of the day to think about your behavior!!

Other student cries not fair and mutiny is in the making! The Academy will not tolerate this kind of behavior!

There will be consequences!

Kimberly says she wants the consequences if it means expulsion so be it!

Headmaster quickly realizes her precarious position. Thank God the headmaster remembered Jay had a doctor’s appointment and would have to release her to her mom.

After leaving Kimberly with a napping substitute (times are hard and good help is hard to find), Mom called Kimberly to remind her she had a math class via Zoom at 3:00.

Kimberly claimed she needed IT support to connect- what???

“I don’t have the link, it’s on your phone,” said Kimberly.

I can’t stand smart aleck children!

I think the Academy will have to close after 3 days. The teacher is threatening to walk!

Day 4

This day of the Lee Academy for Hardheaded Girls began with the Headmaster/teacher/custodian/bus driver/nutrition director/IT person and newly appointed title of Nurse in prayer- not asking God for patience (according to a friend, God is building my patience through these trials) but asking God to lead the custodian and nutrition director to the store that has eggs and Quilted Northern toilet paper.

The nutrition director scored but the custodian had to explain to the headmaster that the behinds at the Academy may have to adjust to generic toilet paper if things don’t change in the next week. The academy is not off to a good start. Nutrition director prepared breakfast for the students.

First assembly of the academy began with Kimberly telling the Headmaster she was a Headmistress (not the right time little girl).

Classes began on a delayed schedule.

Kimberly began with Science, Jaceonna with reading.

The substitute teacher (yes, she’s still hanging around) reported that Jay has been stealing toilet paper to shred and play with in which the headmistress went into overdrive– stop stealing toilet paper or charges will be filed. This is serious. If found guilty, you will serve time. Because of the toilet paper shortage, this could be a felony that comes with automatic jail time!

Student seems unconvinced so the headmistress asked the custodian to buy the generic paper and was told later that the store was sold out!

Missed opportunity! Jaceonna now must show both hands at the same time when exiting the bathroom to ensure school staff that she is not stealing the now coveted Quilted Northern toilet paper.

Because staff is now under tremendous pressure, students had a long lunch break while staff attended to other needs (like a paying job).

Jay reports her ear hurts and wants the nurse to look at it! Custodian thinks she may have toilet paper in it, but nurse couldn’t find any evidence.

Staff has decided that Friday will be a much needed mental health day.

Headmistress shared the news with students. Kimberly was happy. Jay decided she wants to work tomorrow. Teacher reminded Jay it’s been difficult to get her to complete work the last 4 days.

 “Yes, but I had toilet paper to play with. I can’t play with it tomorrow because you said I would go to jail and the Coron virus ( not Coronavirus) is out there, so I’ll just do my work tomorrow, “ said Jay.

She will be working independently because staff is out!!!!!!

Day 5

This day at the Lee Academy for Hardheaded Girls was different. Campus was closed today for community service event, yard work, and because the headmistress/teacher/custodian/bus driver/nutrition director/IT person/Nurse needed to work other job (the paying one).

My friend Jennifer suggested letting the girls write today’s entry. So brace yourself for these are quotes from the girls! (For those of you that don’t know my girls, Kimberly is very sarcastic about everything and Jaceonna is normally the kind one)

Me: Kimberly, could you write something describing this week at the academy?

Kimberly: Yea, it sucked!

Me: No honey, write a paragraph or two, describing what the week has been like for you?

Kimberly: why do I have to write paragraphs? Writing more is not going to change anything. I love YOU mom, but these alter egos or whatever you have been calling yourself this week suck! Terrible headmistress, terrible teacher, terrible….. well I guess you were okay as bus driver and custodian, but terrible IT and what’s the other one? Mom you’re obsessed with toilet paper and I think you need help. Let all them other personalities go and get you some help!

Me: Okay, thank you for not writing that. My feelings probably would have been hurt.

Kimberly: get over it mom!

Me: (trying to keep a straight face) Jaceonna, what did you think of this week?

Jaceonna: (shakes her head, gives me a thumbs down) It was bad mom! (turns and walks out)

There you go Jennifer, they’re even more entertaining than me!

Next week – same thing!!!!

Day 6

At the Lee Academy for Hardheaded Girls, this day went better, maybe.

The 3 days were good to have to re-establish our loving relationship – it had been tested prior days.

The girls were informed that at 10:00, school work would begin.

There was a lot of whining and mumbling, which ended with the teacher telling them to be quiet and get their packets. Jaceonna was asked to get her next reading assignment, so she could read to the teacher then work independently. She grabs last week’s schedule but the teacher explained it was a new week, new schedule.

Kimberly asked if she could decide what to work on and the teacher agreed. Kimberly decided she would work on Kinetic Energy. Science – good! Instead of getting her packet, she gets her Nintendo Switch.

 “Kimberly, what are you doing? It’s work time and you said that you were starting with Science,” asked the teacher.

“I’m not doing traditional Science. I’m working on my hand-eye coordination, Kinetic Energy. Come on my mom you can’t call yourself a teacher and not understand kinetics,” Kimberly responded.

Teacher told Kimberly she would have to stick with the packet of work given by her former school.

“I don’t understand why this school can’t be original. You should be encouraging my creativity, not crushing it! Geez…….,”exclaimed Kimberly.

Day 7

This was a very peaceful day at the Lee Academy. It was clear the Headmistress/teacher/custodian/bus driver/nutrition director/IT person/nurse/therapist was medicated (not sure who’s in charge of the medicine ) and calm. She remained calm when Jay asked for the 15th time if it was raining and when she asked what was for lunch 10 minutes after eating breakfast.

She even kept her cool when Kimberly challenged the very existence of the Academy.

“Other students have parents that are just parents that simply ask their kids if they’ve work on their packets. Mom, it’s not ideal for any of us to be home, but we are and I really don’t need the alternate personalities. I concerned mom that you may be on the verge of a psychotic episode. It’s a terrible time to get sick – even mentally. And I hate to tell you mom, if you go over the edge, you’ll probably have to stay – hospitals and doctors are too busy. You can’t stay here. Just think about it mom. You need a place to stay.”

Psychotic??? Me?

Day 8

The Lee Academy for Hardheaded Girls had another good day. Since the Headmistress and teacher have mellowed out, school runs much smoother.

Highlights from our day: The custodian scored big with an early run to Walmart. Yep, we scored Toilet paper and not just any toilet paper either. Quilted Northern!!!! The school Hineys will not have to adjust!!!!!

Kimberly and I listened to the robot call from the school.

AT NOON ON FRIDAY, APRIL 3RD, SPRING BREAK WILL BEGIN AND RUN THRU APRIL 13TH. THE SCHOOL SHALL HAVE NO EXPECTATIONS OF WORK FROM THE STUDENTS OR THE TEACHERS. USE THIS TIME TO REFRESH AND RECHARGE TO PREPARE FOR MORE IMPROVED AND INTERACTIVE ONLINE INSTRUCTIONAL LEARNING.

We are both a little teary-eyed by the end as it was proclaimed that spring break would begin at noon on Friday.

HALLELUJAH !!

The joy I felt had to be comparable to what slaves felt when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 (history lesson) or what Nelson Mandela felt when he was released from prison!!

I love my girls, but this experience has been too much, especially since salons are closed and I cannot get my roots colored.

For spring break this year, I plan to go…… I forgot, I can’t go anywhere! (Deep breathes)

In a few months, after all this is over, if asked, I will lie and say this was a great learning experience for me and the girls. RIGHT

Day 9

We got off to a slow start at the Lee Academy. Students were already celebrating spring break. The teacher had to rein them in to get work done. Of course, it was not the teacher’s brightest moment when she suggested taking the students outside to work in the fresh air and sunshine. So teacher tried to inspire with a group shot but it’s clear we’re done and ready for a break!!!

After the early break, students returned to their rooms to work. Jay tried the teacher’s patience by asking upsetting questions.

Jay: Is it going to rain?

Teacher: I don’t think so, the sun is shining.

Jay: the phone says rain.

Teacher: the phone is wrong

Jay: no, you’re wrong – the phone don’t lie!

Teacher: (to save argument) Ok, it’s going to rain.

Jay: Why would you tell me that?

Me: you said it first. I’m just repeating what you said.

Jay: that’s not right

Me: Whatever….. (What????)

Then teacher checked on Kimberly.

Kimberly: I don’t need you checking up on me. I know what to do.


Teacher: okay, that’s great! What are you working on?


Kimberly: not being disrespectful mom, but can the teacher just call it a week and leave? I know how to do my work.


Me: So you don’t like the teacher?


Kimberly: Don’t like any of y’all- headmistress, teacher, custodian, nutrition, IT, nurse, definitely not the therapist


Me: You forgot the bus driver


Kimberly: no, bus driver is cool. When I get money from my mom, I need the bus driver to give me a ride


Teacher: you can’t go anywhere


Kimberly: no store is going to turn away money. Want to try it?


So glad spring break is here!

The Lee Academy has officially closed for spring break- Thank God!!!


These are trying times even for the most patient, most kind-hearted, most funny of my friends. Shirille entered my life many years ago when we worked on a very special adoption project. Over the years, Shirille has brightened my life with her entertaining stories of mentoring youth in Chatham County as well as her adoption story of two very special young ladies.

Thank you Shirille for the laughter and for being an inspiration. Over the years you have been a Mom and so much more for over 40 foster youth, a mentor to youth at Chatham County Together, and a friend to so many.

 

Published by Liza Weidle

As a savvy connector with a passion for making the world better, I am known as a good listener and resource immersed in learning trends, tackling challenges, and helping organizations translate vision into actionable, results-driven strategies. In other words, I get the job done!

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