Monday, August 27, 2012

mental health day

Today I took a much needed mental health day.  I spent the morning in bed snuggling with my sweet puppy and catching up on the DVR.  I ended up spending Sunday in bed due to the fact that I have caught cold/virus number 1 for the school year and it's only been in season for a month.  I then spent the rest of the afternoon reading, lounging, and reading.  I had to go to school this afternoon to coach volleyball (which is a laugh of course!) and when I arrived at school I wished I had stayed at home.  I found out that we have had more items added to our to do list, along with some silly people saying stupid things about me (just because we teach middle school doesn't mean we have to behave like middle schoolers.) I brought home some grading and yet I still haven't done it because I had to run some errands tonight and I have been trying and trying to make my lesson plans for tomorrow.  I know exactly what I am going to do but I have a hard time filling out our lesson plan template.  silly isn't it?  I can't seem to explain in my lesson plans what I am going to do yet I am an English teacher who loves to talk.  ironic much?  speaking of being an English teacher who loves to talk I must confess that one of the reasons I stopped blogging was because I have a horrible love affair with run on sentences.  I think that being self aware is impressive but I also never felt that my blog would ever get more than 10 readers so what did it matter, with that being said I will be having the rules of the blog updated soon.  Sorry tangent 1 of the post is now finished!  I am starting to think that mental health day was definitely needed but now I feel like I am stuck in a rut because I just don't care to do some of the stuff I am now being asked to do.  I will do it because it's my job, and because I am a rule follower for the most part, but I want to know when am I going to have time to teach, see my husband, relax, etc.  I know that being a teacher isn't always a job that you can quit at 6 but answer me this why are the teachers at school longer than the administrators?  Why are having to pull test scores that are two years old from our students?  Why are we the ones that are worried about getting in trouble when our teaching time is taken up by silly little things like vocab four squares that take up too much time?  Sorry this wasn't meant to be a rant but let's face I'm sick of it being one of the last people at school everyday.  I am sick of being there early and still not getting things done and getting in trouble for it.  I have a life outside of school or at least I used to.  Use your plans you say, well when you have meetings two days a week, tutoring two days a week, when do you time to use your plans?  When will people let us teach again?  I want to teach!  I love teaching, I love trying new things with my kids, I love seeing the lightbulbs go off in their brains, I love hearing a student tell me that they loved my lesson (or even thought it was lame) because it meant they were paying attention.  I went to school to become a teacher not a data entry, drone for the district.  Do you ever feel like a drone?  Do you ever feel like you can't really teach anymore?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

today was...

today was one of those days where i seriously thought "why, am i teacher?" and it wasn't because of my children.  i will admit that my lesson planning isn't always as thought out as others, but i do know what i am doing since i have been teaching ramp up for the past three years (and it doesn't change!) but this week i did i planned an amazing lesson.  i planned an amazing cross-curricular lesson AND i planned an amazing lesson with my low kids and another teachers honors class but sadly that lesson did not happen.  why not?  why did we plan this lesson? i know you are all on the edge of your seat for these details so i will tell you why and why not.  we have begun the process of benchmark testing (insert groan here) and they (powers that be) are trying a new way to have my students test which seems to be working so i'm okay with it, but with that being said we were told that we would be holding our first hour for three hours when we were testing so we wouldn't have to worry about kids missing, kids rushing, etc.  this is why we planned an amazing lesson because we were allowed to plan a lesson we wanted to do that obviously fit in with our curriculum, which we did.  so, friday morning i come to school early and am talking with the other teachers about our lesson and then i run to get the lesson plan (did i mention i made a powerpoint for a few important things because i did) and when i get back they inform me our assistant principal told them oh they decided yesterday/this morning that we didn't have to hold our children for three hours anymore.  i understand that due to distract wide pd we had about fifteen teachers missing (don't get me started on that! i go next friday!)  these are brand spanking new teachers who look freaked out so i go talk to our new assistant principal and then our principal and they said "yes we don't have to hold, figure it out you can make something happen, etc." at that moment i am not proud to say i had to walk away so i didn't start throwing a temper tantrum or worse.  we had ten minutes to come up with a new lesson, which wouldn't be so hard except it was a friday, quite a few teachers were absent, and my first hour is ninety minutes because my ramp up classes are ninety minutes.  i managed to find some stuff for my kids to do, was it my awesome lesson?  no, was i disappointed? yes, did everything work out? somewhat!  the day only got worse from there but i'll blog about that and the interesting lesson we had planned later.  i promise i can only relive this day piece by piece. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

wow

thank you so much for all the love and good ideas.  i should probably update yall on the latest with my classes.  the students that had already taken my class have now all placed in different classes, a few ended up with me as their on grade level teacher and a few went to the other 7th grade teacher.  i have two small classes and one big class in my seventh hour.  i am slowly working on getting everything planned that i want to accomplish this year.  i have planned some awesome lessons and hopefully will be able to get my kids to where they need to be.  thank you again for the support! it means quite a bit to me especially when i wasn't sure if i still had followers since my blogging is very sporadic.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

never let them see you cry...

i know that wanting to cry means i love my job.  the reason i know this is because i want to cry because i feel like i am failing my kids.  i teach a program i despise and the first benchmark of the year is coming up in a week and am beyond stressed out.  why am i already stressed out after almost two weeks of school you ask?  well, the first day was the rules, getting to know you, mumbo jumbo and then i realized that most of my students had already had my class.  how is that?  well i teach a class that is used as an intervention for 6th graders but because some schools keep their 6th graders so our former  curriculum specialist told our principal and counselor that it's okay to let the kids who failed the class retake it.  NO!  it's the exact same course in 7th grade since i am not supposed to have the same kids.  so now we are going onto week three of school and i am stuck with half a class of kids who have already had this class and won't want to read the same exact stories twice.  i have told the principal, i have told the counselor but let's be honest this isn't high on their to do list so now i am stuck.  did i mention these classes are 90 minutes long?  i have spent time on figurative language, genre, and now what do i do?  i need to get started but i know the kids aren't going to enjoy rereading a book they read last year.  i am also stressed because our librarian managed to get a new job in the district so she was able to leave before we had textbooks checked out, books checked out.  i was able to help a few teachers check out books but that meant i spent a day of  my class time in the library.  we also had a power outage last week and spent part of the day at the local high school hanging out in their auditorium.  i don't want to fail my kids but i don't know what to do.  i have no one to really turn to because our administration isn't so approachable, they are also in closed door meetings and to be honest they listen but don't listen listen.  i also seem to be behind the other teachers and i don't want that to happen this year but it is already happening.  i am frustrated and just want someone to tell me it will be okay.  we have great new language arts teachers but the ones that aren't new, are okay.  i have one teacher who wants me to hold her hand (she's been teaching longer than i have a been alive), my former mentor teacher who keeps trying to remind us she is a great teacher.  (she was but now she's not as focused so they have placed her our department but not a core english class) and oh the pe teacher who likes to attend our meetings but told me that and i quote "am not a real english teacher because i teach ramp up." i am a real english teacher, i chose to teach my remedial classes and i also have one on grade level class so let's not get started there.  so my question to all you teachers out there is what would you do? friday i had my students take an old benchmark (which i took too and it was super hard) so i think we will spend tomorrow going over it and discussing the things we don't know but how do i blend two separate curriculum's together? 

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