April 24, 2011


It's been 10 days since I've had my in-class teacher shoes on. Reluctantly, I have spent most of the day getting back in the mind frame so I can walk into the classroom ready to roll. I know it's pointless, as the students will not be ready to roll until at least 3rd period, but that's them. I'm going to be a professional about going back to work for another month after a blissful spring break.

(I am thinking of this spring break as practice for summer break, and I was getting pretty good at it.)

I had some essays I need to grade, as they were turned in earlier in April, and now it's the end of April. I'm pretty sure nobody cares about what has happened in the time since I collected and how I wasn't actually one the job to correct them. In the first part of the year, the students wrote a lot of essays, but since the big state tests, we have had other projects going on. The essay I assigned to them, the topic on what makes a good communicator, was not a big in-class production, but we did go through the whole writing process over the course of a few weeks.

And so far...the essays are pretty terrible. I started with ones that were turned in late, as they were on top, so I keep telling myself that they will get better once I make it through the students who didn't care enough to turn it in on time. (Years later, my theory that late work is rarely the highest quality work still stands.) Unfortunately, there were a lot of students who didn't turn it in on time, so I am not sure I'll ever make it to the good stuff before I totally lose any drive to get up and go to work in the morning.

(Thank you blog for the distraction.)

Because I'm feeling refreshed from spring break, I'm ready to squeeze more out of the students before they move on to high school, but this isn't my first gig, and I know that the next month will be nothing short of hell. Okay, so maybe it won't be totally roasting the whole time before June 9, but I'd say I really only have a good solid 2 weeks before everything really falls apart. Still...I'm ready to make rockin' writers out of every single one of them!

Oh! In my burst of energy (from getting to sleep in until 7:30 am each morning), I am even thinking, "We should have a longer school year because the last few weeks of the year, students shut down, so we should add a few more weeks." How crazy am I? Wow! It's like I'm back to the beginning-of-the-year optimism!

This might be a good time to start a pool on how long this good mood will last. The refreshed me is thinking by the end of the week I will have lost my spunk, but that other voice in my head is saying, "Yeah, right. You will be lucky to make it to 7:07 am with your first class. They screw your mood over all the time."

Oh! But maybe...maybe not this time!


Melissa E. said...

I always have to start off with a few essays I know will be good. Otherwise I can't bring myself to look at the rest of them. I get too depressed.

Tamara said...

I have 4 stacks of 2-3 page descriptive essays that I too planned on grading during break. But nope, didn't happen. Today I had an epiphany: no guilt. This is break, people in other careers don't spend 10 hours doing work on their vacations so why should I? Forget that I too should have started them a week so before break. I'm going to start grading them tomorrow, but after I write a 3 page report on how I used some grant money :).

Oh, and I too did no planning. Mondays we have classes that are only 40 minutes long so I'll use the time to check in with the kids and let them discuss, ask questions, or sit dumbfounded when I suggest we discuss what they read over break. Once that dies, they can work on that backed up reading and journaling.

Only bad thing about procrastinating during break is the work is still there to be done.

HappyChyck said...

Tamara--This afternoon I was wondering how many people have careers where they have to work before they go back to work. My husband works in the IT world, and I know time off doesn't always work so well for him, but who else. I'm not having a pity party; I'm just wondering.

No guilt. Right on. I didn't assign any work either, so I feel I can have a totally clear conscience.

I was out of the classroom two days before break, so essays were the last of my worries, as I was getting sub materials ready. I did have the wit about me to have tomorrow's lesson ready before I left. I recall locking the handouts in my desk where I put my purse so I wouldn't have to spend time remembering where I put them. It would have been nice to have a copy to review tonight, but it's a lesson I've taught before, so I'm not worried.

Cheers, ladies. Let's meet back here in June to celebrate that there will absolutely be no grading needing to be completed over SUMMER BREAK! When the year is over, it's over! (Well...until it's time to start planning all over.)