I have to start getting up in the during the 5 o'clock hour now--depending on how tired I am and how quickly I can get ready--but for some crazy reason, this morning I was wide awake around 3:00 a.m. Maybe it's because I went to bed around 9:00 p.m., or maybe it's because even with the A/C blasting, it's still too hot (91° outside right now), or maybe it's because I have too many things on my mind that seeped through my sweet dreams.
Yesterday was our first day back as teachers. We had our state-of-the-school address by the principal, accompanied by other important information from other administrators. The principal's spiel inspired confidence in me while encouraging me to kick it in the rear to do better--especially after discussions of our tests scores. Things are changing now that we are going to the Growth Model. No more targeting Bubble Kids, although our numbers show that by targeting that population, even the hopeless cases were helped. I'm glad to be done with that craziness, but who knows what new madness awaits.
Oh, I know! Common Core Standards are here to save the day. I'm not sure how much that will change my life, although we've been told that these more rigorous standards are more aligned to the IB objectives, so I've been told my life will be a bit easier on that front. Trying to balance IB requirements with our district/state requirements nearly drives me mad some years.
In another, short meeting with my department and the administrators, emphasis on the core standards, which are all completely ready to roll for Language Arts, whereas other subject areas are transitioning more slowly, was made, but yet another change (read last year's drama here) to the 8th grade writing exam was not. Apparently it's all going online! And it isn't going to count for AYP this year. Uh...A test just for fun? This keep that rumor tapped down, aye? I suppose the lack of hype over this new change isn't because we are all exhausted from last year's change (that's just me?) but because there is virtually no information about this new test. Yet. It's okay, I can punt. So, ya'll just let me know what you want me to do, and I'll get that done! Oy!
Oh! But the good news on the testing front is that we are suppose to do our state testing in May! It's about damn time that we got on board with giving students a full school year to learn before we test them.
On the more immediate reason for insomnia...there's just so much to prepare in the next few days. Many colleagues have work time today and tomorrow, but I will be peddling my yearbooks in the cafeteria to students picking up their schedules for the next two days. It's an extremely important time for sales, as I aim to sell at least half of what I plan to order. The last two years I've only sold a quarter of my projected order at the beginning of the year, but miraculously, when the books came in, and I sold out. It's a nerve-wracking year hoping we'll sell them. Only a few students buy in the middle of the year. I'm handing out fliers for online ordering, a Josten's service I'm going to encourage this fall, but I'm at odds about whether more people will buy because they can use a credit card, or if more people will put off ordering this week and then simply forget to order at all.
It's funny how these yearbook worries crowd my mind when I have more important things to worry about--like getting lessons and documents ready for the students on Monday!
I miss my summer already. Only two days into the new year. How pathetic am I?