September 28, 2011

Why It Was Due Last Tuesday

I feel a little bad about that stack of process journals that still have not been graded after a week.

A little bad is about it, and as I lamented to my colleagues yesterday during lunch--a lunch where I was doing work--they assured me that it was okay.

These particular journals were submitted late. Granted, they were submitted only one day late, as that is the maximum I will accept, and late work gets graded last, but a week is a long time.

I'm sure there will soon be e-mails, "Why is this showing as missing? Johnny turned it in!" and then what do I have to say except my stack of excuses?

--All of the students who turned it in on time received it back the very same day. I just had to read it and give a completion grade for their reflections.
--During class for the remainder of last week, I spent my time going from student to student giving them feedback on their writing while they read their novels.
--We were in the library one day last week, and although, I could have done some grading I did not want to lug their journals around campus, and more importantly, I have decided that this year, when we have library days, I plan to read with the students, so I can be a good model.
--My preps were taken up with STUFF. I can't remember exactly, but at least half the time was taken up with collaborative planning, and the rest included running around talking to people about pressing issues and getting materials ready for upcoming lessons.
--Although my contracted time technically ends with the bell, I did stay after every night until 4:00 pm. Two of those nights were for clubs I co-advise. the other day was more of the STUFF I was doing during my prep.
--It's mostly futile for me to take work home on weekdays because I have my own children to deal with at home. Last week I spent time bustin' my own middle schooler's chops for having a couple of missing assignments in her classes.
--In the evenings, I teach two classes, so doing any kind of homework for the teacher just does not happen. Sure, sometimes, I take it, but my students are needy, and they have their own assignments that need to be graded.
--On the weekend, I did five hours of grading and two hours of planning. Do some simple math about how much of a weekend I get. Again, I did not want to lug those process journals around. I already had a bin of work to carry out on Friday night, and taking those journals would have meant two trips to my car. Call me lazy, but it's just not worth it the hassle of exertion of the 100 degree heat, the long walk and obstacles of locked doors whe trying to get back onto the building for the second trip at 4:00 pm on a Friday.
--It's to bad that I have been out of my classroom for two days this week, but I am afforded sick days for doctor appointments. I have 130 days accrued. Obviously, it's not like I make it a habit to be gone. The other day is for school business. I was invited by the principal. I think it's excused, don't you?

So many excuses for myself. I know they aren't good enough. But you see, I am a busy teacher who is plagued with too much work. Sometimes I plan things for a reason. You know, like due dates.

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