Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The February Blahs

I always have trouble at this time of year - I'm sick of winter and dreary weather, testing is looming at school, there's a lot of illness roaming around school, etc. etc. This is the first full week of school since before Christmas too - between holidays, a workshop day, a snow day and several delayed openings we haven't had a full five day week yet. And this morning was another delayed opening . . . .

I'm also starting to feel like I've been doing the same job for too long. It's too soon to retire (another 7 years) but I've been teaching the same grade since 1995, and I think I need a break! We have district wide testing starting next month so we're making sure all our T's are crossed and our I's dotted so that the students in our care show improvement in their skills. The pressure gets to me sometimes. You'd think that by 6th grade kids understood capitalization, complete sentences, apostrophes, and so forth. Deep down, I think they do, for the most part. They just don't see the need to use the traditional conventions! And so I hand back paragraphs and projects and tell them to proofread and correct.

I read book #11 for this year - The Knitting Circle It was very gripping, but it's a book that I think I couldn't have read a year or so ago. The protagonist is dealing with her raw grief over loss of her daughter, and I think she is portrayed quite realistically. I connected also because I have used knitting as my anchor to get me through some difficult times as well as for enjoyment.

I hope to get some pictures up soon. I'm working on a cabled cardigan from Family Circle Easy Plus Knits and I have finished the back and the left front. You can see the pattern at my Ravelry site --- dswgr6 is my Id.

Vacation is in 13 days and I'm looking forward to it even though we have nothing planned.


Panhandle Jane said...

I second every one of your comments about school. This is a really tough time of year. I have mostly seniors, and, of course, they're wanting to stop working NOW. In addition, even though I am technically not involved in testing prep because our exit level testing is 11th grade, I have some responsibility because I'm the department chairman, and this year, the 11th grade teacher has not put in a full week for months due to personal considerations. Now another teacher and I are running after-school tutorials for those students. UGH!

I'm also looking at when to retire. It's a tough decision because I really, really like many of the things about my job, but times like this get me down more than they used to.

I plan to come home today and spin. That seemed to cheer me up yesterday.

Deb said...

You're right about the fact that there's a lot I love about teaching. I think what really drags me down are all the things the administrators throw at us that we have to implement in order to raise test scores. I just wish that PARENTS had to implement some strategies - like make sure your child does his/her assignments, gets to bed at a decent hour, eats breakfast, gets to school on time and every day - unless of course they're sick. When did everything become the teacher's responsiblity? Can you tell it's been a tough day?