Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Little of This and a Little of That

It seemed like a very long week, but that's probably because we had FIVE days of school in a row! Next week things will get interesting as we add 30 minutes to the end of each school day from now til May 8th in an effort to make up time lost because of the ice storm in December. The upside is that we get 10 minutes added on to our core classes so that now I have an hour to teach reading/language arts and an hour for science. An hour is still not long enough to do everything I should be doing for reading and writing. When I started teaching I had an hour for reading and an hour for writing everyday. Then it was cut to 90 minutes daily. Then to 50 minutes. And guess what, our reading and writing scores dropped!! Does anyone but we RLA teachers see a correlation? Anyway, I'm not going there right now.

We had a very depressing school budget session this past week too. Our school board (all good people, all interested in providing a quality education for our kids) has faced some of the toughest decisions they've had to face in a long time. They have been forced to make significant cuts in programming that result in 4 teachers losing their jobs. At my school we are losing a guidance counselor. Aside from the fact that the person whose job is cut is the best guidance counselor we've ever had, the loss of the position will have a real impact on the support we can offer our kids. The plan is for the remaining guidance counselor to cover the 6th and 7th graders and one of the high school counselors will cover the 8th graders. It remains to be seen how effective that will be. Morale in the buildings is the lowest I've seen it since I've been teaching which makes it hard to go to school.

I'm struggling too with new curriculum --- I haven't taught science before, and I'm not a science person. I don't particular enjoy it either. I work really hard at bringing enthusiasm and energy into the classroom; the kids have no idea that I really don't have a passion for the subject. I also am working hard at figuring out how to teach the concepts that I have to teach. While I have a lot of cool projects and ideas for teaching ancient civilizations, I don't have a repertoire of science activities, so everything (including the concepts at times!) is new to me. February is a tough month even though it's short, and believe it or not, we have a vacation scheduled for the last week!

I am not doing much knitting because of my shoulder and pinched nerve issues. I started the Radiance Cabled Jacket by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. I'm using the Colrain yarn in steel gray. I love the way it has started out, and it's not a difficult pattern, but I can only manage to knit 3-4 rows a night before I have to stop. I love the way the yarn drapes and it has a nice sheen to it.

On the book front, I just finished this one.

Bones (Alex Delaware Series, #23) Bones by Jonathan Kellerman

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
This finally got interesting in the last few chapters. I was going to abandon it as a dull read but didn't have another book ready to replace it. I thought it was strange that although the story was told from Alex Delaware's perspective, he was mostly a "ride-along" through much of the book. I missed his personal involvement as well as the tension between Alex and Robin. I used to like this series, but I think it's time for Alex to retire.

View all my reviews.


Songbird said...

Those are hard cuts to face, I'm sorry to hear it. I guess it's going to be like that everywhere.

Jennifer said...

Your school situation sounds very much like the seminary where my husband served. Morale is low and tension is high...sorry Alex Delaware didn't prove to be a great antidote!