Saturday, October 23, 2010

Keeping My Head Above Water - Barely

Most days I feel like I'm drowning or trying to swim against a rip tide.  The amount of work this year is incredible. Changing grade levels has been draining.  It's not just the work of learning new curriculum and creating new-to-me units/lessons.  The change in classroom behavior from one grade to the next has been a real surprise (and CHALLENGE) for me.  The classroom management skills that I've used over the years, aren't working so in many ways, I feel a bit like I did when I first starting teaching many moons ago.  It reminds me a bit of when I did a long term substitute stint as a 2nd grade teacher.  I remember describing that experience as being the ringmaster of a nine ring circus where you had to change the acts every 10 minutes.  It's a bit like that only now the kids are a lot bigger!  Yesterday was tough.  I felt like I was playing the "Whack-a-Mole" game -- as fast as you cover one hole, another head pops up in another spot on the board!  The other challenge this year has been a change in schedule and working conditions.  My planning period is first thing in the morning, and then we teach straight through for 5 hours without a break.  We have some new reporting requirements too, this year, that take an enormous amount of time.  So aside from the increased workload of the grade level change, there is an additional hour or so of work required every week.  This weekend's agenda has book projects, essays, vocabulary packets, social studies quizzes, and assorted late work to grade for 38 students, plus the usual planning for the week ahead.  I'd like to catch up on some TV too.  My DVR is getting full!

I haven't done much knitting lately.  By the time I get home and have dinner, I sit down on the couch to watch some TV, pick up my needles, and promptly doze off.  I've been in bed by 9 pm most nights if not earlier.  I've managed to read a couple of books, but haven't had time to post reviews.   I'm looking forward to Nov. 2nd  --- no not the election, but the fact that it's a day off!  I'm hoping to spend the day with a friend shopping for shoes!

1 comment:

Panhandle Jane said...

Of all the things you listed for the weekend, grading late work was the one that drove me insane, partly because I was offended by having to do it in the first place. I'm really feeling for you with this change; I know it must be really hard. For one thing, you have hit on one of the transition years that is tough not only for teachers but for the students themselves. Hang on for that November holiday!