Monday, December 22, 2014

Signs of the Times

I haven't posted much at all this year.  Not because I have nothing to say but more because I have a lot to say, but haven't felt that this was the place to say it.   I've been wrestling with a couple of decisions.  I believe that I have made one, but  I'm not ready to advertise it yet.  I'm still working on the other.

Life has been busy, but I've been making a real effort to let go of the unessentials.  I head for school every morning about 6:30 am.  I decided early in the school year that I would not work beyond 4 pm, and in fact, most days I have been able to leave a bit earlier.  That decision, plus the fact that I live 10 minutes closer to school have given my a much nice block of de-stressing time.  

 I've also --finally--- after 20+ years of teaching, figured out a few ways to cut down on the amount of grading.  I am not grading EVERYTHING the kids do, I'm doing more "process" grades, and I'm using some on-line assessment tools.  One awesome tool I've been using this year for the first time is Google docs.  Our students were finally given gmail accounts so they can set up a Google drive account.  They are doing much of their writing on line, which makes it so easy for me to help them with revision and editing.  We've done 2 writing projects on-line so far.  Now that we've figured out how teacher/student can share docs, I am going to try some peer-sharing.  Could be interesting! It does help that I have the smallest class I've ever had.  My partner and I share 28 students.  That's the number of students I had in ONE class my first 3 years of teaching!  

A wonderful gift this year is that our school calendar gives us TWO FULL WEEKS of break.  Our last day of school was Friday.  We don't go back until Jan. 5th.  I have never had this amount of time at Christmas.  Usually we go until the 23rd, and I spend the 24th covered in flour as I try to get my baking done.  I feel like I'm in good shape.  I have the Cranberry Almond Biscotti made, a fruit cake made (I started that process 3 weeks ago), and the dough made for shortbread which I plan to bake today.  I will also make some ginger crinkles today.  That leaves the poundcake to make on Wed. My shopping is done, and all but 3 presents are wrapped.  I have to head to the dollar store sometime today or tomorrow to finish off 2 stockings.  I've never been this far ahead.


I am enjoying our new house too.  It's much easier to keep ourselves organized, and I am actually staying ahead of the clutter (mostly).  It's wonderful having a room dedicated as an office too.  I can have piles of paper and on-going bookkeeping projects around, and not all over the kitchen table.  And if I need to, all I need to is close the door.

 It's also been fun figuring out how to decorate the house.  I no longer have a mantel  or a big buffet for displays, so I've had to get a bit creative with where I put a few things.  And I haven't located a couple of decorations (like my angel collection and my husband's antique Santa light) yet.

I hope that pretty soon I can start "talking" about my decisions.  Until then, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and that 2015 is full of happiness.

1 comment:

Christine said...

Merry Christmas to you as well