3.18.2011

Whew!

I think I've said this before, but Friday arrives in a jiffy for me these days. And I'm usually not that happy about Friday, because I have ten million things on my to-do list, and they all have little red high priority exclamation marks next to them. Goal #1: Provide excellent math instruction to a bunch of kids who are 3-5 years below grade level and hate math. Goal #2: Manage IEP case load for 26 students, which mainly involves staying ahead of the paperwork enough to avoid law suit. Goal #3: Smooth over adolescent drama. Or close classroom door and ignore. Except when said drama involves case load students and then do enough interventions to not get sued. Be sure to document them. Write everything down.

Answer phone calls from yell-y parents. Write lesson plans. Create unit tests. Post homework on website so parents will stop calling and yelling that their kid did not write down the homework in their planner and they don't know what to do. Attend a series of meetings that aim to address all these kids and how they suck at the PSSA. Attend a series of trainings required for new teachers that are utterly useless as they do not address Goals 1, 2 or 3. Make not one, but two portfolios documenting all the ways I am standards-based, curriculum-aligned, student-centered, etc., etc. Offer pretzels to hungry kids. Schedule IEP meetings. Fill out endless paperwork. Study for yet another teacher certification exam. Grade papers. Analyze old test scores to plan remedial lessons. Email teachers to check in on case load students. Battle the "Functional Code Error" on the copier machine. Take a ten minute lunch break. Stare longingly at the photo of your lovely husband and daughter, who never ask you to fill out any paperwork.

Yes, there are little successes where a student suddenly decides he'll teach himself to factor polynomials and then does. And the paycheck. And the promise of summer break. My job is worth while. But dang, it's a lot to juggle for my sleep-deprived brain.

Once that last bell rings, I'm out the door and on to Toddler World. It's kind of the opposite of high school. We can't rush anything. When you are walking down the street with a 16 month old, you must be prepared to stop unexpectedly and notice a stick. You must be ok with spending a half an hour on the swings. You need to understand toddler gibberish enough to know the diaper cannot, canNOT, be changed until we find the baby doll (or the front end loader, or the fish, or the cup). It has its own kind of exhaustion, I guess, but more of the happy, collapse-in-bed-with-a-smile-on-your-face variety.

But still Friday rolls around so quickly. And then it's another month, another year gone by. It makes me want to hold on to all these moments with my family. I was giving Mark a hug this morning and Laurel came running over and then it was a family hug with us all just wrapping our arms around each other and cuddling right there in the hallway outside the bathroom. That's joy like I've never known before. And I had that moment to guide me through the craziness of the day.

And now it's Friday night. I used to ease into the weekend with a little happy hour fun, maybe a dinner out. Today, I waited until M got home and then dashed over to the East End Brewery to fill up our growler. The beer is as delicious as ever, but instead of hanging out with friends, listening to music and playing games, M is coding and I'm baking muffins for the neighborhood workshop I'm helping out with tomorrow. I did two loads of laundry and washed the dishes. With any luck, I'll be able to sleep in past 6:00am tomorrow. (Seriously, 6:30 sounds heavenly to me).

2 comments:

Joe said...

Aunt Donna and I are on spring break vacation this week and we stayed home. A typical day for me was yard work in the morning- edging and spreading 8 CY of mulch. Lunch out together at our favorite restaurants. Reading a book a friend gave me - "Every man dies alone". A light dinner and then a long walk with the dogs. Life is simple and pretty good.
Love,
Uncle Joe

Anonymous said...

Well Katy, all i can say after reading your first paragraph was WHEW!!!! I don't know how you do it!!
aunt laine