Thursday, November 09, 2006


Things are crazy. I'm glad someone else mentioned that November is useless, because it's just started and already I feel overwhelmed.

I had to make this huge list of things to do when I got to school yesterday. Several items were homework to be corrected, and a quiz to be corrected. But I also had to finish taking down last month's bulletin board, finish grading the pieces for this month's, put them up, type up the rubric, and post it. Plus I had a couple charts I'd been using that needed putting up on the walls. Plus then the book order came in, so I had to put that together. The trip money has been collected and I need to get that all sorted (with school officials, of course) so I can book the bus. I'm terrified I won't follow through or something will go wrong with what I do. Eek.

Plus, you know, teaching.

Common planning hasn't seemed to be a fun time for me lately; it makes depressed because A) I feel like I'm behind or not 'on track' because I'm trying to do too many things, unsuccessfully, and B) we rarely get anything actually done. Thus, this afternoon, like several weeks before, I left the meeting feeling rather melancholy:

--We're supposed to have finished the eight parts of speech and be into commas and semicolons and dialogue format. Pshaw, right! I've done three parts of speech and three units of vocabulary. All of which felt sloppy and undone, because I just have been cramming them in wherever I could.
--And I totally haven't covered as many of the 'test!ng sk!lls' as are on the curriculum plan. I have rarely done any reading workshops. Clearly I am a terrible teacher. To try to catch up lately, I've been using workbooks to introduce and practice skills. I have been able to connect it to other work we've done or will start, so I guess I can feel good about that; I'm not teaching to the test in a vacuum or something.
--The month's unit is persuasive writing, and they gave us a specific topic to focus on. And apparently I'm just a whiny bitch, because the topic is too huge and I don't know how to approach it. And I'm going to need to find information and research on this topic, but it's kind of vague. I know the kids won't bother doing anything, so, as someone mentioned today, we should supply that piece so the kids can focus on the actual interpretation and writing. Blah.

Big tasks like this confuse me, and it's hard for me to plan or think without knowing what the larger picture looks like. So right now I'm stalling and trying not to flail. I'm not a first-year teacher anymore, and I had some good ideas last week; my problem is that I think too much. I need to shut up and pick something to do, and then start figuring out how to do it in such a short amount of time. Honestly, it feels like November is over already, for all the stuff happening. I'm grateful for the extra time to relax on my own, because I have not been working at home much. I write out general week plans, and input grades, that's about all I am apparently willing to do. But I still feel anxious about everything at school; a lot of it can't be done at home. Like the freaking book room, which is looking pretty damn good! Pics soon.

I am in the fourth week of working out in my thrice-weekly routine--very proud!--though I missed last Thursday due to staying at school and going out to dinner. And in the past week and a half, I have eaten a lot. I felt hungry every day, all day, for weeks, and lately I eat and feel full. Getting birthday food didn't help, though I certainly enjoyed it. Like the chocolate Costco, that is the shit. So, so good. I gave as much of it away as possible, because I was going to keep snacking on it. Sharing is good. Um, there was a point...that I need to be more active so I can keep my size-six ass, with less hunger and more muscles. Yeah.

Today I had the kids do a fun activity, or so I thought. They had to choose a food and write a paragraph of facts only. Next they had to write a paragraph of opinions only, to make the reader want to eat that food. They shared this writing with a partner, who was supposed to close their eyes and visualize the words. I asked partners to say who did a good job of describing their food. A few students then got to read their selection to the class. Apparently this made them giggly, so I didn't let it go on too long.

Tomorrow is Friday. Maybe I'll be less scatterbrained then. Or more, since I know conferences are coming next week. Ugh, dread. Saturday is a meeting for the travel group. I am definitely in a group going to Australia this summer! Wow wow. Next summer is gonna be crammed: Australia, ten-year HS reunion back in Seattle, plus a potential Fire 4 reunion. Busy and very exciting!

Oh! Thank you OODLES and oodles for those of you (readers or nonreaders; just sending thoughts out since thank-you notes are yet to be written) who sent comments, emails, or cards for my birthday. I am so grateful and appreciative of everything--thank you for helping me celebrate and expand my circle of friends and family!

Gah! Too much in my head! Might explode like cake! Mmm, chocolate cake...

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