Monday, September 17, 2012

Regular Day

I feel really good about my handwriting today.

There aren't enough minutes right now. Not enough minutes and certainly not enough energy to make it to the end of the day without feeling like I need to lay down on my bed for a while before I can face dinner and home stuff. This weekend was filled with more grading... Unfortunately, probably THE single most boring thing to write about. That's why I didn't. I knew it was going to be a crazy challenge, teaching 3 AP classes in addition to my 9th graders this year, and I am still trying to find my footing with the workload. I don't want to complain. This is my job. I chose it. I still (most definitely) want it. Of course there are people who say I could make adjustments to what I'm assigning or to how much feedback I give. But that's (I think) why this bothers me so much. I'm conflicted. I feel like I have an obligation to maintain the same level of instruction regardless of how many classes (and students) I have. And I also have to make it work on a feasible timetable.

Right now I'm still drowning. Right now I feel like I'm going to burn out at some point in the future. Right now I'm doing that thing where I worry that what's wrong is always going to be wrong and it's never going to be any better.

You know. Right now I'm being me.

It doesn't help that things at home have been chaotic for a week or so. My mind isn't on Jane Austen or Jonathan Swift, so momentum has all but disappeared. I graded for the better part of the weekend and didn't make it halfway through the papers I brought home. And then today, I collected another set of essays in AP. I haven't been able to touch my freshman essays. I need to get my footing, get this under control. I have to keep working at it, and it has to make a difference soon. That's what I keep telling myself. One foot in front of the other. Eat that elephant one bite at a time. Or something.

The one glimmer of hope in this grade-a-thon has been that I'm seeing improvement in their writing. Not huge improvement, but I see them trying to implement what I've been talking about in class. It makes me so proud I want to cry. Nothing makes me happier than when kids listen and care about what we're learning. And of course--yes--it means I have to make more comments in order to help them refine what they're testing out in these papers. So I'm keeping at it. I'm hoping it pays off... and I'm hoping I don't develop some kind of repetitive strain injury in the meantime.

Anyhoo.

Today blasted by... another busy day of not much that mattered, but it culminated in craziness, covering a class for another teacher during the last period of the day. So instead of just my 36 freshmen, I also had another class of tenth graders with me. Whooo, boy. That was something. I made them all work quietly for the entire hour, but it was a lot of me making them and not so consistent on the quiet. Have  you ever tried to make 65 kids in one room do anything? It took every molecule of energy I had left. I had to walk that room with eagle eyes and snap and point and shake my head and take notes from kids' hands and give more "mom looks" than I've ever given in an hour. I intended to stay and grade papers for a while after school and I couldn't keep my eyes open. It did me in.

But. I came home to see E's hard work in the backyard--a beautiful slab of concrete he poured with his dad today. I'm so glad E's furloughs are often put to good use doing things for our house. We're changing our backyard and this is still the early phase... but I'm having fun letting myself dream of the patio cover that's (hopefully) not too far away.

Our beautiful new slab of concrete. Should be finished this weekend. Patio cover to follow!

Progress.

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