Sunday, July 29, 2007

Here We Go Again...

The students return to school tomorrow. This will be my tenth year of teaching and I'm not feeling the same sort of butterflies that I remember from previous years. I've managed to spend most of this weekend not even thinking about the start of the year. I'm not sure that is a good thing.

One of the positive aspects of the modified calendar is that we start school on a Monday. We get to ease into things with the kids. We had open house on Friday and I met 2/3 of my class. I know most of them from last year, but not too well. It promises to be an exciting year.

Every year is a fresh start in schools - both for the students and for the teachers. Every year I have grand schemes for things I want to accomplish and ways I want things to go. There is no promise that this year I'm more likely to stick to those goals than any other year, but I'll give it a shot one more time.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Too Much Responsibility

It's often said that teachers wear many hats. Over the last ten years I've adjusted to most of them. We serve as guides, counselors, parents, coaches, etc. However, a training this morning pushed me over the edge. I felt as though my responsibilities as a teacher were too much. I was trained (along with my entire team and some specialists) in administering a shot in the case of diabetic students going into insulin shock. It seems there are two diabetic students in fifth grade, neither in my class, and all of us need to be prepared.

I dated a diabetic for several years in college and felt like I had a pretty good understanding of what to expect. I have an idea of what to watch for (which is a challenge since it varies so greatly by individual) and how to help if a student's blood sugar is dropping. The shot we learned about is only for extreme emergencies; the student would be unconscious before we use it. It is rare that school personnel ever have to administer it. However, by the end of the training as we were jabbing syringes into sponges to practice the procedure I felt like it was getting harder and harder to breathe. Somehow, this training in something that I was highly unlikely to ever need reinforced for me how responsible I am as a teacher.

Parents entrust their children to us seven hours a day, five days a week. They expect us to teach them reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and such. But, even more basic, they expect us to keep them safe. I've laughed at Tree because she keeps her classroom door locked at all times, just in case. Maybe she has something there...

Holy Toledo!!

Not ready is such a mild way of describing how I feel about tomorrow's open house. I can think of many curse words that would put it better, but this is a PG site. (Except for my occasional references to that yummy liquid comfort and cure all.)

How will I ever get it all done? Surveys to print, signs to post, check sheets to make, books to stack. When I look at it in black and white, here, at my home, in the comfort of my sweet drenched shirt, Weezer pounding in my heart, wine still buzzing in my brain, it doesn't look so bad. My stomach doesn't agree, it is still in knots. My brain is convinced it is the wine on an empty stomach. My brain doesn't want me to remember that the xerox machine will eat my surveys just because. Or that my printer has yet to work this week. And forget about the fact that I am still not sure where my math journals are. I have bigger fish to fry. Like, Where is my stapler? Does my student teacher think I am crazy? and Why didn't I record every minute of last year so I can remember how to be a teacher?

Broken hand and bad math do not a one way ticket make. This worker can't seem to go home.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I think I might be stressing out my intern.

Or that she is just terrified of me. Why else would she willingly clean out my desk?

Saturday, July 21, 2007


It's 4 pm on July 21st and our copies of Harry Potter have still not arrived. We ordered them from knowing that with two girls under the age of 4 it wasn't possible to be part of the midnight festivities. Having the books delivered to our door seemed like a great solution. And we got the last couple of books in the series this way without any problem. Now however, it's starting to seem like a mistake.
I've managed in the last two weeks to reread the first six books in order to be ready for this historic moment. But the historic moment is passing us by. My parents took both the girls for the day, which should have left us plenty of uninterrupted reading time. Instead, it's left me plenty of time to get work done for the classes I'm taking. I'm trying to be grateful for that, but I'm just bitter. It doesn't help that I keep reading other people's blog posts about getting their copies. Check them out here,here, here and don't miss the one that hurts.

Yes, I do mean books. We order two copies each time so that we don't have to fight over who gets to read it first. Then we pass one copy on to my father when one of us (usually my husband) has finished. Today it looks like we'll be passing my father a copy before one of us has even started reading. At least neither of the girls is old enough to want to read them and need a copy!