Friday, November 16, 2012

About This Week

I promise not to do this every week, but I am exhausted and am sitting here taking inventory of this crazy week.  So, I thought I'd share.  Besides, I subscribe to a math-teacher bloggers group (I'm not part of it; I merely read some of my favorites) and they've recently been doing "A day in the life" posts.  I thought I'd expand on that a little bit.

Monday:  No school.  Spent the day unpacking and stuff with Mick, and in the evening I graded a little bit.  CAM had ballet/tap at 4, so that chopped up the day in a convenient way.  When she and I got home, Mick headed into work for a few hours.  The kids and I took it easy and headed to a relatively early bedtime.

Tuesday: Up early for school.  Dropped off CAM, swung through McD's for my morning (or as I drink it, my all day) sweet tea, and headed in.  It's a blue day, so I teach first and second periods, and then have prep, then have a supported study hall.  During prep I run and get lunch with my neighbor and teammate, Victoria, and we bring it back and eat while we work through grading, planning, and so forth.  After school, I meet Mick and WHM at CAM's school and we have our very first parent-teacher conference as PARENTS.  (It went well.  CAM is doing fine.  More importantly, we got to ask about her report card and we feel good about it.)  CAM typically has baton but we've had to reschedule, so we end up with an unexpected uninterrupted family night.

Wednesday: Up even earlier than normal (5:20 instead of 5:35), because I have a parent conference at 7:15.  That lasts until 7:40 and then I have a prep period -- first period.  I have about ten million things to do, but while I'm in the math workroom running copies, a parent comes and knocks on the door.  She mistook her 7:50 parent conference for 7:50 a.m., not p.m.  I end up with an impromptu 30-minute meeting and lose a huge chunk of my prep.   I teach periods 2, 3, and 4 today and then immediately after school we have a 90-minute meeting about the math implementation of the Common Core.  When that debacle ends, Victoria and I dash out to grab dinner.  We have parent-teacher conferences until 9 tonight and we have approximately 90 minutes from one meeting 'til the evening starts.  It's rushed, but we make it back, lock our rooms, and eat while we clean and prep for tonight and tomorrow.  Mick takes CAM to baton and runs the household tonight.  By the time I get home, both kids are sound asleep.  I have officially not seen WHM (awake) for over twenty-four hours.

I get home after 9 and lay out all of our clothes for Thursday.  I don't even contemplate grading, but I take a de-griming shower, a shot of Nyquil, and crawl in bed.

Thursday: Up early again.  This time we have a team parent meeting at 7:15.  CAM didn't want to eat breakfast, so we compromise and run through the drive-through at Dunkin Donuts.  I drop her off and get to school by 7:05.  The parent meeting is in my room with my two teammates, and shortly after it ends, classes start for the day.  I teach periods 1 and 2 today. Period 1 we spend the first ten minutes talking about a few problems together, and then we do a full-class review activity.  I stole it from someone online.  It's called Speed Dating and it's fun, but it's a small class and we get through the entire activity with an awkward 20 minutes to spare.  The kids ask to play musical chairs, of all things, and we hash out a math version very quickly and spend about 15 minutes playing math musical chairs.  It's actually a lot of fun and hilarious, and the kids are doing problems and doing well.  Hooray!  Third period I have an appointment with the principal to have my post-observation conference.  I dash out and grab Taco Bell, race back, and eat it in ten minutes before I have to be at the meeting.  The principal gets jammed with a phone call with a disgruntled parent, though, so after 30 minutes of sitting in the office, his secretary and I decide to reschedule for Friday.  I go back to Victoria's room (mine is being used for another class) and we quickly organize our stuff and head upstairs to the library to laminate some stuff.  By the time we're done we have to go back to our respective rooms for our fourth period supported study halls.

After the dismissal bell, I have about 40 minutes to set up my room and grade, and then I hitch a ride with an assistant principal and we head to the district offices for a committee meeting.  That lasts about two hours and we head back just in time for me to start my parent teacher conferences at 5:30.   I have three parent conferences and then am finally able to pack up my room and head home.  When I get home we have a hodge-podge dinner and the kids go to bed... it's been nearly 48 hours without WHM, so it feels good to be home at a decent hour.  But I'm exhausted and I am giving two tests tomorrow.  I sketched out some of them today in the gap between the dismissal bell and my meeting, but I have a lot of prettying up and filling in.  I sit on the couch and realize I left half of the geometry test in my room.  I do as much as I can and go lay out our clothes for tomorrow.  I take a shot of Nyquil, and by 9:15, I'm in bed.  But Mick manages to find Grey's Anatomy and so I fight it and stay awake a little longer. 

WHM wakes up and comes in our room at 2-something in what is now technically Friday morning.  Mick deals with WHM, and at some point I realize I'm in the bed alone.  My alarm goes off at 5:15 because Mick and WHM are heading to NH today and they plan to leave when CAM and I leave, so I go out to the living room and ask Mick if he slept at all.  Not really.  He took care of WHM and then kept hearing a clicking sound, so he came to the living room to check it out.  It was my mac, and when he checked it out it appeared that the computer was fried.  He spent hours working on that and barely slept a wink.

Mick and I get showered and dressed and then get the kids showered and dressed.  The kids only want Hostess "Donuts" for breakfast, so they have a few and we're all out the door.

I do my usual run through McD's after I drop CAM off and realize that I have no cash for lunch today, which is a problem.  I get to work and immediately go to the pricnipal's secretary to see if we can move our 2pm meeting to 2:30.  CAM has a half-day today and I hate leaving her in after-care for longer than necessary, but I'm also nervous about how late the meeting will go.  If we move the meeting back I can run and pick her up from school and bring her back, and then not worry if our meeting runs late or long.  It actually works out well that way, so we plan on that.  Then, because there is another class in my room first period, I grab all my "stuff" and head to the workroom so that I can lock my door and leave before students start trickling in and I am obligated to stay until their teacher arrives.  I don't mind doing that, but I have tests to finish and to copy and Algebra 2 homework answer keys to make (graphing, so they are intense -- I have to do them, not just photocopy a key), notes sheets and a new homework to write, a powerpoint to write (just one problem to project, not "notes," -- I hate that!), and grading to do because I promised my Algebra 2 kids their quizzes back.

The guidance counselor sticks her head in the workroom to remind us that we have a 504-plan meeting this morning.  She assures us that "it should be quick."  We get there and it starts late and then runs long, so by the time we leave we have about fifteen minutes left in our prep period.  We leave the meeting and I realize I am suddenly in a very, very bad mood.  I frantically work on a to-do list in hopes that I don't forget anything else this morning and then I get to work on my Algebra 2 pile.

I give a test period 2 and work on the Algebra 2 stuff.  Out of eleven kids, four are absent, three turn in the test blank, one was absent the past two days so I excuse her from it and let her spend the period copying the notes and practice problems she's missed, and three actually do it.  Awesome.  These kids just don't WANT to pass.  I'm at my desk while half the kids are napping and the other half are theoretically testing, and in walks an unannounced walk-through evaluator.  I have no idea who she is, but I tell her we're testing.  She says not to worry, sits in a chair, and stays five minutes.  In that five minutes I continue to frantically work on Algebra 2 stuff.  Go ahead and say something negative; we'll deal with that little joy later.  On a higher note, I also get an email from another teacher who was in the 504-meeting and he's complimenting me on something I said.  That's a pleasant surprise and a nice treat on this rapidly-going-downhill day.

Third period is split by lunch.  Usually we do new material before lunch, and then we take our test in the time after lunch.  Today, though, I decide to finish our review from the other day.  This is in part because I am woefully unprepared for starting something new (especially when we'll meet only one moe time before a long Thanksgiving break) and in part because the other day we were doing impromptu student presentations and only got about 2/3 of the way through them. Although they were impromptu, they were great and I really want every kid to get to present and get this "extra" grade.  But that doesn't take the full first section of our class, so I give the kids free time to cram for their test.  I'm still frantically working on Algebra 2 stuff.  I've got the homework answers almost all done, the worksheets created and ready to copy, and the PowerPoint done.  When the lunch bell rings, I run to copy the Algebra 2 worksheets and then Victoria and I grab lunch in the lunchroom.  She spots me the $3.65 for my sandwich, sides, drink and chips.  But by the time we get to sit and eat it's time to go back to my room.  Stupid!  My sides are carrots and chips so I can't eat them in the silence of a test!  I try to finish grading those darn Algebra 2 quizzes, but before I know it I am out of time.

Algebra 2 comes in and they are boisterous, as always.  Can't blame them on the last class of a Friday!  I'm all excited about our table-tent homework-answer-checking activity, but I ask who did their homework from Wednesday and I get an honest showing of hands: about half the kids did it.  This is not good because although this is an "honors" Algebra 2 class, it's a class very weak on skills.  I'm not pleased, though, not as much for that (they make their own beds) but because it throws a wicked wrench in my plans for the kids to rotate around the room checking their work...  what will the kids who didn't even TRY it do?  I tell them to pick a station and work the relevant problems.  No fewer than three of my solutions are wrong -- this is what I get for all my frantic multi-tasking, and it's infuriating.  These kids are too needy and soemtimes, too snarky, for me to have stupid mess-ups, and I am too Type A to let it not bug me.  We go over one (lengthy, with fractions) problem as a class and twice in that span I have to stop and lecture about behavior and attitude.  I'm grumpy and don't want to take it out on the kids, but my patience is nil.  Then we start a new problem (hooray for my powerpoint!) and I have to rein in the kids again.  It's long but going well -- until I sketch without a grid and make my two lines too sloppy.  We fix the rough graph to get the problem right, but the class is toast and so am I.  We don't finish nearly enough of the notes, so I tell them to TRY their homework.  I don't expect good things on Tuesday -- the last day before Thanksgiving.  We are falling more and more behind for behavior issues and I am staring down midterm exams and Christmas ... we meet only every other day and I already know we're going to lose one class period to ASVAB results.  I'm stressed and can't deal with this tonight.  The dismissal bell rings and I pull two kids aside to discuss behavior and expectations (they are bright and conscientious and WAY ahead of their classmates -- but don't always express it appropriately so it's contributing to a poor overall tone).

They leave and I race in my heels across the building and out to my car and rush to get CAM from her after-care program.  She and I race back to the school, I bring her to Victoria's room, and I head back to the office for my post-observation conference.

Finally, something goes well today.  The observation and conference were both great and I feel good about that as I leave.

At 3:20 I head back and get CAM from Victoria's room and the three of us walk to our cars together.

CAM and I get three minutes from the school and I notice I've missed a call from Mick.  I call him back and he tells me his uncle is in the hospital for a replacement stent, and so CAM and I turn around and head to the hospital to visit with Uncle Bud.  I'm pretty psyched that I can actually navigate my way to the hospital by myself.  Okay, that's a lie.  With a little help from Mick, who told me how to go.  In any case, CAM and I stay with Uncle Bud -- who looks great and feels great, by the way -- about an hour and a half, maybe a little less, and then Mick calls.  Uncle Bud has talked us into checking out a local restaurant and Mick has already said he is starving, so we call him when we leave and tell him where we think we should go.  He and WHM agree to meet us there. 

As I am writing this it is 7:30.  We are home from dinner and snuggled on the couch.  I am exhausted.  But I am lucky:  I have both kids (and Mick) here, we ate well.  I'm in jammies and have a tissue wedged in my nose (attractive, I know, but it's true!) and I have a friend who's going to be on Undercover Boss right now, and then two friends from law school who are going to be on Shark Tank in an hour!  (Check out, by the way!)  Tomorrow, we get to sleep 'til a whopping 8am and then the kids have a craft project at Lowe's.

And then, my friends, I plan to come home and nap.  Grading, cleaning, and unpacking will all still be there on Sunday.


1 comment:

  1. You've got some terribly television-worthy friends!

    And I hope you feel better soon! I don't know how you do this.