Last Hurrah

This week is my last week as a sixth grade teacher. Yes, normally people wait until the end of the year, but since the last time I wrote here, a 7th grade teacher has resigned her position “effective immediately.” This has, of course, left a large group of kids up a creek without a paddle. Sure, they have a sub whose been filling in with lesson plans other teachers have put together, but they’re not lesson plans for those kids. They’ve been winging it, and honestly, I don’t blame them. I mean, it’s very time consuming to plan for yourself, much less for someone else.

Anyway, as you can imagine, my do-gooder self decided to take on the challenge. Do I regret it? At times, yes, very, very much, but I can’t back down now, and I know that those 7th grade kids need a familiar face.

A new teacher has been hired to take my place in sixth grade. My current students were pretty upset over it. I told them Friday and their response was either, “Noooooooo” or “You’re a traitor!” Some of them seem to be consoled with the possibility of having me next year and others were happy to hear that I’d still be around in case they needed me. Still, telling them was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I’ve really taken the relationship of this “Rigor, Relevance, and Relationship” theme to heart and built a relationship with more kids than ever.

It seems very fitting that my last week with my students I get to work on the Day of the Dead unit. I can’t wait. I’ve been thinking about this week for about a month. This year, many of my colleagues and I have ended up in the lower part of the dip a lot earlier that November. I think many of us have made ourselves at home there (It's not true that it's just for new teachers, we all feel it). We just sit around slinging back “coffee” after “coffee.” So it’s given me time to think about Día de los muertos a lot. Tuesday we begin the preparations. I’ll try to get some pics of the altar to put up.


Low Point

I’ve started monitoring comments again because of comments like the last one in my last entry. I’m happy people have religion in their lives, just don’t post it on my space…bastards.

I woke up this morning in a very reflective mood that quickly put me in a very negative state of mind. I started thinking of everything I hadn’t done and all of the things I currently can’t change about my job. At this point, all I really want is to be able to spend time in my classroom, working with my students, and planning their instruction. I’m not interested in attending another meeting or another staff development to learn another strategy. I have learned plenty of strategies in my 80+hrs of staff development this summer; I really don’t need any more for now. I promise, I’m golden.

I know it’s not anything anyone can help right now, and I’m okay now. The strategies that I can implement from today’s staff development have already been discussed and the rest are going to sit on my bookshelf until I get to them or need them.

Anyway, I had a rough couple of weeks in regard to time and Friday was just one of those days where the monkeys fling their fecal matter at the ceiling fan and it ends up all over your nice things. I decided that afternoon that this weekend I would dedicate it to my mental sanity. So I slept, read, and watched movies.

Saturday night I spent it on our new sofa reading Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I read it until I was finished because I knew that otherwise, it wouldn't happen. I got it from one of the staff developments I had to attend last week. It was really entertaining. I loved that it had illustrations. I thought about not putting it on my bookshelf because it gets a little edgy, but after the conversation I had with my department head today, I think it needs to go up there. (The narrator mentions masturbation once and it’s got a few curse words.)

Saturday afternoon, we ventured out to see 3:10 to Yuma. I really enjoyed it. I’m not one to watch westerns so I was surprised that I really liked it. It also helped that Christian Bale was in it. He’s pretty easy on the eyes.

We also watched Halloween, the Rob Zombie remake. It was pretty good. I liked it a lot better than the original. Fraility was pretty good, too. Hostel left a lot to be desired. Hollywoodland was pretty unclimatic for me. I think I took a nap while it was on. Lastly, we watched a mocumentary that follows a first-year-teacher, administrator, and some three-year-teachers during a school year titled Chalk. That was really pretty good. Dan the Man was a little upset when he found out it wasn’t an actual documentary. But it was dead on with its portrayal of the first year. I was having flashbacks watching that poor teacher struggle with his students. When it was over Dan the Man asked, “So you’re still within that crucial first three year period. How likely are you to quit?”

I guess that could be one reason why I woke up acting like a grumpzilla. It could also be that we’re hitting that low point in the year. Whatever it is, I’m planning on having many more relaxing weekends. Regardless of whether I bring work home on the weekends or not, I’m still not getting home until 6 or 7 and doing more work at home, might as well start enjoying my me time. It's just one of those life lessons I need to have to collect.