24Hrs of No TV

I've gone 24 hours without TV. I've done it before and for a longer period of time, but it's just so strange to me today.

Actually, I've been working pretty much the entire day. Here is a recap of my day:

6:10 AM Hit Snooze Button
6:20 AM Grudgingly get out of bed because the alarm is so annoying
6:55 AM Out of shower only to find the cats had knocked down the X-Mas tree
7:00 AM Pouring coffee into my thermos
7:05 AM Yelling at cats because they're trying to trip me
7:10 AM Gathering laptop, lunch, crate, purse, and work bag
7:15 AM Leaving complex for work
7:30 AM Arrive at work, sign in, greet whomever I run into
7:35 AM Rewriting daily to-do list
7:50 AM Room fills up with kids for tutoring, I try to work on to-do list
8:10 AM Bell rings, students leave, and I can get to work on fixing sub letter, alphabetizing folders, and inputing late grades for a class.
9:04 AM Bell rings, greet students, teach class
10:42 AM First class students leave, homeroom students start filing in, as I stand in the hallway colleagues asks when would be a good day to come observe my mad teaching skillz
10:46 AM Hand out Technology Survey to students, pick them up, joke around, tell them that they better be good for sub later.
11:06 AM Students leave, I run down to make extra copies of some assignments, return to classroom for meeting.
11:35 AM Meeting is over, check e-mail, each lunch as I delete and print e-mails.
11:50 AM Gather up G/T crate, late work, purse, lunch bag, and sweater and head out
12:00 PM Head to Starbucks for an afternoon fix
12:15 PM Arrive at Admin building for G/T meeting
12:30 PM Briefly discuss G/T issues with lady in charge, break out laptop and get to work on Student list and letters, ask lady in charge questions as they come up and she wanders in.
3:30 PM Head to Panera for dinner date with Dan the Man.
4:30 PM 99 Cent store to find objects for personification lesson
5:00 PM Get home, gather up laundry, check mail
5:20 PM Grade late work, log into grade book, pick up laundry
7:00 PM Work on lesson plans and resources
9:00 PM Send out millions of e-mails hoping to delegate some duties
10:00 PM Check out daily reads (blogs) and talk to Billy
11:00 PM Start thinking about heading to bed

Thank baby Jesus it's almost Saturday! Although I feel so accomplished, it sucks to work so much becuse it takes time away from the one thing I love: writing.


You’ve Been Promoted!

When I’m not being obscured with expectations, I find that statement funny. People think that just because I’m teaching a higher grade that qualifies as a promotion. I have more work because I’m learning/testing the depth of the curriculum I teach, figuring out how to best teach writing for a water downed test, and learning to deal with a whole new animal then it is a promotion. But then when you look at my pay stub, it’s actually still the same. I’m getting less respect in the classroom than before and some of the people that I work with now haven’t even really acknowledged that I’m on their team. In fact, some of them still give me the very strained good morning that I got before.

Mix Ups

I’ll tell ya though, it’s been quite interesting with people getting me all mixed up about whether I’m still teaching sixth grade or now in seventh. Today, a new kid came into my class. So of course, I gave him a seat and gave him his homeroom assignment. Then, I asked him to see his schedule so that I could ask a kid to help him get to his next class and tell him where he sits for lunch. However, when I looked at his schedule, it looked strange because he had PE 3rd period and 7th graders have PE 4th. So I looked at it again, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Then, it finally clicked.

“Are you a sixth grader?”

“Yes,” he said meekly.

I’m sure this kind of stuff will continue for the rest of the semester if not year.

Why I Will Continue to Teach Seventh Grade

The sixth graders that I had this year were really a great bunch. They were like no other group of students I’ve had.

So many people complained and complain about them, but the students that I had, man, they were awesome. On reading days, there were but a few who I had to get onto once in a while. For the most part, the others were very interested in reading. Their reading interests were so varied. They knew what they liked to read and made it a point to bring it to class.

Teaching them as like wearing your favorite jeans. They knew where I would give a little; I knew where they would give a little. Things went smoothly in class because I had laid out procedures that worked for both them and me.

Before I broke them the news, the thought of how they would take the news invaded my mind like Bush and Iraq. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t shake off the guilty feeling.

So many of them sent me feathers for the annual NJHS Turkey Feather Sale, and it’s a constant stream of hugs and hellos every time I set foot outside my classroom. At least one of them will visit me daily just to say hello, catch up on what they’re doing, or to tell me that they miss me.

I know that once my inherited students and I get into the swing of things, I might build the relationships (I already have with some), have smooth-running procedures, and they will learn to meet my expectations, but I still feel like my sixth graders and I were robbed. Today, when one of those sixth graders, who I really just clicked with, stopped by to say hello and chat, I knew that there is no way I can leave seventh grade the upcoming year. I’m going to have to stick to it one more year. Then after that, I can move back down, especially if I’m still convinced that I was born to teach 6th grade.


An Update for Those Who Insisted

The Day of the Dead lesson was awesome. I really, really enjoyed the last week with my 6th graders. They seriously are, by far, the best group of kids I’ve had.

My first week of seventh grade ended pretty badly. The kids were worn out from testing and I was worn out from covering classes for teachers who were out. I don’t mind covering a class here and there, but twice in one week, that’s a bit excessive. Anyway, there were many times that I thought, why did I decide to move up again?

This week has been better. I hope I don’t jinx myself by saying that. It has though. I also like my schedule. I used to get a break after every class which was sweet. Now, I have all of my breaks in the morning and then I power through the afternoon. For some people this would suck, but for me, since I’m not exactly a morning person, it’s perfect.

November 1st, I got to attend a reading by Tato Laviera. That was the most amazing thing ever. It was so cool. It was even better that I got to go break bread with him afterward. If you haven’t read any of his work, you seriously need to go out and find one of his books. I highly recommend reading his poem titled “Graduation Speech.”

This weekend a group of girls from work and I are going camping. Well, we’re going city slicker camping because we rented a cabin. It should be really fun. That’s been my motivation to not leave my grading done until the end of the week. I have to stay on the ball now that I have athletes in my class. The coaches constantly want to know their grades.