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Still Plugging Along

I am still here, everyone.

Like most teachers this school year, I am completely overwhelmed by a new test I don’t know a lot about but am trying to prepare my students for, new mandates from local and state education officials, and the new-to-me personalities of my classes.

Molly is getting tired of my lonnnnnnggggggg days.  She and I try to spend quality time together each morning while I’m getting ready for work…

I’m busting my tail (literally and figuratively…see below) to come up with engaging activities for my students.  I borrowed an idea from another reading teacher for a Text Features foldable and made a template for it.  My students are very particular about lining things up so their work doesn’t get messy, so I thought a template would make things easier…

I spent Friday afternoon and late evening grading and finished up when I got up today…

Then, I spent another nine hours creating my lesson plans for the week…

Yes, you do see football going on the TV behind my computer.  Please don’t ask me for a play-by-play.  I couldn’t give you one if I tried, except for the Florida/Kentucky nail-biter.  I was too focused on my lesson plans.

I am still a S-L-O-W lesson planner.  I know I make things harder by creating a Smartboard file to accompany each week’s lessons, but that weekly file helps me see things from my students’ perspective.  Plus, I export the files as pdf files and email them to my parents on Fridays (or Saturdays, depending on when I get the chance to do it).

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m taking on more of a leadership role at school.  I attended my first leadership meeting this past week and walked away with this book…

It’s one of those “teacher” books.

Let’s just say that I’m about to learn a LOT about PLCs (Professional Learning Communities).  Thank heavens I watched a lengthy video on teachingchannel.org and have a good friend who worked at a school where she helped create common assessments for her department.  I have a somewhat elementary knowledge of this new-to-me collaboration and have much more to learn.

Despite my crazy life, I did manage to finish a YA book this week…

This book has been around a while.  It was published in 1971 and tells the incredibly sad story of a young woman who struggled with drug addiction and mental illness.  She wrote this diary, although her name is omitted from the book and cover.

It’s very raw and unlike anything I’ve ever read.  Many of my students have, surprisingly, read it already, and one spoiled the ending for me.  Grrr.

Speaking of books…I received my first order of the year…

I peeked at Tupac’s book of poetry.  It.  Is.  Amazing.  What a talented young man.  His early departure from this world is a tragic loss.  I am going to read and discuss his poems with my students.  It’s part of my plan to have my students love me forever.  😀

I also created a new incentive to encourage good behavior.  I stole this idea from a teacher at a different school.  To earn five minutes of free time at the end of my ninety-minute block, tables must avoid getting three Xs for behavior THEY listed on the poster you see below.  A couple of years ago, I had picked up the magnetic white boards you see.  Because I don’t have a large white board in my room to keep tallies on, I thought the small ones were perfect!  Tables who earn three Xs have to spend the five-minutes of free time writing me paragraphs that explains their behavior choices and their plans to rectify them in the future.  🙂

I managed to do a few things non-teaching related.  I started a new project…

…and finished it…

Ready, Set, Ruffles with Red Heart Sashay yarn

I also fought symptoms of a fractured tailbone…

I’m pretty sure I broke it when I caught major air on a steep slide that Rooster and I went down on Labor Day.  I’ve been suffering for nearly two weeks and was in a LOT of pain the end of this week…worse than right after I did it.

Meanwhile…we had a pretty rough storm today.  I thought it was your average thunderstorm…until I walked outside to let the dogs go potty…

The pictures don’t really depict how LARGE those branches are!  The one on the left came off of the tree below.  If you look closely, you can see where it snapped off.

Oh, and I’ve been having fun ordering dresses from ShopHopes.com.

Check out this one…a new favorite, I think…

That’s about all I’ve got for now.  My fingers are crossed that I’ll be able to do more planning at work so I can indulge in activities that will help me maintain more balance.

Ahhhh…who am I kidding?  I give up my brain and all of my energy from August through May.  To think otherwise is to delude myself.  😀

One Response

  1. A teacher’s life is never her own. . .it is hard to find a balance, but eventually you will. Love the collection of books. Have a good week!

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