thoughts on the day.

Thank goodness the rain stopped for the fire dill. Dodged puddles and muddy spots. Got the kids out and back in quietly. Not too shabby.
Weekly team meeting, always a good time. Pick our students of the month.
Pretested linear functions. Turns out, the kids know almost nothing. But they know something. And some know less than nothing. And one kid knew almost everything. So now what? What do the next seven school days look like?
Stayed late (six-ish) to plan the linear unit for the next few days. Break through, big time. Stacking blocks like stairs and examining slope. Relating it to a graph. Trying to keep a nice flow in the day of me talking time and group working time. Want some choice and level differentiation in there as well... but.... time. Time continues to be my enemy.
Getting observed by new teachers tomorrow. What should I wear? Oh, and getting observed next week by my boss. Hmmm. 
Many little things not done. Forms to sign. Checks to mail. Emails to send. Things that get pushed down down down a list.
And tomorrow... tomorrow will take care of itself.


This morning at 7:15am I had no idea what I would be teaching that day. Then, after 30 mins of answering emails I still had no idea what I would be teaching. Then, after 30 mins of meetings I still had no idea what I would be teaching. With only a 45 minute plan period I scrapped together a pretty darn good day of teaching. I felt the benefit of being in this business for a few years now. I have a tool box. A list of lessons I can reach into and find something fitting and meaningful.
Still, a hectic day. Last minute copies, quick readjustments. Not really the way I like to do my work. The hard part- I have this VISION of what I want these two weeks before break to me. Stations, activities, review, new material, groups based on interests, groups based on learning levels, groups based on learning pace. Just... when do I bring it together? Hours. Hours to make really quality, meaningful stations. Today I had to bust out of school right after the bell rang so I could make an off-site meeting. Which means I'll be at school at 6:30am tomorrow, trying to write sub plans and get things in order, since I'm out tomorrow for ANOTHER off-site meeting.
At moments like this, time becomes my enemy. So many things to teach and days keep ticking by. So many things to plan and minutes become so precious. But somehow, it will get done. 


The new year

It only takes four years to stop feeling like a first year teacher.

That sums up my theme for this year thus far. Where did this change come from? This shift from overwhelming work loads and constant uncertainty to confidence and daily love for my work. Is it me? Is it my students? Is it my co-workers?
I suddenly realized this is the kind of year I WANT to write about. I have 108 students that make me happy every day. I teach on a team with two teachers who make each day fun and exciting. I have finally reached a place where I see best practices at work in my classroom daily, and I see the results from that in every student who sits in my room.
Trimester one ended yesterday. I spent the morning going through my grade book and assigning As and Bs and the occasional C. But, yesterday, with my new found organization, I found time to write a comment about every student. Every one.
"Sara is a strong math student. She asks good questions every day"
"John works hard in this class. He always has his homework done on time"
"Margret has made a real change since we spoke on the phone. She is using class time wisely."
"Sam is a nice young man who gets distracted by his friends from time to time."
That information, however brief, provides so much more to parents than any letter I could stick on a report card. A, B, C... what do those even mean?
Now I'm teetering on the start of a new trimester and a new unit, all crammed into the awkward two weeks before winter break. I have some thinking to do this weekend as I plot out the next 10 school days. And I look forward to it. The planning, the plotting, the decisions about how to create daily meaningful learning. It's what makes my job the best job a person could ask for.