Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Now I Can Breathe a Little

     When I started teaching, this time around, I came in with the vaguest of plans. I was going to have a day to chat with the kids, since I only actually knew one of the classes, and then we would have a day of some fairly easy review work. It's rough starting into new classes, let alone 4 new ones (and one old one) a quarter into the year. It is even harder going from being the para in the classroom to the teacher. But I have done it before and I was sure I could do it again. If only that nagging voice that tells me I don't know chemistry that well would get out of my head... I can learn it. I have excellent resources (teachers!). 
     So I had my day of chatting with the kids about expectations, both mine for them and theirs for me as their teacher, and Friday we did some review work. Nothing horribly taxing. We had a weekend and Monday morning was not too bad. Tuesday wasn't bad either, but then Ethan told me that he got a call to pick Travis up from school. We had to bring him for a COVID test before he could come back to school. So I got coverage for my 7th period class, missed my prep (6th period) but had enough of a plan for Monday after the Thanksgiving break to make it so I wasn't completely freaking out. Travis does not have COVID by the way. Or flu A or B. He has a cold. And it's mostly better. 
      Anyway, so we came back from Thanksgiving break and I had to wait in line in the copy room, I had way too much to copy to get ready for my first 4 classes, and then for some reason every packet had an extra blank page in between every printed page. So I had to pull all of those out to even make the packets. I managed but it was a rocky start to the day. But then I managed to get a bit more prep done for one of the classes, and just enough ahead on the others (as in, plans for the morning), that I didn't leave school in a panic. Mostly. Tuesday morning I got the copies done quickly that I needed for 2 of my first 4 classes, it didn't take forever, and I got back to my room in time to start getting things sorted. And then I took a day to let the kids work on their own, instead of having the majority of the class time us all working on things together. I reminded them to ask for help if they needed it, checked in every now and then, motivated some to get working or to keep going, and eventually got through the enormous amount of grading that has been piling up since I took over. OK, it wasn't huge, but it was a mess, sort of everywhere, and I needed to get that taken care of to clear my head. And I did. 
       This bulging folder is all of the graded/checked assignments since I started. Sure, it has not been a lot of days, but now it is all finished and I have a master list of every class, with every kid in the class, and every day, with their grade from that day's work, so when I get a refresher on how to use the grading part of the computer, I can actually put grades in the portal for everyone. Definitely progress was made. 
      During my prep time I also managed to get plans together for more days, for most of my classes. My biology class I think I am still only one day ahead, but I have material gathered and just need to get the details worked out and I believe I can get several classes ready. I also managed to find my desk!

       I only started on November 18th. The 19th was the first day we did any work. Then we had the 22nd and 23rd and after that was break. Monday the 29th had me rethinking my life choices again, but then by the 30th I remembered that I can do this. I am also insanely organized! So everything should be fine. Now that I am caught up I can work on finding things for the kids that are a bit more creative. Most of them seem to like that. 

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