Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Off we go --

Today is my last day of break. My last day to sleep in, my last day to hang out on the computer reading blogs, and my last day to "get things done" at home. Tomorrow I get back into my workday routing of getting up at 5:30, getting Amigo through his morning routine and on his bus before 7:00, and then hitting the road for the (thankfully short) commute to school.
I feel tired already.
I always feel a little regretful as I head back into the school routine. It's not as severe as burn-out, but it's a definite down emotion. Part of that down-and-out comes from difficult working conditions with an ever-increasing workload, uncooperative families, and the whirlwind final weeks of this semester. We're going into the second half of our second year without a contract, with no sign of progress anytime soon. If we approve a contract in the next few months, then the negotiations can begin for the next one that starts in July of '07. Yes, you read that right.
I start to feel more upbeat when I'm actually at my desk and getting the day's materials and plans ready. This, to me, is the heart of teaching: knowing the students, taking the curriculum and making it accessible so that they can learn it.
I spent several hours of break correcting and analyzing a pre-test (not fun) so that I know where to focus in the next math chapter. Fractions can be enjoyable; and now that I know what they already know and what they'll need to review and relearn, I can start digging out the more interesting and motivating activities to help them learn it. This is the last year they'll have for a really thorough foundation in fractions, as the middle school math program presumes a solid knowledge base, so I really spend time working toward mastery in this chapter.
There. I feel a little better already. It's not about the bubble tests or the required district assessments; it's about the kids, who they are, how they learn, and how I can teach them.
Early to bed tonight, and then off I go tomorrow, strong coffee in hand, to start 2007.

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1 Comments:

Blogger mammacheryl said...

That's a wonderful attitude about teaching math. I was homeschooled for four years in grade scchool, so I wasn't allowed to move on from a topic until I had mastered it. Luckily, I was a quick learner.

Good luck with the back-to-school transition. Feel free to vent about it anytime in your blog.

1/03/2007 11:21 AM  

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