Tuesday, February 20, 2007

When metaphors go bad(ly)

I spent the day catching up. No, I spent part of the day catching up. I still had to teach, and to do that I had to plan for today. Since I missed all of my prep time last Wednesday and Thursday, and Friday was a staff development day (which I missed due to flu), I had nothing in my plan book. Blank page.
So...I was juggling at least four balls. I caught up a little on the stacks of paper at my desk (one ball) while the kids took a math test and watched a science video. I got a little ahead on tomorrow's plans (the second ball) while eating lunch at my desk. By my first regular prep period this afternoon at 2:15, I was ready to fall over and nap at the computer. Instead, I ran the latest test scores and placement procedures for math and analyzed them (a third ball). Tomorrow I'll have the names ready for acceleration testing.
Actually teaching my class was the fourth item juggled. The students were as antsy as a group can be after a four day weekend. It reminded me of yet another metaphor: having 29 corks in a sinkful of water and trying to keep them all underwater at the same time. My friend Lu used to describe the scene as trying to keep 29 frogs in a bucket. Either way, the teacher attempting to subdue the masses gets rather wet or slimy in the process.
Just like juggling on the home front, sometimes on-the-job juggling throws in something fresh, flaming, or fragile. The unexpected juggling item today wasn't flaming, but it was fragile and unforgiving. The egg I juggled (along with the four balls) was providing work for a rather edgy student on a long term in-school suspension. In between planning, teaching, grading, and analyzing, I set aside work for this one and emailed the specialist with ideas for using this time productively so this particular frog wouldn't hop out of her bucket or start eating bugs. No chance of a prince here, I'm afraid.
Yesterday I predicted I'd start my workweek by joining a roller coaster in midride. It was really more like a tilt-a-whirl. I was going so many different directions at once that I'm still not sure I got everywhere I needed to be. But I kept most of my corks underwater. Just hand me a towel -- I'm not ready to throw mine in quite yet.

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3 Comments:

Blogger mammacheryl said...

I enjoyed the metaphors, and I'm glad my life isn't quite that busy (although I keep asking my boss for more work).

2/21/2007 2:45 PM  
Blogger Club 166 said...

I haven't posted here lately, so I'm using this comment to break the ice. I, too, have been busy keeping all of my plates spinning at once. This has been made a bit more difficult as I've found my plate has been full.

2/25/2007 1:58 PM  
Blogger Daisy said...

Club 166, we're definitely on the same wavelength -- or in the same boat.

2/25/2007 5:27 PM  

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