Sunday, March 6, 2016

Everything else

Yesterday I {shared all about Reading Week}.   I was exhausted. I still am exhausted.

Let's examine why:

1) The students have spring fever, big time.  This need for a break manifests itself in lots of interesting ways.  This week I dealt with theft (including the school police), citations, suspensions, bullying issues, depressed students, parents, vomiting, and more.  Some days, I taught from the doorway of my classroom, privately solving behavior problems in the pod while simultaneously trying to teach multiplying fractions.  I'm the queen of multi-tasking y'all.

2) I overheard a horrific car accident while at the gas station Tuesday morning.  Six cars were involved, I think a pedestrian was hit, and crunching metal is a sound I never want to hear again.  I called the police and waited for ambulances to arrive.  I got to work thirty minutes later than I planned to and just in time for a meeting I'd forgotten about.  I had fifteen minutes between the meeting and crosswalk duty to turn on my computer and set up for the day. Tuesday morning was rough.

3) The pets were naughty.  Last week went amazing with Waffles.  She didn't get into anything when we let her roam during the day.  This week was a different story.

Monday she helped herself to some files:

Including her adoption paperwork.  I guess she's ours forever.

Tuesday included altering a dining room table chair:

At least it's an old chair? 

She's just one this month, so she's not quite ready for all that freedom.  She didn't do it to be  mean. She did it because she missed us, was lonely, and I'm sure the cats were playing without her. We'll try again in a few months.

Crooksie snuck into the pantry, ripped open a bag of dog food, and helped herself to extra food.  She's not enjoying the kitty diet very much.

4) Grad School.  I'm taking a one credit course right now and assignments are due every few days.  Between now and May, I'm finishing up course work to be at masters +32 (yay) and earn a pay raise (maybe? That's still being negotiated.)

Wednesday night I spent writing a four page analysis of the text complexity of the chosen article.  I had to watch videos, read thirty something pages, and address all sorts of questions regarding the validity of the article and if it would be appropriate for close reads and thoughtful discussion by students.  Long story short, it was appropriate.  

The topic?  Dino poop.  Snag it {here} fellow teachers! It comes from the 4-5 tool kit and is free for classroom use.

5)  In addition to all the prep for reading week, we had Harney Middle School registration.  This meant we lost our prep on Thursday, but were given prep during the assembly later that day.

6) I was observed for math.  Not only was it the fourth time rescheduling (our principal is a very busy woman!), but it was after an assembly, at the end of the day (we normally do math first thing), on a Thursday, during reading week.  Naturally, as soon as my principal left, they got the concept.  Those glorious brain fireworks and light bulbs started going off...ninety seconds after she left. 

7) It was also fifth grade's turn for First Friday treats.  Each month a specific grade level does treats for the school.  I came up with the "March Munchie Madness" theme.  Ms. C took the lead on shopping (thank you teamwork), Mrs. J helped me decorate, and Mrs. H took care of clean up.  I made fake snack brackets to give everyone something fun and different to do.  We used popcorn bags that we found in our supply closet (score!) and picked up different flavors of chex mix, popcorn, m & ms, marshmellows, and cheese-its.  Perfect snack foods to munch on.  Last year we did St. Patrick's day, but since we're having a potluck on the 16th (because we have monthly potlucks), we went with something different.  I sent out an email asking for college shirts to use as decoration and we used black butcher paper to define the space:

It must have went over really well because there were no left overs!

8) Both {Jamberry} and {Younique} launched new products, so I did my best to share this info with my Facebook groups.  There's a lot of (unfair) pressure to hit certain quotas at times, especially with the launch of new goodies.  I didn't meet these goals.  But, I am excited for what came out!

 I mean, how cute are these new nail wraps?

Dinosaurs? Yes please! I can match the Dino Poop article that I'll read with my students next week.

On the make up side...tinted flavored lip balms? New foundation brush? Yes please!

But...I'm in a sales rut. I've accepted that I won't be one of those direct sales people that makes thousands of extra dollars each month, quits her real job, and wins cruises around the world.  I'm not able to devote that much time to these hobbies, but more importantly... I don't want to. I don't want to be that pushy sales woman that tells people they need this new make up product because really the underlying message is that they aren't pretty enough and need help.  I'm not that person.  I'm much more laid back about the products. Right or wrong (probably wrong in the marketing world), here's my philosophy: I like them, I use them, and if you have questions, I'm here. Want to try something? Sure, why not? I like to try before I buy too! No judgment. I may not make a lot of money with this attitude, but I also won't lose friends and will still be me.  That matters.

9) I'm behind on grading.  No, scratch that. I let a week's worth of assignments pile up because I was overwhelmed by student behaviors and now I'm paying the consequence.  Eight different tests or quizzes to grade.  That's 264 pieces of paper to look at, score, record on a spread sheet, and enter into the grade book before passing back to students. Not fun.  Progress reports go home soon, so I should be all caught up so grades reflect all the work. That's fair to families, but it's a lot of work.  In case you're a loyal reader (or new, welcome!) and aren't in education, know this:  I tend to work an extra 15 hours a week, unpaid, grading and prepping lessons.  Every single week.  There's not enough time during the daily fifty minute prep (when it's not held up by SPED meetings, grade level meetings, surprise meetings, parent meetings, or any of the other events that happen often) to get everything done.  So please stop blaming teachers for all sorts of problems.  We're doing our best. I'm doing my best. 

10) Meetings.  There were meetings with admin.  Meetings with special education (SPED) because a behavior plan needed to be tweaked.  Three of my students are now on individual behavior incentive plans.  Last month it was one.  January? None.  But..the plans are helping those students make strong behavior choices and that's ultimately the end goal.  Meetings with parents. Meetings with the police.  Meetings with the grade level.  Meetings with other teachers that I'm mentoring.  Meetings about being certified.  Meeting with coaches.  Meetings with students about cheating.  Meetings about upcoming meetings.

All my meetings were important. I get that. They just all happened to at the same time.

11) Sinus infection.  Because items 1-10 weren't enough of a struggle, my allergies became a full blown sinus infection.  On the bright side, I used the new online telemedicine option.  I called in, a doctor called me back within an hour, we had a nice chat about my mucus situation, and he confirmed I have a sinus infection.  Considering I have several a year, for as long as I can remember, I'm pretty good at self-diagnosing this.  Thirty minutes later, CVS called to let me know my antibiotics were ready for pick up.  I didn't need to go to the doctor. I didn't need to take a sick day.  Technology for the win!

Plus, Waffles brought me a toy to snuggle with:

To be fair, she tried to share with the cats first. 

But...I'm trying to focus on the positives.  We were pleased with our tax return.  B enjoys gambling (he grew up in Vegas, what do I expect?) and did well this week.  Because we're a team, we've talked about limits and what we're comfortable spending monthly.  It's not my favorite activity, but he enjoys it.  This week he hit a royal and came home with enough cash to buy a new water softener.  Thanks babe!  I've got two weddings this month, get to see my best friend, have found some cute things on Etsy, get to see my family soon, and have bridal appointments over spring break.  There's a lot happening...and that's a good thing.

Nine days until field day.  Ten days until spring break. I can do this.

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