Sunday, May 25, 2014

Coming up for air

Hey, is anybody still out there? Or did my total and complete neglect lead you to believe we were over and you've moved on to other, mostly insane, relatively funny, bitter, jaded women who overshare about their lives on the inter webs? 

If you are still there, a) thanks for not giving up on me and b) here's a quick update on life as of late.

The last two months have been exhausting, challenging, rewarding, terrifying, enlightening and wonderful. I work with, hands down, the best bunch of teachers on the planet and a principal who has a heart of gold. The kids are a mixed bag of crazy smart, crazy cute and crazy crazy. In the same day, I could want to pull my hair out because of a lunatic kid and want to scoop another one up and bring him home with me. If you're a teacher, you know that's just a typical day in our occupation. I have tons of stories I wish I could share, but, of course, I can't. Let's just put it this way, I can honestly say there hasn't been a dull moment since the day I took over for the teacher who had leave. 

At one point, I thought the STAAR test was going to kill us all. Having to prep four grades for the test as well as tutor all the kids who were having to take multiple tests due to failing the ELA portion in prior years is a task I never want to undertake again. I had nightmares the night before the first test that I didn't have any pencils and no one would bring me any when I put out my little help sign (again, something that teachers will totally understand). Even though I only had 11 days with the kids before they started testing, I am still beating myself up about those who didn't do so well and celebrating over those who kicked its standardized test ass. I don't necessarily feel like these standardized tests are a fair assessment of what students know or what teachers teach and I think the pressure it puts on both is insane. But, it's also the measure for now and all I can do is try to prep my kiddos the best I can while I wait for the next great assessment tool and hope like hell it actually is great this time. 

When I speak of prepping my kiddos, I am no longer speaking of imaginary kiddos in an imaginary class I don't actually have. As it turns out, my school powers-that-be actually loved me back and I got offered a job for next year. I won't be teaching ELA, though. The ELA teacher is back and will stay in her position. Upon learning I'm testing for my 4-8 ELAR/Social Studies certification to go along with my ELAR 8-12 certification, and finding themselves in need of a middle school Social Studies teacher, I was offered the position. After telling the principal to shut up (I really need that to stop being my go-to response for happy, surprising stuff because it's not the best in every situation), I gladly accepted and am now on a mission to a) pass the test and b) get everything together I possibly can for 6-8th grade Social Studies.* I am also teaching Art. It should probably be called Pinterest Art because we're rolling with all kinds of crafts from over there. 

One of the many pluses of my new role is that I won't have quite as many classes to plan for, so I might actually be able to write more often. I guess that's a plus if you enjoy reading the blog and you probably do if you're here after all this time. Or you may have googled STAAR and accidentally landed here and are now sorely disappointed you didn't learn whatever STAAR related information for which you were searching. Sorry about all that, dude. 

Anyhow, once we return Tuesday, there will only be eight more days of school left. Then I can return to more regaling you, the masses (or five of you reading this since I made my big return on a holiday weekend after deserting you for two months) with my deep and profound thoughts on a more regular basis.

You're welcome.

*Middle School Social Studies teachers: Have you used interactive notebooks? What are your thoughts? Do you have any great ideas for the notebooks or for fun, project-based lessons? Thank you for your assistance and/or saving my butt. 


Kellie said...

LOL thank you. Been wondering what happened to you. Eight more days is not too bad. Then you'll be out for the summer, right? Lucky.

janneba said...

Missed your wit.

Anonymous said...

Yep…eight days until the towns start paying us that 20% from every paycheck they've held interest free for the entire school year…
STAAR nightmares-I dreamed that the ninth grade passages were all from King Lear, and the essays required that they write satirical pieces.
And the high school results still aren't back.

Anonymous said...

Still here. And still enjoy your stuff. Take care of business & get back to us when you have a moment.

My Other Brother Darryl
stopping in occasionally from Liberally Lean

ps - captcha is getting like an ink-blot test

Kathy Mulllin said...

So glad you are back. I don't teach social studies, but the social studies teachers let me work with them on my English projects. If you want ideas, I can email all kinds of stuff to you!!

Congratulations :)

Coxie said...

Whew, Glad you're still around. Beginning to think that you had carried out one of the evil plots in your head a little carelessly.

Katy Anders said...



Social Studies is one of those things I know I loved, even though, for the life of me, I have no idea what it was. I just know I excelled at it and still remember my teachers.

Anonymous said...

So glad you're back!!! I've missed you.

Jenny said...

Feeewww, glad your back. Congrats on your new position!

Anonymous said...

This is all well and good but the big question remains: Is your husband still alive? (wondering if he survived all your stabby moments)