Friday, June 17, 2011

Ending Another Year

Wow!  What a crazy ending!  You would think that after seven years of planning graduations, creating awards, packing up boxes, and saying good-byes, I would be more efficient than this! 

I apologize for my absence since my last post.  My past two weeks have taken me a tailspin of a journey.  The end of the year brought on a very angry parent that took hours of my time.  She was upset that her son didn't get an award she thought he should have gotten. 

Then I packed up by classroom, finished all of my paper work, packed my car full of books to plan the next year over the summer, and headed home for a relaxing three days.  Then what did I do?  Started a four day conference!  Oh the life of a teacher!

While some of my work colleagues hit the beach, I opened a conference on Enrichment Opportunities with a 45 minute lesson from a citizenship unit. 

Finally!  Today I only need to work on writing from my home.  I do not have to step back into my classroom for about 4 weeks! I can concentrate on the freelance writing jobs I have picked up for the summer and spend some much needed time with my two year old little boy and my husband.  Perhaps I will even catch up on laundry this weekend, but I don't want to push it!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Vacation?

    My least favorite comment I get from other professionals about my teacher career is about summer vacation. They say something like, "At least you don't work for three months out of the year." Or, "Teachers won't get paid more until they work as many days as the rest of us!" For all of you who agree, here are my plans for summer!

    First of all, let me say that I know very few teachers who work only 8-9 hours a day. Most of us work that much AT SCHOOL, and then we come home, fix dinner, take care of the family, get the kids in bed, and WORK AT HOME! I don't mean housework, although there is always plenty of that! I mean we grade papers, work on lesson plans, read to prepare for lessons, and the never ending stacks of paperwork!

    Back to my summer plans. My students finish June 7th. I have two workdays after that, so let's say the school year is officially over June 9th. There are 47 week days between then and August 16th when I report back to my school for my first official workday. Of those 47 days, four of them will be spend at a Talented and Gifted Enrichment workshop, two rewriting the math pacing guides for the county with a team of other teachers, two more in meetings planning activities for Gifted students next year, two more planning and leading a workshop on discipline in our school, and three more days of our choosing spent in our classrooms. That takes me to 34 days left.

    Of those 34, I will spend countless hours reading student educational plans of the 8 incoming students with disabilities. I will rewrite my own pacing guides for reading and writing. I will plan as far ahead as possible for the upcoming year. I will meet with my team to discuss policies regarding our incoming group, and I will plan for the workshops I have scheduled to lead between August 15th and the students' first day a week later.

    When it is all said and done, my summer vacation of three months is actually only about 20 days. This allows me one month to make up for all the days that my son had to play in the floor by himself while I graded papers instead of playing with him. It gives me a chance to take care of my own child rather than the children of others.

    I love teaching. I love summers! But let's not all be clear that teachers work hard through the summer!