Saturday, November 5, 2011

I'm alive!

Oh, blogging world, how I have missed thee.

I am alive!!

I don't know about anyone else, but going from total freedom over the summer to school lockdown in the fall, is a killer for me. It also doesn't help that I am taking two onling grad classes and planning a wedding. I underestimated how much time was involved with being a student again and online is not my thing when it comes to classes. I can spend hours on Facebook, Blogger, Pinterest (, and going through my Google Reader, but this online coursework is for the birds. It is SO time consuming.

I also need to know.. how long is everyone's prep period at school?? I teach at an extended school day so I am teaching from 7:45-3:30 and my prep ends up being about 20 minutes each day. Ridiculous, right?!? Ok, so the block is really an hour but we have a mandatory "team meeting" everyday for half of it, which would be wonderful if we actually used it for common planning, rather than for meetings and complaining. By the time I drop the kiddos off to their exploratory class, check my mailbox, and (if I'm lucky) run to the bathroom, I'm left with about 10-20 minutes. I have 50 students. That's 50 tests, 50 homework assignments, 50 notebooks to check, depending on the day. Of the 50 students, 15 are ELL, 5 are on IEP's, 3 on 504's, and we have 3 are in the middle of testing to check for a learning disability. I'm lucky if I get through 5 papers or check my email in this time. Is this normal?? I end up bringing all of this work home and fifth grade work takes a LONG time to grade. I am just lucky that I have been teaching the same curriculum for 5 years and our curriculums are super scripted, so planning doesn't take me all that long.

I wish I thought to take a picture, but last Sunday my living room was a perfect snapshot of my life. Grad school books on the end table with a stack of pens and highlighters on top, school bag on the couch with uncorrected tests pulled out, laptop open on the couch, printer in the middle of the living room, and wedding Save the Dates in stacks according to what they needed (stamp, label, etc). My dining room table still had the decorations from the Halloween party that we hosted the previous weekend. If you can imagine anything else in that chaos, I had professional development the day before and yes, it was on a Saturday.

Anyone have any tips, advice, words of encouragement?? ..because if I'm being honest, I'm a bit burnt out and it's only November. I will say that my class is absolutely darling and they are a wonderful break from the chaos. Today my plan is to not leave my dining room table until I am completely caught up in these classes. And yes, I have finally cleaned up the party debris. :) I've just left a few key decorations out for Halloween, which I know is over but due the serious snowstorm we had last weekend, trick or treating was post-poned until Sunday, so we are still celebrating in these parts.

I have SO missed reading all of your blogs and connecting with you! Please know that every night before I go to bed, I read a post or two on my Nook. You are my de-stressing outlet and source of inspiration. I was also SO excited to see my new followers! Welcome! I promise, I'm not usually this much of a rambler.. or this delinquent in my postings.


  1. Hang in there - things can only get better! I love reading your blog and have just planned a little unit at the end of our year (in Australia) based on your 'Where I'm From' poem unit. Thanks for the inspiration, from Alex (English but living in Australia, teaching Year 6s in a little tiny country school and looking forward to 16th December - end of year!)

  2. Hi Miss P!

    I'm glad you're alive! I've missed reading your posts.

    We get one prep a week (50 minutes). But I only have 33 sixth graders (self-contained) so I have fewer kiddos than you. No matter what, it is NEVER enough!

    I finally took pictures of my living room/dining room so that I would FACE UP to the fact that school had invaded my home. This is my work weekend. Goal: At least half of the stuff gone (and that does not mean put into a bigger box!)

    I can't imagine adding grad school into the mix! Or a wedding!!

    I'll be checking back to see what other suggestions have been offered. But I will say this: You are not alone (in the chaos), and sometimes knowing that helps. And you have encouraged me to get back to work, so your frustration has been a positive influence on a another teacher! (I meant that to sound like a good thing... YAY, you!)

     Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  3. We miss your posts!

    Also, just wanted to stop by and share my new GIVEAWAY with you :)
    You can WIN a $20 Gift Card for Amazon and shop till you drop :)

    Come by & enter to WIN!

    Happy Holidays!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen ❤
    A Teacher's Treasure