It has been a month…because school started and I’m up to my ears with work. Few understand the true work that goes into being an elementary school teacher. Just let me say, I have 22 students in my class that all need to be tested (individually) in reading by being scored on the mistakes while reading a passage and answering questions on the passage. Each session takes around 40 minutes on average. You need to give the student your full attention (no answering questions from random students) and the room should be relatively distraction free for the reader (no loud talking or disruptive behavior).
I did say I teach 6-7 year olds right? So first task, get them to understand expectations of work ethic in my classroom. All of them. The quiet ones that will never be a problem as much as the obnoxious ones that have learned that negative attention is still attention all the same, so go for it!
If I work non-stop with all the instructional time I am given during one school day (at most 4.5 hours when lunch, recess, specials, etc. are removed) it would take me almost 15 hours or 3.5 days. Now throw in there that 6-7 year olds have an attention span of about 20 minutes AT MOST, on a good day, and you’ll see my predicament. And that’s just ONE assessment I am required to do. There are TWO separate assessments in reading that I need to do.
Before I can get to my focused reading instruction.
Plus I am working in writing, math, science, and social studies on top of learning how to be a part of the community that is our classroom…
So you can imagine my exhaustion.
Oh, I almost forgot…
You remember I have three munchkins of my own right?
One in high school (who doesn’t drive yet) who has Cross Country practice everyday after school and wrestling practice once a week in the later evening.
One in middle school who swims four nights a week.
One in elementary school who dances twice a week and has a theater class once a week.
I’m a glorified taxi cab driver in the evenings.
So planning and preparation for my classroom is well into the late hours of the evening and consumes my weekends at this point so I can still be a mom to my own munchkins.
I could complain about the interactions with my ex…where he neglected to tell me he was having the littlest munchkin ‘sleep over’ after a special ‘day date’ until 9:45 PM when he finally returned my many texts/phone calls etc of worry from the time I had ‘expected’ they would return that evening…oh, he texted me about it, didn’t I get it?
He texted someone ELSE that text…someone else with my name, so of course he THOUGHT it was me…
…oh, well in that case, I understand.
And I guess I shouldn’t talk about how the next day when I gave my other daughter a phone to take with her so she could inform me if plans changed while she was on a special outing with her dad became ME in the wrong to the extent of being reamed out over the phone about “HOW DARE I use the kids to ‘check up on him’.”
OR I could write about the night he called at 5:00 PM (when I was expecting him at 5:30 to pick up the kids so I could have an uninterrupted evening to work and catch up in my classroom) to tell me he wasn’t going to be able to pick up the kids because his keys were in a different vehicle up at his office – again, not his fault, some underling took the vehicle to get an oil change without telling him…and didn’t return it in time…
OR I could write about the day he was going to pick up my son at practice, but told him he wasn’t going to be able to due to taking the middle munchkin to a ‘special event’ and 15 minutes later to leave was going to cause problems (only to find out later that they were an hour early to their engagement). Obviously my son was let down. Again.
OR I could write about the dinner invitation he extended on his weekend with the kids…at his apartment…with us all together. Uh, no. Talk about a night of faked niceties. Why would I want to torture myself?
the excitement never ends.
But I will say, I am handling things MUCH better…and I am feeling like the cloud of despair is clearing around me.
My life will never be boring.
…and for that I am ‘mostly’ thankful.