Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Classes, Grades, and Visits

I've recently started work online for my masters degree in Literacy and Learning in the Content areas. After researching many university options (including brick-and-mortar campuses) and many areas of concentration, I think I have found the best fit for me. Sharing professionally with others outside my building and district has sparked my reflective side as a teacher. Even though we are at the end of a school year, I find myself truly thinking about what I want to do differently next year and how I might restructure some classroom activities to make them more engaging for students. About mid-summer is when I normally feel energized enough to start thinking about the upcoming year.

In the meantime, we are completely in full-throttle for the end of the year. Grades are due this Friday at noon. I'm currently taking a break from grading make-up work and entering those into the online gradebook. Today I received a stack (not kidding... probably a quarter-inch thick) of work for a student who has been at the alternative academy. NONE of it is work that I sent. (I'm still struggling to understand WHY I am expected to "get together" work for this student on a few hours notice when NONE of the work comes back. Zero. I checked through the stack twice. I even sent a cover letter with a checklist of all the work sent last time. Nothing. Nada. Zip. How frustrating!) In addition, some of the work that DID come back was reading comprehension questions based on texts. No problem. I teach reading. I can grade that... right? Well, not if the questions are based on a text that they did not include with his questions and answers! (No answer key was included either, but you probably figured that out already.) Yeesh. "And in your spare time, Mrs. S... what do you do?" ;-D

Our little 19-month-old man is so amazing right now. He can do some basic sign language (especially "more" and "eat") and is speaking more clearly. I knew being a mommy would be the toughest job I would ever love, but I had no idea just how much my heart would melt for this little guy. Five minute walks take forty-five minutes, but I now see ants that I previously overlooked. Sniffing flowers means exhaling at them. He teaches me more than he'll ever know. He is my world. I just hope that I can be the same for him.

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