Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's ONLY the First Week?

Tomorrow, thank the lord, is Friday. I'm just holding it together physically until I can be rolled home Friday evening and fall into bed. I don't intend to get up until Sunday -- evening.

Teaching is wonderfully satisfying but never let anybody ever say it isn't a physical activity. This year, even more so, with my schedule.

I have co-taught in social studies second block for the last three years but really in name only. I love the social studies teacher but being in his room for 90 minutes drove me nuts and my need to verbalize with my kids drove him nuts, so contrary to actual district policy I did "pull-outs" with the students. I taught a group in my room with students that benefited from lots of interaction and he did "quiet seat work" in his room. We were both happy. In my room I have it set up so I can work with up to 10 students without having to move around on my feet constantly.

This year, however, we (okay, he decided) that we would have a "protected" classroom. He is fluent in Spanish and is a certified ESL teacher and I know how to teach "slower" students. So second block we have a 23 students who need lots and lots of interaction. He gets credit with admin for meeting student needs and they get special funding for our work and we no longer do "pull-out" sessions where we separate the kids because everybody is pretty much on the same level. This means that I'm on my feet for at least 60 of the 90 minute period, moving between desks and doing my "interaction" thing. The kids benefit -- I know that. But by 10:30, I'm already tired.

My 110 minute third block English group can be paced a little more evenly. I have the room set up so I can use my rolling chair (a desk chair with wheels) in the center of the room and I can get to everybody without having to always stand up and walk around. During my oral readings I sit. Tomorrow I'm stealing three more student desks from the first floor with the help of my guys and then we will be even more "comfortable" in my class. Right now I'm short two student desks but with the addition of three even I can sit comfortably with the students when I need to.

The 90 minute fourth block is split between my classroom and the physical science room. This is the first time since my first year in the building that I've tried collaborating with science. We have a new, young, energetic teacher who seems to like kids and is willing to do a true collaboration (which is different than co-teaching) and he has agreed to take the health community SPED kids and make modifications to his curriculum. I'm working with him three days a week for 45 minutes to help him out. Today during his class period, my first in his class, we had a fire drill. Down three floors (six flights of stairs), stand outside for ten minutes, back up the six flights of concrete stairs. Then it was move around lab tables for the next 30 minutes, bending down to help students take notes and learn vocabulary.

By the time I hit my own final literacy study hall for 45 minutes, all I could do was sit in my rolling chair and gasp. Luckily these kids are the ones going to the vo-tech school, so they had work they needed help with and I didn't have to initiate a lesson.

I explained to Hubby on the way home that there was no enticement in the world that could get me to go anyway other than home to bed. Obama could send his jet and limo to get me to the White House for a state dinner and if I had to walk onto the plane, off the plane, and from the limo to the White House -- I'd refuse to go. I simply didn't have any strength left.

Next week grad classes start -- 7 to 9 p.m. I'm not sure how I'm going to make it.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

That sounds utterly exhausting. Give me a couple weeks and I'll be there with you--in bed early and TIRED.