Tagged: planning

New Year’s Eve

Well that’s over. Three hours of chaos and bedlam. Students and athletes need you to sign their check-out sheets, but not much else. I handed back the finals and tried to visit a little bit about what kids’ summer plans were. Knuckleheads tried to get away with as much mischief as they could, assuming they wouldn’t get in trouble since its the last day. Every girl made sure they got a “selfie” with each and every “BFF.” Contents of lockers and backpacks overflowed the trash barrels. Music played and laughter roared. My aid lined up every girl in the Eighth Grade for a group picture. In short, it was a little like Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

In a way, it is New Year’s Eve. This is the last day of the school year, after all- its just that New Year’s Day (the first day of the new school year) is 12 weeks away, instead of a minute after Midnight.

Like the police and sanitation crews in NYC, we teachers, administrators, and custodians and maintenance crews are left to clean up the confetti while students go on to the next party and sleep in past Noon.

Every New Year’s we make resolutions and set goals. But often, if only because we’re exhausted from the stress of the holidays, its hard to not break those resolutions the very first week of January.

As I wrote about last week, I don’t know about other teachers, but I’m excited about planning for next school year. Unfortunately, there’s cleaning and year-end paperwork to do. I also have to put together the district newsletter and finish up the yearbook.

If teachers are honest with ourselves, I think there may be more reasons for today to feel like the post-holiday let-down instead of some joyous day of liberation. Teachers teach. Who and what we are is dependent on our students. So when we’re unneeded, and essentially unemployed for the next 10-12 weeks, well, we feel a little adrift, our moorings untied.

Are there any other teachers out there who feel like this? Maybe you’re too busy with your own families (softball, 4-H, camps, VBS, vacation, yardwork, etc. etc.)

Does anyone else out there want to work on revising their curriculum for next year instead of tying up perennial paper tigers?

What do you do that keeps you learning and developing as an educator? Master’s classes? License renewal classes? Teach summer school? Catch up on your reading?

Needless to say, here I am blogging (procrastinating) instead of tackling those tigers. How do you stay focused this last week of teacher-meetings, etc.?


Teachers’ Perennial Focus Dilemma

This time every year I have a  huge problem. I’m incredibly enthusiastic about revising and updating my classes for the following year.

The problem is, as important as that is, the urgent issues are grading finals, entering grades from the last few assignments, finishing the yearbook, cleaning my classrooms, producing the district newsletter and of course completing the obligatory end-of-year paperwork for administrators.

Meanwhile, on the family front, there are dance and piano recitals, softball games, yardwork, and housework- not to mention a flurry of confirmations and graduations to attend.

Of course, by the time I have time to focus on what I want to focus on, I lose focus. Then in late summer, when I should devise, revise, and plan new units and projects- I’m scurrying about getting my classroom clean, books and supplies ready and… obligatory beginning-of-the-year paperwork for administrators.

What would you rather spend your energy on this time of year?

What goals, plans, or changes would you like to make in your classes next year?