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grading sick
saturday, may 21, 2005

3 classes down, 3 to go. yep, still grading. since one of those 3 was graded thursday and it took me pretty much all day to get through the other 2 today, i should probably attempt at least part of another class tonight, but i'm not much up to it.

last week my son stayed home a day with some little bug, not sure what it was. congestion, not eating, but no throwing up or other nasties, really. a low grade fever. he was over it in 2 or 3 days. it hit my husband and i at about the same time. saxy was so sick he stayed home for 3 days. me, i couldn't afford to do that. well, i could have done it if i wanted to come back to my classes being back at ground zero again. as much as i didn't really want to be at work sick, i didn't want to have to try to bring them all back under control even more. so i went to work sick. all week.

this didn't much help yesterday when the symptoms were at their worst and i could barely talk, much less talk over my rowdy kids. i ended up calling in a teacher to help for the first time in a bit. they settled in, did what they were supposed to, i got them off to their buses, end of day. the teacher who helped, lady s, told me to take the evening off and rest. i get home and my husband insists i take the evening off and get some sleep. which i did, and i felt 100 times better this morning, but still not well.

so, i've spent the day in bed, grading, sorting, grading some more, feeling generally miserable (but better than yesterday). i'm pretty fed up with being sick, and just about as fed up with grading, especially since it's more than obvious most these kids didn't take either me or the other sub at all seriously. most of them turned in less than half the assignments. the half they did turn in were done in a half-a$$ manner. several even copied.

i keep reminding myself these kids really had no reason to take us seriously, had no reason to expect me to stay and grade, have had more than a few upheavals, and more than one class had known trouble makers make up up to 1/3rd the class. and i keep reminding myself that it's only 3 more days and the whole nightmare is over, and that their failure to take the class at all seriously isn't my fault, that home ec isn't my field of expertise, even that i'm doing the best i can, and none of it helps me not be depressed about the way things have gone. heck, not even the praise and encouragement of the other teachers is helping all that much right now - i don't feel like i've managed to make any kind of positive impact on these kids at all.

there's probably a lot of being sick talking there.

4 of the 6 classes "earned" a final by refusing to cooperate. granted, they weren't the little monsters they were when i first stepped in 2 weeks ago, but the rule was to work quietly and they couldn't do that. i didn't even mean for them to not talk, just to keep their voices down. impossible for them. however, i have been told that failing any of them is out of the question. it started with this, and seems to have moved on to a 'fail them for any reason and you'll get fired' mentality. so even if the students refuse to show up and take the final, they can't be failed.

at this point, i'm grateful it's not my problem . . . yet. see, i get to send my grades to the original teacher of the class, who will then combine what i have with what she has to come up with the final grade. anyone fails, it's on her, not me, and she's already quit. but it does affect me if i get hired on full time.

but really, for now, i just need to get through the last 3 days of class. not being able to fail them now only means that my final can be taken into account or not at the discretion of the regular teacher of the class. i'll only have been teaching them for 3 weeks when we get to the end of the year. it was a lot of work, i've already learned quite a bit, and whatever happens to the kids from here on out . . . well, not much i can do about it.

i've done the best i can with a situation i was thrown into. the fact that others see an improvement is something, even if it isn't the best results one could hope for.

and now i'm rambling rather incoherently. time for me to get back to bed. maybe i'll sort out the gradable stuff and toss the ungradable stuff in preparation for tomorrow.

or maybe i'll just rest.

word of the moment: posset

to cause to curdle or coagulate; to pamper with delicacies

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