kicking back
wednesday, january 3, 2007

so, i made my first "major" decisions of 2007, decisions to help me have some kind of sanity these last three days in that maniac classroom i've been long terming in.

first off, i may have to make them do work, but i do not have to grade it. when i first came into that class, i had to grade a stack of stuff from first quarter just to be able to enter grades into the computer for the final quarter grades. and i cleaned up the classroom, did a little organizational stuff, and even filed a stack of papers 2 feet thick (and i kid you not on that). it was a lot,
a lot of work. as much as i hate leaving teachers with a stack of work to deal with when i long term for them, i'd have to say that i went beyond the call of duty already. she can handle 3 days of it, and i'm sure at least one of the assignments will get tossed without being graded at all.

second, i'm not going to stress out about these kids when it's only for 3 days. i'm pretty much there to babysit right now. oh, i have to give them some work that will teach them what they're supposed to be learning right now, but it's not my responsibility beyond that. i'm a good sub, they won't suffer in the learning department, but i'm just not inclined to go my usual extra mile right now. i'll read the chapters with them, help them with the work, but, for the most part, they'll do what they need to do or not. their regular teacher can deal with it when i'm gone. a this point, i'm the sub, not the teacher, so i can kick back a bit and i intend to. last quarter was far too stressful. i'm not going to let them drive me up the wall with only 3 days to go.

and today actually turned out pretty good. my first class was actually the best of the day, for the first time ever. i did have to do some planning since the person who was going to take care of that for me never got to me on anything, but that proved to be pretty simple. there was some minor administrative stuff (grade and attendance verifications), but that was pretty much it. we read a chapter that introduces them to the next unit, then they did their own work quietly from the review in the book while i either did what i needed to do or (for the last 2 classes) got to kick back with a novel i'm critiquing for a friend. i didn't get through much of the novel -- i still have to keep an eye on the buggers and make sure they're working (and being better overall doesn't mean they're perfect, little angels), but it was a refreshing change from the constant pressure to "get things done!" that i've had to deal with in the past.

as a result, my mood was much better, for the most part. by the late afternoon, i was starting to feel less stressed about being there. i am still tired, but it's not that freaked out exhaustion i was starting to feel on an almost daily bases. it's just work. (well, that and my monthly visitor, which always wipes me out because of the anemia.)

finally, i decided what to do about my usual end of the long term days off. i usually try for a week off before i call my schools and let them know i'm available again, but we really can't afford it this time. i'm taking monday off for sure. i'll work tuesday if someone is desperately in need of a sub -- or it's another long term (which would be a real trip, going from one long term position to another in so short of a time). i'm working wednesday as long as i'm called. i have to be off thursday because the kids have appointments that day. it makes for a spotty week, but it also makes for some kind of small break for me to help me clear my head. of course, with my luck, no one will need a sub and i'll end up not working the whole week anyway.

on another positive note, i didn't go to the work day the teachers had yesterday. i didn't get paid for the last one, and i'm only in the room for another 3 days, so why bother with it? the meetings and stuff usually don't have anything in them for me much anyway, with the exception of the content meeting which helps me figure out what i'm supposed to be doing and where i'm supposed to be in the timeline for whatever unit they're studying. turns out that, just maybe, i should have gone anyway. seems the principle gave some rather glowing comments that essentially thanked me for all the hard work i've put in over the last 9 weeks. i did go down and thank her, apologizing for not being there (to which she said that she hadn't really expected me to be there), and i reminded her to please consider me if a language arts opening comes up. not holding my breath, though. a stellar position came open, apparently, and was given to someone else. (on the up side of that, the stellar position only guarantees i get paid for a full month; but i don't get paid the teacher salary, and i would rather hold out for that, if i can. still, it would have been nice to be considered or interviewed for the spot.)

but, overall, a good day. and kicking back helped in other ways too. i'm home and i feel up to doing other things. that's really unusual even when i'm not totally stressed out about work.

kicking back rocks. too bad i can't do it more often!

word of the moment: feria

(in Spanish speaking regions) a local festival or fair, usually in honor of some patron saint; a weekday on which no festival or holiday is celebrated, particularly in the roman catholic church; a surname

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