Tagged: teaching

It’s finals week!

The end is near, y’all.

I haven’t finished any books this week, so here is a general update:

1. I had my first houseguest(s) on Sunday! I volunteered to host my writing group, so host I did. Only one of the women was able to come because the other was sick. However, I still had two guests because the woman who did come had her mom meet her at my place.

So now, my house* is officially clean.

*Except for my bedroom

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Broken streak, broken dreams

I missed posting yesterday because I fell asleep at 6:30 and didn’t wake up until about 1:45. Then, I drank some water and ate some food before going back to bed. I wasn’t feeling that great yesterday, so I obviously needed the rest, but I hate that I blew my streak.

Also, and probably more importantly, I missed a day of grading so am even farther behind. (I was going to put “further,” but I am behind by a quantifiable amount. Also, I strongly advise not counting how many papers one has left to grade. I do this constantly and it never makes me feel better. Because I always have so much more to go, see?)

I am supposed to go to a book club meeting/cookie exchange on Saturday, but I am SO FAR BEHIND I may not be able to go. I really need to consider this. Because I really do want to go AND I read the book. But Psych >>>>>>>> everything else coming up in my life. Which! You would think that would have motivated me to get more grading done today, but no. I chose instead to procrastinate by talking to a colleague about how to teach a class I might be teaching in Fall 2018.

I may have a problem.

Anyway, that discussion did help me figure out what novel I’m going to assign next semester: Station Eleven. Unless I do A Wrinkle in Time. Both could work with the theme of my class! (All books pretty much work with the theme of my class. The theme, btw, is cultural literacy.) (Also, now that I have reread my reviews and because the movie is coming out, I am leaning more towards A Wrinkle in Time. I will probably change my mind again.)

Also, I did finish drafting the rubric for my students’ final paper. So it’s not like I didn’t do any work.

I really need to learn to eat the frog. It’s been 13 years. Do you think I’ll ever learn?

I just saw Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds commercial. In 2017. Once I see a Chia Pet commercial, I’ll really know it’s Christmas time. Ch-ch-ch-chia!

Back to the grind

Well, tomorrow is Sunday, which means it’s back to reality. Which is just a depressing way of saying I have a ton of grading to do.

Also, it’s that time of the semester when grading is basically all I’ll be talking about because there are only two weeks left (!!!!).

I’m not ready.

I mean, I am definitely ready for the semester to be over, but I am not ready for the end of the semester–mostly because of all the grading. But also because I need to write final exams and rubrics and also, of course, grade.

Always with the grading.

I did have a lovely weekend with my friend and her family, and I did get some grading done and a rubric written (on Thanksgiving itself, no less). So I am definitely grateful for the time with delightful people and the space to get work done. Also, let’s be real: I got a much needed mental break by taking the past two days completely off.

But, as Shang from Mulan says, “Tomorrow, the real work begins.”

Following directions is magic!

Ack! I only have twelve minutes to write this post.

1. I discovered today that my students aren’t reading the rubrics when I give them their grades back so they don’t know why they’re losing points. I don’t know why this is surprising since I know they don’t usually read the comments on their papers, but I guess I thought that the rubric would make it easier for them to somehow get what was going on.

2. My students still are not asking questions. I was in a conference with a student and told him something was missing from his paper. Today, during class (a week after the conference), he admitted he didn’t know what I was talking about during the conference. So I asked him why he didn’t ask, and he kind of just shrugged.

didn't follow directions

They always blame me source

3. Based on the former two points, I may try something different: instead of giving students their papers back as they’re leaving class (I mostly do this so I don’t have to hear them cry about their grades–and yes I tell them this), I may have them actually look at the rubric in class and ask questions about things they don’t understand. I will tell them that this is not the place for them to dispute their grade; rather, it’s a way for them to make sure they get what’s happening in the rubric and why they may be losing points on stuff like FORMATTING. I mean, geez.

4. Another student got a B on his last paper and said, “I just followed what was on the paper [assignment sheet] and got a B.” To which I responded, “Oh, you mean you followed directions so your grade improved?”

I mean. This is what I’m dealing with here.

Anyway, I am at that part of the semester when my students’ writing has improved so grading is easier–even if they aren’t always following directions or may still be struggling with some parts of the assignments. But I see the difference and the improvement and that means something I’m doing is working.

Feelings: I have them

I just woke up from a 20-minute nap and then my alarm to get ready for bed went off. So I’m not even going to type up what I normally do here because you can all guess. (Starts with “I’m” ends with “tired.”)

Facebook reminds me that I was regretting my life choices at this time last year. That’s because I was teaching an overload and didn’t know up from down or right from left. I am not teaching an overload this semester (and hopefully will not have to again), but I have been feeling overwhelmed. I guess a cross country move and two new preps coupled with four straight hours of teaching four days a week will do that.

I got up to pee but sat back down before I did and I am now regretting that choice. So I guess I get to regret something today, huh?

In extremely personal news (I guess the previous paragraph doesn’t count), I started therapy to help with the BIG CHANGES I’ve made in my life. (They include moving across the country, starting a new job, leaving my entire support network behind, being farther apart from my daughter for the longest we’ve ever been apart, and starting a brand new life in a brand new place from scratch. You know, SMALL THINGS.)

We got to talk about feelings today. It was just as much fun as you might imagine. The short version is that the therapist suggested I print out a feelings list. Because I  lost my old one.  (Which, you know, is a bit too on the nose metaphorically speaking, if you ask me.)

For those who don’t know, a feelings list helps you name your feelings if you rely on saying things like “annoyed” or “upset” to describe how you’re feeling.

So that should give you a pretty complete picture of me.

Five more weeks until the semester is over. Activate countdown mode.

And now…back to our regularly scheduled programming

School started last week, and my students are blogging this semester. You know what that means! Back to a regular posting schedule. So let’s do this.

1. Since I am in what I’m going to call the hazing period at my new job, my earlier class starts at 7 a.m. on Monday/Wednesday and 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday/Thursday. This is…not ideal to say the last. I am a night owl, so acclimating to this new schedule is something that’s going to take some time. For now, I’m forcing myself to go to bed early, so I can figure out what will work. This has so far included getting up early on today (my day off) as well.

I’d say it’s going pretty well considering I went to bed too early so woke up an hour before my alarm went off, and I just woke up from a nap about 20 minutes ago. I am making this deep sacrifice because I was absolutely horrendous (okay, crabbier than I wanted to be) to my class on Wednesday because I was so exhausted, and I do not want to be that person. It’s a challenge.

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It’s Monday & I’ll be here all week

And by “here,” I mean in Tampa, scoring AP exams.

Hello! This has been a wild weekend. First of all, I fully participated in a yard sale with friends on Saturday. I did make some money, which turned out to be a very good thing because it rained Saturday (we are in our monsoon season) and that reminded me to check the weather for the AP week. And guess what? It’s supposed to rain, rain, rain all this week, too.

And since I don’t have my car here, I realized that I should probably get some rain boots since I will have to walk everywhere.

Especially since our weather has been pretty much like this for the past week or so:

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X is for x #AtoZChallenge

aka xxxxx

aka crossing things off the to-do list

aka I am officially done grading because I entered ALL the grades for ALL my classes

aka no more grading until fall

It’s handled.

aka I just turned off/deleted all the various alarms on my phone (get up for work, go to class, end class, stop working, go to bed)

HUZZAH!

Blogging from A to Z is a challenge that runs through the month of April.

For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year, my theme is gratitude. Every day, I am going to post about something I am grateful for. Tune in tomorrow to see what I pick for Y.

Q is for Quaint #AtoZChallenge

Okay, so I already posted about this on Facebook, but it fits perfectly with the letter for today, so I’m going for it again.

Warning! Excitingly nerdy news ahead! (source)

 

I got to use a transparency today for the first time in years! YEARS, I tell you.

 

 

See, we have doc cams in almost every classroom here, which makes transparencies unnecessary and obsolete. But the classroom I was teaching in today doesn’t, and I needed to go over a student draft. What was I to do? AND THEN I REMEMBERED.

I got to use the bypass tray on the copier and everything.

Also, my transparency marker still worked. It was awesome.

Blogging from A to Z is a challenge that runs through the month of April.

For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year, my theme is gratitude. Every day, I am going to post about something I am grateful for. Tune in tomorrow to see what I pick for R.

P is for Positive Feedback #AtoZChallenge

I met with two of my classes for the last time today.

In the first class (creative writing), I had more than one student tell me that they enjoyed the class. Creative writing is a fun class, right? So I think the bar was set pretty low. But then! A student tells me that she loved the class and she wants to be a professor and I am her favorite teacher and just cemented her desire to become a professor.

Then, on my way to my last class of the day, I ran into a former student. And he told me he had just this week looked back at the blog he created for the class. “I put so much work into your class, and I don’t even like English. I want to thank you.”

And then in my last class, one of my students said, “I would get so mad at you for being so picky about the missed periods and stuff in MLA, but now I pay more attention when I proofread to make sure I haven’t missed anything.”

I have no idea what this GIF is from, but it works. source

So, yes, I teach my students and sometimes they learn things. And sometimes I even get a chance to find out about it.

Blogging from A to Z is a challenge that runs through the month of April.

For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year, my theme is gratitude. Every day, I am going to post about something I am grateful for. Tune in tomorrow to see what I pick for Q.