Sunday, September 24, 2006

Progress reports

I can't believe that mid-quarter progress reports are already due. It's still September! Gah.

Teaching an extra class this year hasn't been so hard...yet. I have the energy to keep up with it, although next week, when 150 essays come in, I might change my tune. I am trying to get out of school each day before dark, which is still possible (unless you count the smoke-filled air from the three-week-old Day Fire, as "dark"). Once the time changes, I'm going to be challenged.

It's my tenth year. My tenth year spending my days with 12 and 13-year-olds. My tenth year of teaching grammar and spelling and literacy and composition and... you know the song.

For the last five years, I taught Corrective Reading, a scripted, direct instruction program.

This year, I'm not.

And I'm happier now than I've been in a long time with my students. It's a little lovefest I tell you. At first, I thought it was just the honeymoon period. You know, everyone's on their best behavior and all? But we're going into week five, and I still love them. All of them. There's not one kid with a mean spirit in my classes.

Oh, they aren't all perfect, no. Some have trouble paying attention, some do not listen, no matter how politely or repeatedly I ask them to take out a pencil or get their textbook, some have not earned a single bit of homework credit since school began.

However. I like these kids. I look forward to being with them every day. Yeah, yeah, teachers are supposed to feel like that, but we don't. Not always.

I teach general level and honors level of eighth grade English, and a seventh grade class of study skills. There's a range of kids I see. Some just don't get it, or are choosing not to "get it." There's more than a few who will be getting unpleasant progress reports next week.

But still. I have hope for this year.

Just wait though. After the progress reports go home, and I start getting phone calls from Jimmy's dad or Mary's mom; "Why didn't you notify me that my child wasn't turning in his/her work?"

And I'll have to say that by sending the progress report home, I just did.

Talk to me next week. We'll see if my joy continues.

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