Sunday, June 19, 2011

School's Out for Summer?

Funny thing... the last day of school was Friday, June 17th, 2011.  As a teacher though, school is never over.  I have to return on Monday to school to finish the "close out" process.  I've taught sixth grade for the last four years, and I am "moving on up" to eighth grade next year.  They had three openings- just in th grade English.  Crazy.  Everyone is getting the heck out of dodge.

Since I'm moving grades, I am moving into a new classroom.  This classroom is currently occupied by the former eighth grade teacher who is moving on to high school.  She was sick though on Friday and all of her belongings are still in her classroom,  so I was unable to move any of my stuff into her room.  Also, she doesn't ahve any cabinets, shelves, surfaces to places boxes or anything.  I was in a room with built in cabinets.  I did some serious downsizing as I packed up stuff and still have about twenty boxes.  I don't know where I am going to put all of my stuff.

Now I have to come back on Monday, even though I worked my extra 7.33 hours during the school year so I wouldn't have to come in on Monday.  Hopefully she will be in on Monday.  In the mean time, a good friend of mine was moving her stuff into my classroom because she was relocated into my room.  So I had no where to keep my things and had to move them up to her room.  So I moved into her room and will have to move again.  BS.  I have seriously been ready to freak out on everyone.

Everyone keeps asking if I'm excited about moving to the eighth grade, and I'm not.  It'll be more work because of the Writing SOL test, but I am happy to get away from the sixth graders who pick their noses, cry, tell their mommies everything, and are going through emotional, physical, and hormonal changes that should only take place behind closed doors.  I'll be teaching some kids I had in the sixth grade again.  I'll look forward to some of those and some of those not so much.

I have about a week of vacation and then I'm teaching English 11 summer school.  I am a little excited about that.  We're talking about Dickinson, and Thoreau, and The Bean Trees, and Whitman, and Hawthorne.  I'm a little giddy and a little nervous.  I'm excited because I want to read every story I have ever loved with these kids so they can love them too.  Yet uneasy because they are in summer school so they are not looking forward to the next month spent in class with me.  I don't want to teach too "easy" as I was a sixth grade teacher.  However, I don't teach like a sixth grade teacher.  I've always worked my little kids a little too hard.

One student told me his mother was throwing a party now that they wouldn't have homework from me any more.  :(  I don't really give homework.  I give assignments, essays, projects... there just isn't enough class time.  So maybe they did a whole unit on The Westing Game virtually, turning in all their work online and completing 10 discussion board posts a week on top of a weekly project.  I like to think I'm preparing them for high school.  Or maybe I just have so many great ideas and I want them to be able to do all of them.  I can get carried away sometimes.

I had a number of students moan when they realized they might have me again as a teacher in the eighth grade, but I had a number of students who personally thanked me for everything they learned and hoped they would have me again as their teacher.  I know for a fact my seventh graders who loved me last year are excited about it.

I will be teaching a new grade, dealing with a new SOL test, and running SCA and Writer's Club on my own.  Plus, I'm buying a house and should be closing in the next three weeks.  I'm single; I'm almost 27 and my job consumes my life.

Is school out?  I would have no idea.  I'm working on lesson plans right now for summer school.