I had intended to keep this going as a monthly series, but somewhere it faltered in 2013. It has been a long, long week. One of the hardest of 2013 from an exhaustion standpoint. I've worked late almost every night grading, contacting parents, working on follow up documents for observations of my student teacher and the 1st year teacher I'm mentoring.
I've had almost every lunchtime and after school stacked with meetings about more testing, more requirements, more hoops. News today of another teacher is leaving my school effective end of the month for a higher paying job to support his family. That brings the school-wide total to 32 for 2013.
The atmosphere at school this week has been heavy with the loss of Michelle M.. Just yesterday a group of my current students asked if I could tell them when and where the funeral was going to be held. I sat down with them and wrote out the address and then asked if they had been to a funeral before. Odd question, but you would be surprised at how many have not. When none of them had I told them what to expect, an idea of what would be appropriate to wear, and that I thought it would mean the world to Mrs. Morrell's family that students came to say good bye.
I was thinking on the way home about things that have kept me going this week, honestly in the last weeks of being back into routines, long days, and extreme time management.
Here's what I am loving in September 2013
1. More help from Bill with the kids. He's been home earlier, thus able to help me divide and conquer the nighttime routine so I can start on school work earlier than the usual 9/9:30. We are splitting the weekend up into chunks of swap time.
2. Figuring a way to get exercise back into the week. Ok, this week has been a bust. Since first of August I've made it 2-3 times a week plus have been doing kickboxing on Saturday mornings. Instant.Stress.Reduction
3. Doing better with planned dinners, healthier lunches, going to bed earlier, leaving on time or even early. All are little battles that if I win on a day to day basis, setbacks don't feel so crushing.
4. Good teachers. Ben has a wonderful 2nd grade teacher. She's a veteran without being moldy, knows how to reach out in a positive and encouraging way, and has honed process and procedures along with her content. My student teacher as well as the 1st year teacher that I'm working with are good teachers at heart. They are new, with much to learn, but they both have already demonstrated they are the real deal. I take it very seriously that my job is to help them learn all the ins and outs of this profession that will help keep good teachers where they belong, in front of my kids. Better yet, all kids.
5. Flowers. Yep, flowers. I've been allowing myself $15 each week for whatever I want to arrange. It makes my heart happy to see flowers at home or on my desk that I arranged. Later today I'm dropping a stealth arrangement to surprise a friend who had a medical emergency during the week. Last night I talked the floral clerk into giving me a discount on an extra vase and some ribbon to save me a trip to the craft store. Next month I redeeming a Groupon for a flower arranging class in hopes I can learn some real techniques, instead of the self taught ones I currently use.
Happy weekend. We'll be pumpkin patchin' it on teacher appreciation weekend at a local pumpkin farm. Bill has already deemed that our Halloween decorations will be up as soon as we have pumpkins on display. We are about to be THAT house for your enjoyment.