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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

SLICE OF LIFE

Today is November 27th.
I last "sliced" on July 3.
Five months.
I think that's the longest I have ever gone without slicing.

But I have an excuse.
I really do.
I'm in the classroom again.
Three sections of sixth grade language arts.
Then literacy coaching the other half of the day.
I'm totally loving it.

And it's really, really hard.

Seventy kids.
Not that many, really, for three classes.
But it feels like a lot…

Five girls who are monolingual Spanish speakers,
several others who speak only slightly more English,
two little guys on the Autism spectrum,
daily girl drama,
daily boy drama,
daily girl/boy drama,
kids with hard home lives,
kids being raised by grandparents,
kids with no homes,
kids with two homes,
kids who come in
two hours late every day
because they have to wait
for parents to come home
so they can stop babysitting
and come to school.

Despite the complexities of kids' lives,
It's actually not the teaching part that's hard.
It's really all of the other stuff.

The attendance system.
It's still the same computer platform,
but it's a lot more complicated than it used to be.
Especially given that my teaching partner and I
switch time slots every six weeks or so,
but the attendance doesn't switch.
Which means she has to take my attendance
and I have to take hers
and it gets just a little messy.

Google classroom.
I know everyone who is hip and with it
uses Google classroom.
And I'm trying,
and I really do like being able to log on
and respond to kids' writing
but I am only a little hip and with it
and every day
I run up against a new something
to try and figure out.

And the organization.
How can someone who is not
an organizational goddess herself
be expected to organize
seventy other humans
with only slightly developed frontal lobes?
Despite my best efforts,
Somebody is always losing something.
Their writer's notebook.
Their library book.
Their new coat
that they absolutely cannot go home without.

So I'm trying to get back to slicing.
I really am.

But phew, this teaching stuff is hard work.

10 comments:

Ramona said...

Such a delightful peek into your life. I think my favorite line was -
"Somebody is always losing something."
And in my classroom that somebody was frequently me! Students were always helping me find the last thing I'd lost.
Carol, it's wonderful to hear your voice again. Hang in there! Those seventy humans are so lucky to have you in their lives.

Elisabeth Ellington said...

So happy for this post to pop up in my feed! I do miss your slices! I share your organizational challenges. Organization is one of the hardest parts of my job--and probably one reason I'm less stressed as a college professor. Nobody expects me to be organized! Nobody needs me to organize anyone else! I am glad you are back in the classroom and loving it.

Tabatha said...

You're doing great, Carol! Thanks for popping in and catching us up :-)

Terje said...

School is so much more than teaching and learning. When things get too much it is good to remember to breathe and focus on what matters the most: the kids who need love and care. Wishing you energy and joy in teaching! Good to have you back in slicing. All voices matter here.

Mary Lee said...

Amen, Sister! So glad you are back in the classroom where you can make magic happen in children's lives on a daily basis!!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Carol ~ I LOVE this:
How can someone who is not
an organizational goddess herself
be expected to organize
seventy other humans
with only slightly developed frontal lobes?

I teach a university extension course, but I only teach for three hours once a week, and I have a tiny class...and I can barely get through the critiquing of manuscripts each week. I have NO idea how you and all your fellow teachers who are at ground zero do it. Thank you for Doing It! And thanking you for lifting the curtain so I can see what that feels like.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Carol ~ I LOVE this:
How can someone who is not
an organizational goddess herself
be expected to organize
seventy other humans
with only slightly developed frontal lobes?

I teach a university extension course, but I only teach for three hours once a week, and I have a tiny class...and I can barely get through the critiquing of manuscripts each week. I have NO idea how you and all your fellow teachers who are at ground zero do it. Thank you for Doing It! And thanking you for lifting the curtain so I can see what that feels like.

Little Willow said...

Glad that you are loving it and overcoming all of the trials and tribulations!

Jone MacCulloch said...

You did a slice. I did not. I think about them and then they don’t get on the page. Soon very soon.

Elisa said...

Welcome back to slicing! I took time off, too and not because I chose to do it but because...well...life just happens. In any case, I am back and on track every Tuesday and I absolutely love it again! You have my dream job! I would love to do 1/2 time literacy or math and then the other 1/2 coaching. Maybe...maybe...