Friday, April 27, 2007

I Can Only Do 12 Things at Once!

Lately I have been swamped at work. Since taking on a few more classes, I have had a hard time keeping up with all the administrative work. I know it can be done. I am just having a difficult time getting into a groove. I have a bunch of things coming up and have to manage them...

1106 has a PTA coming in May; 1093 just finished a level so I have to complete the final grading reports and send the parents an update letter; 1080 is a mess, they are not a very motivated group; my adult class keeps growing, I have added 3 new students in the past week and I haven't really been able to get the pacing right in that class. These are just a few of the things that have been gnawing at me lately.

All of the students recently took a standardized test and my kids didn't do very well. It's meant to be a practice test for the upcoming state issued test that kids take before they can enter high school. I was told my classes needed to take it in early April, so I had them do it a few weeks ago. After the test, I found out that I was supposed to spend a class or two with them reviewing the material that may be on the test...why wasn't I told this before?? As a result, my kids did, comparatively, poorly when you hold them up against other classes. They took it cold turkey, so the results are skewed. I am determined to see that they are extremely prepared for the real test. I am convinced that my groups are the best in the school...I'll show them!

The PTA for my 1106 class is coming up. It is gonna take some prep time that I really don't have. Thankfully the group is incredible. I am confident that they will shine. They are my most motivated group, so the stress is minimal. I plan on doing pretty much the same thing I did with my 1093 class. That PTA was a hit. The parents were impressed with my presentation and all of them were content with my plans for their kids. My goal is to attain the same level of satisfaction with this group of parents. Stay tuned for the gory details.

1093 is getting older and motivation is becoming a factor. Many of them are entering high school. This means that they have less and less time to devote to English class. I have to continually modify my approach so I don't lose them, it's a challenge. The material they are expected to learn at this level is rough. English is not as fun to learn as it was for them a few years ago. Trying to make participial adjectives and the passive voice fun for a 16 year old is about as easy as trying to figure out how George W. Bush thinks, virtually impossible!

I don't even want to think about the issues with my 1080 class...they are a mess. They are in the final book in our series. To say they are unmotivated would be the understatement of the century. Given the choice, I think these kids would choose a visit to the dentist over another two-hour English class.

The adult class is good but I am struggling with the format. It's completely different from all of the other classes. The book is geared toward daily life English usage which I like because it's fun to discuss the things they encounter every day. The students have given me some good feedback, but I don't think I have really mastered the lessons yet. Teaching adults is an adventure because they come up with many tough questions that require me to use every bit of my limited knowledge of the language...lol.

Trying to negotiate all of this craziness and spend quality time with Catherine has made my life a three-ring circus. I will continue to trudge through and everything will be fine. I am sure that in a few weeks time I will have a handle on most of the issues.

p.s. I am coming to the end of my American chocolate supply! If anyone out there has the time, disposable income, and need to give, please send me a box of Reese's Cups and/or anything made by Hershey's.

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