Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another post with too many cliches...

It's happened again.

"He has really come a long way!" "Wow, what a wonderful attitude!" "Way to go, buddy!"

So says his teacher.

And then comes...

The Compliment Jinx: When teachers dare speak aloud about a child's recently improved efforts... and the very next day ( afternoon, minute) the child completely blows up and makes us all out to be liars.

Why, oh why does this have to happen? Are the gods out to get us? Do the fates find joy in squelching any feeling of satisfaction we dare to feel? How about karma? All this hard work should lead to something positive!

Perhaps it's more simple than that. Maybe it's all cyclical, and we are just missing the bigger picture that could reveal a pattern. Or Mom was right all along... what goes around does come around.

Here's what I do know: "One step forward and two steps back" has become a way of life for me. It's a slow process, but nothing will keep us from plugging on. What's at stake is just too important.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Is it the flu? Or the Teacher Workday blues?

Today was our first day back with kids after 2 teacher workdays. Sadly, we sent another child home with flu-like symptoms... fever, cough, etc. Poor kid looked gray/green. 2 out of 6 kids down; who will be next?

With 2/3 of the class gone home, we had a terrific day--everyone got the attention they wanted, and all was right with the world. I was able to do some math enrichment...ENRICHMENT!!!... and we are effectively making our way through the geography unit. (I have to keep reminding myself: there are 5 oceans now, not 4.)

This short week leaves me feeling a little discombobulated. Two teacher work days throw us all off kilter: without the natural flow, the kids don't trust what's coming next. Is it a PE day? When do we go to computer lab? Where did we put the sidewalk chalk? Do you really mean it when you say "raise your hand"? Are we allowed to jump off the desks now?

Teachers can't get all the stuff done we think should have been done on the work days: parent calls, report cards, IEP progress reports, re-organize the files by Friday, plan for the next quarter. Truth is, work days really mean conference days, and meeting days, and staff development days.

It's a lot of work to make up for two teacher "work days".