Today, technically the first day of my fall break, I went to school. This is the first time I’ve actually gone to school on a break. I’m supposed to be “sharpening my saw” — Habit #7 from the 7 Habits, but the custodian said he’d be at the school from 12-4, so off I went.
This may require some explanation. I have complained long and loudly about TUSD’s habit of giving teachers only three days to get ready for the first day of school, and then taking half or more of those first days up with required meetings, trainings, what have you. I worked very hard during summer school to get a lot of things organized, and so was not…completely…lost these first two months. Last year; wow. We won’t talk about last year.
I’ve enlisted the help of students after school (you can Tom Sawyer them at this age), and even come in on an odd weekend day, but the organization was not in place, and I keep making piles of papers.
I finally got to the bottom of the pile of things to be filed. Not everything is filed, but I know where everything is and will be able to file it, little by little, over the next week after school (I hope).
My core library was leveled before school started, but I still have not gotten to that. I would much rather have piles of books around than piles of papers, however, so I will continue to work on that as time allows.
I brought home “teacher crafty” things to do this week (I’m NOT going back in again, so I did a lot of laminating today), and everything I might need for “Fall” centers. Haven’t touched Halloween yet, and I may only have a couple of things on the day itself, rather than a couple weeks of spooky activities.
The fun thing about teaching elementary is the chance to be creative with assignments, to make centers that fit a theme while still aligning with current standards. The tough thing about teaching elementary is to keep up with making the centers fun and cute, while not tearing one’s hair out. I try to keep an even keel between the two, because I am short on time (especially now that after-school tutoring has started). So some of my centers are not cute and some are. We try our best.
And sometimes, sharpening the saw means having things ready to walk in on the Monday after a break, so I can sleep Sunday night.