Thursday, April 30, 2009

Missing April

So, where did the month of April go? Does anyone know???
I can not believe it is already practically May, and I have not posted since our Cherry Blossom Festival. I have been so ridiculously busy with school. Let's see...what have I been doing???
Well, here's the list:

* teaching CRCT prep classes every afternoon until 5 p.m. (after teaching an entire day, mind you)
* being team captain of our Relay for Life team
* organizing ALL Relay events (we had something every single day in April!)
* sending countless emails to our staff informing them of every little detail about every single event
* dealing with state mandated testing (two weeks of sheer stress and frustration that the kids might not score well...)
* still teaching five classes a day, managing the MASSIVE paperwork that is involved
* maintaining my position as department chair of my content area
* attending meetings about our new Spring Intervention Plan (since we have no summer school due to budget cuts, we are technically teaching summer school right now with an enormous re-scheduling of 110 students for five teachers!)
* working with my cluster mates to re-schedule the students, who belongs in remediation classes and who belongs in acceleration classes...planning specialized lessons that are all hands-on, differentiated, and unique
* participating in meeting and planning for our new Arts Integration Committee
* conducting my regular duties and responsibilities as a teacher -parent conferences, planning with collegues, creating lesson plans, grading papers, posting grades, teaching, teaching, and more teaching...

One of my biggest distrations this month has been our Relay for Life activities. I have been a team captain for the last ten years no matter where I have worked. I always volunteer to do this because it is such a worthy cause to raise money to help fight cancer. In 1994, my mother had breast cancer, and I am so moved, saddened, strengthened, and inspired by people who go through such a difficult time...I feel compelled to do what I can in some small way.

Tomorrow night is our county's Relay for Life event, and the school fund raising events will come to an end. It's been such a fabulous year. In spite of budget cuts, hard economic times, and financial difficulties all around, our school has raised just over $11,000!!! That amount is $2,000 more than we raised last year. I was completely shocked and thrilled at our total. We have literally been totally engrossed in Relay for Life activities for such a long time now, it is hard to believe another Relay year is coming to an end. The actual Relay for Life Walk-a-Thon event is my most favorite thing because we all get to kick back, have some time to just walk and talk and laugh and eat and celebrate a job well done. In most schools, teachers rarely get time to do just that.

I am off to fall into bed after typing a test for tomorrow's classes. Nightie-night!

3 comments:

Arizaphale said...

You know Andi, only another teacher can fully appreciate that list. :-( You make even me look laid back and lazy! I can't believe you do some sort of relay event every day. Are they things like cake stalls as well as physical events? As for mandated testing, ours is in just over a week. I am supposed to be in charge but I have barely thought about it apart from sending out some standardised letters to parents and planning a timetable and room allocations. I don't think we are into the 'prep' for the test mode yet. Many companies have started selling prep tests but as this is only the second year of mandatory national testing and last year's results were ok, we're not flapping too much. Also, being an independent school there is less pressure I think. The whole idea of summer school here is unheard of much less reorganising it into an after school thing. (is that what CRCT is?or is Spring Intervention done during normal class time?)
Just this last week I have started to feel like I am too old fro teaching. :-(
I take my hat off to you.

Ronn said...

I agree, Andi, your service to the community makes the rest of us look like we are standing still. I too lost my wife to pancreatic cancer less than 6 months ago, and am an avid supporter of Race for Life here in our community.
I was particularly appreciative, however, of the note you made of involving yourself in your school's Arts Integration committee, because it is so aligned with my life's work. Arts integration (which I define as the use of the arts to inform another medium, academic subject or community need) is a concept I have been teaching in schools for over 35 years and have recently written about in my newly published book "Teaching Curriculum Through the Arts." It is an idea whose time is ripe and if we are to tackle some of the awesome problems we face, we need to start teaching our children to integrate and therefrom to create.
Thanks for your boundless energy, but most especially for this contribution.

Ronn Kistler, Arts in Education consultant, CES

www.creativeeducationalsystems.com/web_files/TeachingCurriculum.html</A

natalie said...

Andi,

I am too scared to put into a list all that I've been doing. My biggest goal the past few weeks has been: SURVIVE. I'm so tired today that all I can think about is how early I can put M to bed so I can curl up on the couch and sleep some more.

You are incredible, my friend. Absolutely incredible.

I'm ashamed to think that you listened to me complain.

Love you too much!
Nat