After 7 years of teaching I know that this is that time of the semester in which I get super stressed, what with all the parents calling me to find out what their 8th-grader can do to improve their grade and or accuse me of losing work "s/he said s/he turned it in and s/he's never lied to me before."
Of course, I'm a parent, contacting Mini-me's teachers to find out there's work to be made up; Mini-me and I growl at each other every night after I hollar, "turn off that TV! Get your schoolwork done!" and he protests and complains behind my back.
Teachers call to complain about how surly he is.
In any case it's stress time, and everyone is super hyper and stressed. Kids, parents, administrators, teachers, counselors.
One of the sections I teach is an honors class, so they are even more stressed.
There are parents who decide, at the 11th hour, that they want to have a meeting.
There will be the inevitable student who is transferred in from another state, 2 weeks before the end of the semester.
This is the time of year when I wonder why I'm doing this. I may even start searching want ads.
Deep breaths. Deeeeeeeeeeeeeep breaths.
Thank goodness for running! When I run, I mull things over and they all seem to lose their significance. I lose the nagging thoughts. Like that one that I should have tried harder to reach that one kid. Maybe I should have quizzed them more. Maybe I should give more homework. Maybe I should give less homework. Maybe I should have paid more attention to Mini-me's assignments...
poof! Bad thoughts, all gone, through the magic of hitting the trail with my New Balance 767's a few thousand times. And in their place, peace and a feeling of good will. I'm good at what I do, and I do my best with what I'm given.
I have 7 more days after today to cram knowledge into little heads. As if they want it. Many of them have already gone on vacation, at least academically. They'll likely stay there until January.
I'll also get a nice little sprint triathlon on Dec. 9th at White Sands. This is actually the start of the 2007 Southwest Challenge Series. A great way to celebrate the end of a semester, the first half of my work year, and after the triathlon, I get my award for 2nd place, Athena division, for the 2006 season.
Then I come back and spend the next two days reviewing for semester exams and then giving semester exams, grading them and, unfortunately, making a few phone calls.
After finals, I'll spend two weeks swimming and running nearly every day, hanging out with Sweet Baboo in bookstores where we'll read and drink lattes. We'll watch lots of movies at home and at the theater. Give each other presents. Have pumpkin pie. By the time January rolls around, I'll be rarin' to go back to work, thinking, "I can't imagine doing anything else. Bring it on."
That will last me until spring break.