I am, shall we say, fairly overwhelmed these days.
- Last week my high school was saddled with the state test du jour known as PARCC. "Farcical" does not begin to describe last week given the amount of technical glitches experienced and the feeling of building the plane while in the air, but what bothers me most is the instructional time lost in preparing for/administering this monstrosity.
- Our Student Growth Objectives (SGO's) are due tomorrow. Starting last year, teachers are expected to administer both a pre-assessment (in November) and a benchmark assessment (in March) in two different classes, grade each assessment, chart the growth between assessments and compile the data in a spreadsheet, summarize the information and upload each component to an online portfolio. Students are expected to demonstrate growth between the pre-assessment and the benchmark assessment, and a certain percentage of growth must be met in order for the teacher to be deemed effective.
- The end of the third marking period is next week, and with it comes an enormous amount of grading to do, grading I could have finished a long time ago were it not for PARCC and SGO's.
- Our Reflective Practice Portfolios (RPP's) are due on April 17th. This is an online portfolio comprised of seven different categories, each requiring videos/pictures/documents with accompanying written reflections. The bulk of our year-end evaluations hinge on this.
- I spent the majority of my time in-between classes today playing phonetag with a parent. She was concerned about her son's grade in my class, and when I finally made contact, I had a great deal of trouble understanding her thick accent. I may or may not have agreed to tutor her child every day for the rest of the year. This is why I prefer e-mail. I am a writer at heart.
- In exactly one week, I am leaving for Germany for the umpteenth time in my life. I am leading a group of 11 - one other chaperone and 10 students - to both Berlin and Munich. I have been spending countless hours on the phone with various German officials, organizing parent meetings, collecting payment, e-mailing random PDF forms, negotiating prices and working and reworking the itinerary. I am slightly dreading the trip because it is going to wreak havoc on both my nutrition and training.
- I am currently in the middle of the biggest week of mileage of my life. I'm going for 75 miles. The hunger and exhaustion are simply mind boggling, to the point that I snapped at a coworker last week. Though I don't believe my actions were completely unfounded, she hasn't spoken to me since.
- We are trying to sleep train Neale, and while he has made great progress in the last few weeks, he still wakes up several times a night and cries solidly for longer than my sanity can handle. Letting him cry also makes me feel like a goddamned monster.
And that's where I'm at right now. Just trying to keep my eye on the prize and my head above water.