I know, I know.

It's been forever. And I'm probably not going to get any better at this for a while, because of a big personal thing - I'm pregnant! Due at the end of the school year (which is nice because then I get the summer with the baby).

So while I am still dealing with absurdities, hilarities, and heart-breaking truths on a daily basis, I'm spending more of my time outside of school thinking about baby stuff. Nursery decor (the plan is neutral walls with pops of color - but WHICH colors?), names (it's hard to find ones you actually like!), eating enough protein (dude, you have to eat a LOT of protein - I had no idea), getting enough exercise (something I'm terrible with during the school year so I have to really focus on it), and everything else that goes with growing another person.

On the school front, things are pretty good. I have great kids - the only one that I was struggling to like got expelled, which is unfortunate for him since he was way behind academically as it was, but better for the other kids since he was expelled for gang activity, including jumping a kid in in the bathroom during a class one day (no, for real. I was stunned when I heard about it. This is apparently our worst year for gang activity in at least 7 years). The kids are working hard and learning a lot (I think....), and have been generally positive about my class overall. Sure, some are slackers and some could have better attendance, but most of 'em are rockstars.

Lots of former students have come back to visit. Most are doing okay, though not as well as they should be - too many of them have at least one F. It kills me that Fs don't matter ONE IOTA all the way through elementary and middle school (at least not in my district - we assign kids summer school, but if they don't go, they still go on to the next grade), so when they get to high school, they've had no experience with consequences in this arena. Some of them are doing great, which is super nice to see. One has been expelled - he was caught with a knife and it was big enough to make it an immediately expellable offense. He hasn't actually come to visit but I heard about it from other kids. So that was depressing. But no matter what, they're at least coming to visit.

Due to budget cuts, we're down staff, so everyone is stressed about that. Class sizes are up, which means grading levels are higher and classroom management is more difficult. I'm doing okay with both for the most part, but part of that's because I've revamped what I grade - no more grading random crap that doesn't actually matter for anything. They still get lots of feedback on their work before the summative assessments (more, probably, honestly), it's just more in individual conferences, which I think is good anyway.

Overall, though, life is pretty good (knock on wood)! I will start posting again periodically but certainly not as much as I was doing in past years - other things have just taken priority for now.
"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
Copyright 2009 I'm a Dreamer All rights reserved.
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