I took today off work. I woke up yesterday with a sore throat, and despite getting a great sleep I was tired ALL DAY. I just felt "off". I decided to go ahead and plan for a supply teacher, bring home lots of work to do here for report cards, and just call it in. I'm glad I did. My throat and ear are sore today, I'm congested and even though I slept in... well, I'm very tired out! Ah well. That's what sick days are for, these things happen. I just find it so challenging to be away from my class, because I always build my lessons on the previous day. However, I need to realize that we have a whole school year together and I do so rarely call in sick... if I have to do it, it's better for all of us that I do it, and it isn't a wasted day for them, they'll survive.
There are so many lessons like that to learn when you are a new teacher who has a lot of passion for your job! I can be very hard on myself, but it's just because I want to do my very best for my kids every day. However, they are in good care when the supply teacher comes in, and I need to know they can get through a day without me.
Anyway, I'm going to work hard today on report cards. I haven't begun yet, but after I make myself a cup of tea and a little food, I'm going to dive in. I'll take some Advil for my throat and see how it is later on today. I'm not sure it's "go to the clinic" sickness yet, so for now I'll wait it out and drink fluids and vitamin up!
I'm happy with my progress on the report cards this term. I think I found a rhythm for completing them, and it's really helping me stay on schedule. I like to write them with a lot of individualization, but for some subjects there are some repetitive comments to make. This happens mostly because you are reporting on a specific curriculum taught, so of course you have specific things to say about what children can and cannot do based on that curriculum, and it does overlap for some students. I always work in MS Word, though, so that even if I do occasional copy and based a general comment, I always add something personal for each subject area and then edit the entire comment paragraph for each child in a personalized way.
I have to report on eight curriculum areas, and then the general learning skills section, for twenty students (twenty-two in Social Studies and Science). It takes A LONG TIME the way I do it, but now that I'm finding my stride it is working out well.
It's a lot of work, these new report cards in Ontario, and I do hope parents are reading the entire things! I know my co-workers and I put in a huge effort on these, and I hope other teachers in other schools do as well!
I cannot believe these are the last four weeks of this school year! The fourth to last week is the Report-Card-Writing-Palooza as they are due to our Principal a week from Friday for his approval. We have a P.A. Day this Friday, which is devoted to assessment and reporting. It's a day we definitely need to ensure these things get done. It can take three or more hours per subject to have individualized and thoroughly written report cards. Let alone doing it while continuing to plan high-quality lessons up until the very last day!
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am going to thoroughly miss these students when this school year is over. I have really, really enjoyed this class. They are just such a great bunch of kids! I get along famously with their parents as well (so important!).
My friend and co-worker said to me one day, "But you will ALWAYS feel like that! You are that type of person who likes any kid who crosses your path, and even ENJOYS teaching the so-called challenging students. You are going to adore your classes EVERY YEAR!"
I like that thought, and her opinion of me. She's absolutely correct. So, instead of being soooo sad, I'm just going to continue to look forward to the next school year and the new mix of kids it'll bring me!
Fortunately, I'm most likely teaching a 3/4 split class, so I'm somewhat following this same group of kids from our school for third year. I just won't have any of my current students in my class again specifically, though I will have a couple of students I taught back in first grade... so that will be nice!
So, it's the last four weeks and now I need to dive back in to those report cards! Let me see what wonderful little things I can say about my students and their math abilities this afternoon...
Oh, and let me see how I can soothe this annoyingly sore throat!