Weekend Coffee Share, Back to School for Teachers

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at eclecticali.wordpress.com!  Teachers are back at work, so that has been my life this week.  I crashed early every night, sometimes on the couch.  I even skipped yoga Weds. night, but at least I got in 20 minutes on the Gazelle last night.

In addition to teaching English Language Arts this school year, I will teach one elective class of 7th and 8th grade Journalism.  It will be an introductory class.  I have a few ideas, such as showing clips of newscasts and having students detect any bias in the reporter, as well as, overtime, having them produce a newsletter.  Most students did not get this class by choice, so it will be my challenge to keep them interested, I suppose.  I will be teaching more Gifted students in my Language Arts classes as well, and I think that will be interesting.  In fact, I will likely take another course on teaching Gifted students this fall.

Along with what I am teaching, there are the extra things they want us to do.  A blogger wrote about this phenomenon at jaxkidsmatter.blogspot.com.  He urges teachers to not work beyond contract time (4:25 each day).  Others responded to him that our CAST (teacher performance rubric) actually consists of all the extra things that one has to work beyond contract time to fulfill.  Being a member of a professional learning community, committees, etc. are some of the ways a teacher works beyond their “teaching” day.  Staying within contract time for some means bringing more work home.  It also means not participating in some of these committees or extracurricular activities.  I have volunteered for one or two things so far and am being asked to do more.  I’ve said “I don’t think I can,” or simply “No.”  I have to really think before taking on anymore.  Taking on nothing can mean a lower teacher eval score, which means, when that test score (VAM) number for the last 3 years comes from the state, it could even lower my teacher evaluation more.    This VAM number consists of a mysterious high level formula that I don’t think many of our brightest Math teachers even understand.

I love inspiring young people, but I hate the politics of this job.  This is why I stay in the Union.  Case in point: this one week of teacher planning is sooooo overwhelming, I have not even written a thing this week.  This is the first writing I have done.  I imagine it will be like this for a few weeks, though I’ll try to participate in a flash fiction challenge.  So, in some way, a teacher’s right to say no to taking on one more club, committee, or responsibility needs to be protected by SOMEONE!  I constantly seek balance. I’ve already said yes to a few things, and I’m making it a point to reach out to new teachers and make their transition smoother.

I have received some devotions books from fellow blogger, Rick Christensen at https://discoveringandsharinggrace.com/, and they are delightful!  They are all about Gentle Witnessing, which is something I am trying to do more.  Not just keeping to myself, I want to share my strengths with those it may help.  Right now, my strength is that I have taught for 18 years under 6 different principals with 5 different schedule cofigurations.  I can be of help to a brand new teacher.  Two years ago, an emotional storm in my life and family made me what I feel to be the weakest link in my school for a period of months.  I still did my job, but I was a shell of what I actually could be.  I plan to do much better this year, but again, I need to balance it and rest while at home, write when I am moved, give time to my family and faith community, and have fun with friends and the boyfriend.  Sunday I plan to go to church and afterward, see a movie with my son, since he is off.  Balance.  I will try!

Please visit https://discoveringandsharinggrace.com/ and read a little of it.  If the message resonates with you, follow his blog and/or check out his devotionals!

Bloggers, feel free to join and share in the Weekend Coffee Share conversation at Weekend Coffee Share 8/10/18

 

 

 

 

 

Author: PamelaS.Canepa, Writing and Living

I am a writer who also teaches reading and writing, currently. In 2016, I self-published an e-book and its sequel, and I am learning the art of self-promotion. I published a full-length time travel novel as of 6/16/17 and its sequel in the summer of 2018. Life is a trip, and writing is the best escape for me! Learn about my award-winning sci-fi novel, Detours in Time, on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0711ZW6XF Visit me at https://about.me/pamela.schloessercanepa

5 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share, Back to School for Teachers”

  1. Thank you for your kind words and compliments! I am very humbled! Enjoy church and the movie tomorrow! I look forward to meeting some new friends!

    Like

  2. I definitely understand you’ve been going to bed or falling asleep on the couch early. I understand you’ve not been to yoga, but I am so glad you managed some exercise anyway.
    I would love to join in on that journalism class. How cool!

    Like

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