Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Fun, Family Weekend Planned... With Work on the Side

Can definitely tell I'm back at work, just by the fact that I was up at 8AM this morning...after going to bed after midnight last night.  This time last weekend, I was sleeping in until at least 10AM. But, my body is starting to get back in to normal mode, and I'm shocked that I even got 8 hours of sleep.  Several nights this week, I've been getting 5-6 hours.  That's not good, though, and the weekends give me a chance to play a little catch-up.

When I left my classroom yesterday evening, you would have thought I was going away for a weekend vacation.  My laptop bag, my teacher bag full to the absolute brim, and another tote bag that I had to use and fill because there wasn't enough room in my teacher bag.  But, that's what happens when I have 40 mock MAP test booklets to go through and grade, lesson plans to finalize, and some grading to bring home.  

And, as soon as I got home last night, I went straight to work.  The plan was to get a bulk of the work done last night so that I could enjoy the weekend.  Well, I worked for about 4 hours and barely made a dent in how much I have to do... so I guess I'll be doing the same thing tonight and then finishing up tomorrow.  I guess it's a good thing I didn't decide to procrastinate this weekend, or I wouldn't be getting any sleep Sunday night. 

After getting all the tests graded, I felt kinda torn about the scores.  When there are over 60 questions on each test (the math had 75), and I start to see 20, 25, and even 30 questions missed I got a little panicky.  But, when I really went in and looked at the majority of the missed questions, I realized that they were mostly over content we haven't yet covered.  So, it's not surprising that the kiddos aren't going to do very well on them.  For the most part, my kids didn't do too bad.  They seem to have mostly grasped the standards that we've covered the first half of the school year, and that's a good thing.

I'm one of those weird people that actually enjoys going through data.  Which is basically what the mock MAP test is all about.  Analyzing and plotting the areas of concern versus areas of mastery.  What do my kids know and what do they need to know?  And I get all cookoo-crazy about making spreadsheets and graphs and organizers to help translate the data into a plan of action for the few months I have left to get 'er done.  

My plan for this week is to align all the non-covered questions with content area that's still to come, create small groups to help the students that need practice with covered standards, and incorporate practice and review anywhere else I can.  And, you know, that's all on top of getting through the standards that weren't tested on this particular test but still need attention and covering.

But, this kinda stuff fuels my fire.  I start getting creative and passionate about making sure that my kiddos aren't spending the next four months practicing for that test... but are learning what they need to know so that when they see a question relating to whatever it is we've learned, they can think back to that awesome lesson and activity they did to learn it.  

On top of all the work I have planned for this weekend, I am also having all of my family over today to celebrate my little brother's birthday.  His birthday was actually on Thursday, but today is when we'll celebrate.  He's now 17 years old.  The youngest of my siblings is only a year away from being an adult.  Yet, we're going to celebrate the same way we have for 17 years.  By being together, having a cake, and just enjoying each other's company.  I have absolutely no idea what the actual "plan" for the day is yet, but I know that they are all coming over around lunch time.  

My mom is bringing some food with her, and we're providing some stuff, and we'll just have a little "help yourself" lunch followed by cake.  The kids will probably play games and video games while the adults sit around and chat.  That's usually how it goes, so I don't see it being any different just because we're celebrating at my house instead of my parent's house... which is usually where we would go.  But, I'm happy they are coming to me.  I actually like entertaining and I don't get to do it near as often as I'd like.

Speaking of entertaining, this is going to sound so silly but something pretty MAJOR happened Thursday night.  I got invited to a Girls' Night Out with a couple of gals from work!!  Anyone that hasn't read my blog for very long, might not understand the power behind the gesture.

Short recap: I've always felt like I've never really been able to "bond" with the people I work with.  Meaning, we are all friendly enough while at work, but I never really get included in anything that happens outside the work place.  I have always LONGED for some friendships to blossom that would involve actually doing stuff outside the workplace, like what actual friends do.  So, that there is a solid difference between co-workers and friendship.  I know that friendship really isn't measured by where you spend time together, but I have always felt that a stronger friendship is built when there's a crossover between the workplace and life outside of work.  

I have known for the past couple of months that a strong friendship has been building with one of my co-workers.  We've spent a great deal of time talking at work, and then our conversations spill over in to the evening hours via Facebook.  Even though we haven't actually spent any time together outside of work, I have been able to talk to her about stuff I don't share with other people and never feel that slight uneasy feeling like she's just being polite and nice to me because she has to. Which is a very bad habit I have, by the way.  

Anywho, getting back on track, I received an invite to go out for a karaoke night with a couple of people I work with in February and I have never been more happy.  I look at it as a small footstep on the path of building some strong bonds with some of my co-workers.

Now, I just want to mention that everything I just said has nothing to do with the ladies I work with in my grade level.  I've felt a strong bond with them since day one, and I truly consider them my close friends.  My family away from my family, even.  Everything I was explaining about being friendly with co-workers was directed more towards the people I don't work as closely with each day.

Wanted to throw that out there so there wasn't any confusion.  

What it all really boils down to is the fact that I have some self-esteem issues about myself, and getting that invite helped repair some of the cracks.  I am a very sociable person, who is missing the major ingredient: People to socialize with.  That make sense?

But, anyways, can't really get in to any more of that right now.  I have to finish cleaning my house in preparation for my parents and their army of kids to mess it up again.  HA! Just kidding.  Not really.

Have a great Saturday, everyone!!


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