Monday, January 27, 2014

Must Be Monday


Ever have one of those mornings where you're just having the most amazing sleep?  Snuggled up in your blankets, dreaming of being at the beach with Channing Tatum...urm.. I mean....with your awesome Hubby and kids.  And then BAAAAABAAAAABAAAAAABAAAAA!!!!  TORNADO SIREN! Oh, no...wait.  Freakin' alarm clock.

That does NOT happen to me very often.

I could go to bed at 3AM and have my alarm set for 4:30AM, and still wake up at 4:29AM because I have this psychic ability that starts to wake me up to let me know the alarm clock is about to go off.

Yet, this morning, the psychic switch was broken.  What ended up happening instead was me being ripped out of the magical world of slumber with the impression that we were being warned of some natural disaster, when it was really my alarm clock going off and it took me a few seconds to actually realize what was going on.

And then I thought it would be really smart to hit the snooze button, thinking that I'd just lay there for a second and calm down from my near heart attack, only to go through the exact same thing 9 minutes later.  

By the third snooze hit, I had learned my lesson and calmed my heart rate back to normal....and drug my behind out of bed.

I'm not sure why I had such a rough time waking up this morning.  I mean, I went to bed around midnight, but that's not unusual for a Sunday night.  I'm quite used to only getting about 4 hours of sleep on Sunday night and then I'm all ready for bed at 4PM on Monday.  But, I manage to stay awake long enough to drive home, eat dinner, and then fall asleep on the couch around 7PM. 

It's my routine.   

Going to bed earlier on Sunday doesn't help.  I just end up laying there for hours thinking about random stuff.  

What am I going to wear tomorrow?  Will I make it to work early enough to get to the copy machine to make my copies before everyone else that didn't make their copies Friday afternoon?  Will I weigh in and see a gain for the weight loss competition?  Should I have eaten THAT much chili for dinner?  Will those cookies I had after dinner cost me a couple of dollars in pounds gained?  Do we really have to weigh in on Monday knowing darned well that we weren't as good as we should have been all weekend?  Did I remember to make sure I refreshed all the grades after I posted them?  What am I going to do Friday if we're having an assembly?  Will there be another time to fit in the tests my kids are scheduled to do?

You know the drill.

Going to bed late saves me from all that added garbage clogging my brain, and I'm able to move swiftly in to sleep mode quickly and worry free.

I was able to finish up my reading unit for next week.  I kept it simple being that it's only going to last the one week.  And then I remembered I had other plans to write, papers to grade, grades to enter, and all that jazz.  

It also occurred to me that I want to get a bigger unit planned to start off February, but next weekend is my birthday and I'm not going to want to spend my birthday weekend writing unit plans.  So, now I'm going to have to come up with a way of writing the unit sometime this week.

You know, while I'm AT work.

Is that even possible?  Getting work done while at work?  

What about the extra time I spend at work AFTER work?

But that would mean giving up my Chat Time with my gal pal.  And she was gone Thursday and Friday, and we have so much to catch up on.  We hardly even spoke all weekend.  

Maybe I'll catch up on Monday and Tuesday and then hunker down on Wednesday to devote some time to doing some actual work after school instead of staying at work an extra two hours just to get in some social time.  

Smart idea, but let's see how it plays out.

Today, I'm sending home a letter to parents letting them know about my new grading system for this semester.

It boils down to the fact that students will be receiving grades based on the effort they put in to their work.

While I've always had the mentality that students should ALWAYS earn their grades, the first semester I was a little wishy washy with the whole thing.  If I assigned something, and only 50% of the class turned it in, I'd throw out the grade because I didn't want to give half the class a zero.  The problem with that mentality is that it really punishes the kids that did what they were supposed to do, and they did the work for nothing.

This semester, I'm turning that around.  If only 50% of the class submits an assignment, then half the class is receiving a zero.  The kids that did what they were supposed to do are earning the points they're due.  

I warned my kiddos of this new protocol the first week of school after our Christmas break.  I even gave them a week to get acclimated and understand that I wasn't joking.   And, this past week I've kept to my word.

The sad part is, though, I now have several kids who have F's on their progress report that will be going home today.  Not because the work was too hard for them, but just because they didn't do it or didn't turn it in.

Being the amazingly sweet and caring person I am, I even offered up alternate assignments that students could do to replace a failing grade, if they received one.  And the only kids who did the make up assignments were ones that received a C or low B on an assignment and couldn't stand the idea of making a C or a B.

No bueno.

So, I'm sending a letter home explaining what an F means if there's one on the progress report.  I'm sending home a friendly reminder for the parents to check homework folders and look for progress reports and notes from me each week.

Cause let's face it.  Kids are smart.  They know how to hide evidence if they don't want their parents knowing that they're failing.  

"No, Mom, she didn't send home progress reports this week."

"No, Mom, no homework!"

"Hey, big Sis, can you sign my black folder? Dad forgot."

Yeah, well I'm not stupid either.  I wasn't born yesterday, and I know all the tricks in the book.  I'm making a pact that starting next week, I will be calling each and every parent any time an F is made on a progress report and letting the parent/guardian know WHY that F is there.

This whole semester is going to be focused on accountability and responsibility.  The options will be there for every SINGLE student to make good grades, if they just put in a little effort.  Alternative assignments, CARS (correct and returned signed), last ten minutes of each day spent gathering everything needed for homework and checking planners.  

It is NOT my mission to set a child up to fail.

It IS my mission to set a child up to succeed, be accountable, and responsible... if he/she really wants to.

And, at the end of the day, not many parents are OK with seeing Fs on a report card.  

Call it Tough Love, I suppose.  

Anywho, I'm fired up and ready to get this week started.  

Now that I've had a cup of coffee.

Time for me to get ready for work.  


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