1.04.2013

Vacation Thinking

I'm sure the title is an oxymoron.  When we are on vacation, we don't think too much.  About anything!  And that's the way I like it.  I like being able to think about things that I don't normally think about or do things that don't have to be done in a certain amount of time.  Like shopping. 

I still have one more week off for Christmas vacation.  I love having 3 weeks off.  It gives me time to recharge and refresh before going back for the second half of the year.  I know it's going to go by quickly, but knowing there are still 5 months seems so long.  But the good thing with it being a long time is that I need a long time to get my kids ready for next year.  I say it every year, but dang, the kids have such a long way to go to be ready for second grade. 

I was talking to a friend on New Year's Day and she was asking about my class.  She went to school to be a teacher, but isn't hired, and I don't know if she ever really wants to teach.  Anyway, I was telling her that my class is relatively low (they live in Orange County which is a little more affluent than where I live) and that I have my work cut out for me when I get back.  We were talking and I came to the realization that when the school year started, I had 4 kids at grade level.  4!!!!!  I think now I am up to about 11 (which is half my class), but there are still 11 kids below grade level.  And there are 2 who are very far below grade level and I am already talking retention.  Scary sad.  I realized that I still have a lot to do and I need to get into it and really kick some butt in the new year. 

All that has got me thinking about what to do when we go back on the 14th.  There is so much to do and so much to cover that it is overwhelming.  I feel that as a teacher, I haven't pushed my kids like I have in the past, but at the same time, they haven't been ready like the classes before have been.  We have had to go a lot slower on things, which in turn puts us behind where I have been in the past.  I am trying to remember that, but it's hard.  I know where I am supposed to be at this time of year, and I am not there.  It's frustrating, but at the same time I know that if I threw it at my kids, they wouldn't be successful and that's not good for them at all. 

So, as my last week of vacation quickly approaches, I am going to be spending some time trying to plan a meaningful month (I want to plan the next 4 weeks completely) and making sure we get in a lot of reading, writing, math and fun.  We will celebrate the 100th day in February, along with learning about penguins, snowmen, and learning about America and the symbols and presidents.  It's going to be a busy month and I just hope I can get it all in.  I want to change things up, but being that I am not big on change, I am having a hard time with it.  But it is a new goal of mine to slowly change things up so that in August, when the new school year starts, I will be good to go and ready for a whole new thing.  Oh yeah, and I still need to figure out Common Core and get that going, too! 

Thinking of going back to work and working on common core does bring about some worry and stress thanks to the lack of cohesiveness we have in the grade level.  But, I need to accept the fact that nothing will change, we still have one who won't/can't/doesn't join in and that will always be.  As long as she sits there, doesn't talk or make problems, we will be fine.  I can't worry about it anymore and just have to do what I can with my team to help us get where we need to be. 

On that note, it's time for me to get off the computer and play a game with my daughter.  She's itching to play Chutes and Ladders and hopefully beat me!  Happy Friday! 

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