Sunday, September 16, 2012

in that groove

It seems every week when I speak to my Mom, there's really nothing new to talk about.  Nothing major, anyway -- we are in the groove.  Sure, RE started last week for me (looks like 21 students, too soon to tell what the personality of the class will be), and the kids had a recital yesterday (they acquitted themselves well, but not well enough by some lights), but other than that? We're well into the school year routine, that groove that could so easily become a grind.

Work is killing me this year.  I keep thinking (and saying, to different people), this is my third year teaching the same curriculum with the same materials, but I'm working twice as hard.  Part of that has to do with de-facto managing the math teacher who is covering one of the 8th grade science sections, but a bigger part of it has to do with our new schedule.  We are supposed to identify students for intervention (academic, behaviorial, whatever) so they can get the time/help they need to make up their work or understand concepts, or whatever.  Exactly how or what we are supposed to do to identify these students was never explained, so I've worked out a system where I review grades every weekend, print out missing assignment reports, and get those to the students each week.  However, that's not enough -- students that fail an assignment or quiz are required to re-take it.  How?  When? I've spent countless hours setting up online make-up for the nearly half of my students who need them... but a bare fraction has completed the online work.

I believe the system could work, but the staff was given no training whatsoever on what we have to do to support it.

Add to that our new requirements in our daily lessons (language and content objects posted, explicit vocab instruction, Common Core standards...) most of which I was doing anyway, but now I have to document -- yeah, that's not a groove I'm in, it's a grind.  

In happier news, continuing the diet is doing good things.   Yesterday we took the kids to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory and yet this morning my weight was down to its lowest point in I don't know how long (133).   OTOH, Friday afternoon I had a small decaf Americano and then DH and I went out for Thai food, and by bedtime my hands were so swollen I could hardly get my rings off.  Was it the dairy in the coffee?  Something in the curry? The rice? I have a hard time thinking it was the rice with the Thai food. I only ate about a half-cup, total.

My g/e doctor was facinated by these results -- particularly the RA in remission.  I reminded him that I tested negative for celiac by biopsy (the most accurate test).  He replied that I could still have a sensitivity to wheat, which seems borne out by my experience.   He was OK with the DGL and D-limonene (I just started another round), but I don't think he paid too much attention to that information.  My throat still feels sore but not lumpy, and after not being able to sing at all last weekend, yesterday I could sing in both high and low registers comfortably for the first time in ages.  I asked for an H. pylori test and should get those results later this week.

I'm vaguely uneasy about my latest walk-through evaluation at work, which was terse to the point of ridiculousness, and negative about a lesson I considered very successful.  Then I got parked in a useless professional development session Friday afternoon which left me even more unsettled, but I'm putting that on the incompetent facilitator. I'm also agitated about how intervention is managed.  Just now I need to think about what to do about these things, if anything.  So far I'm just keeping my head down and doing my own work.  What I really have to decide is if that's the best long-term course of action.

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