The end of the school year is quickly approaching, just 10 more days left, and I am not at all ready for it. Well, that’s not entirely true. Emotionally I am ready to be done. Physically I am ready to be done. Mentally I am ready to be done. But as far as actual amount of work I have left, I need at least another month.
Right now, I should be grading. I brought home an entire shoulder/teacher bag full of papers plus two large manilla file folders full to work on over the next 10 days.
Friday was my birthday and I’ll admit I got nothing done except for a two hour dinner that was delicious, but left me so full and so tired all I could do was come home, watch the last episode of Lost and fall asleep.
Saturday I had a sick baby on my hands, so the only time I got to grade was during naps. Duing his wonderful two hour nap, I got some research papers graded. I was able to get a few more done after he went to bed. Ten total. Now I only have 45 more to go. Oh, and I have 60 some business letters to grade, 75 journals, and 60 vocabulary tests. I also have a final to finish writing since I’m adding material and, in an effort to save what little remains of my sanity, I’m getting rid of the essay my kids usually do with their final. This is not simply laziness, although I won’t deny there is a spark of it mixed in there. Our finals finish up on Thursday and our grades are due the very next day by 3pm. This year I decided to be like just about every other teacher in my building and give a multiple choice final and be done with it. After all, I will no doubt still have a research paper or two to grade Thursday night.
Don’t get me wrong, I like my job. It’s just amazing how the work piles up so quickly. My kids tell me the solution is easy: just stop assigning work. I realize that would make my life amazingly simpler, but it would also do them a big disservice. Not that they realize it now. I’m not a busywork teacher. My assignments tend to be rather long and involved (as in they have at least a week to do the assignment, but they require quite a bit of work and real effort). Even my multiple choice test won’t be easy. I teach AP afterall, I know how to write some pretty difficult questions. My kids generally really on my “short answer” and essay questions to pull their grades up. They always get excited when I say multiple choice, then they remember what mine are like.
Still, there are definitely days where I wish I could be the teacher who lets them go to lunch early. It’d be nice to show a movie for a few days and catch up on my grading. I’ll admit I’ve thought about cutting my paper down to paragraphs (and love the business letter because it fulfills a state requirement and is only one page). I wish I could mark everything with checks and not spend hours giving thoughtful comments I hope they’ll use for improvement. There are days I’d like to be that teacher.
Then I remember that I’m trying to prepare my kids for the real world. Sure, some of them won’t ever have to write more than a quick memo or a receipt, but about 75% of my kids plan to go to some sort of college. It’s hard when I see teachers who do the bare minimum and are “loved.” I just keep reminding myself that they don’t necessarily love their kids and want the best for them. They want free time and everything to be smooth and trouble free. It’s a pain in my ass now, but considering that some of my kids always end up dropping me an email or coming back in to see me and telling me that even though I pushed them really hard and they hated me at times, I got them ready for college.
Still, right now, I kind of wish the stress level was a little lower. I think my face is breaking out. Yuck! I need summer.