Thursday, March 31, 2005

So much for recovering...

This week has turned out to be more stressful than last. In four days, I lost two prep periods (out of five) to coverages (filling in for absent teachers). This is fair, sort of, because today and tomorrow my dept. is responsible for a lot of coverages as we will be at the Regional Science Expo. However, each day I plan on having those preps, and to lose them at the last minute means an hour's worth of work gets squeezed into the odd minutes throughout the day or put off until after school. That's fine if it's grading, but this week a good deal of the work I had to do was the nuts and bolts of sending three different teachers with varying groups of kids to the Regional Science Expo - four different permission slips, discussions with kids about what to bring and what to expect, schedule arrangements with teachers and administrators, you name it. Not the kind of stuff I can take home with me or put off until the following day.

I finished all that - just barely - and then realized that I had to plan Monday's wild plants field trip today because I'd be out of the building all day tomorrow. More scrambling. Luckily another teacher was able to help put together the schedule and permission slips after I got it started.

Basically it's been several days of working from 8 am to 4 pm without even five minutes to sit quietly and reflect - I've worked during lunch, every moment of every prep, and even squeezed administrative stuff into quiet moments while the kids were working.

The kids have been really boisterous and aren't responding to correction - they nod and say ok but go right back to the problematic behavior - so that's added to my stress. My science class routines are still a bit off because they have to spend 15 min. a day observing the FastPlants, and then we try to fit in a lot of other stuff as well.

All of this resulted in me nearly losing my voice today. We have at least one boy sick with laryngitis and completely unable to speak, so it's possible that I'm getting sick, but I also tend to lose my voice when I'm stressed, and my chest has that tight feeling... So today I left at the end of the school day rather than staying for afterschool. I could barely talk and could not imagine leading a drama class at that energy level. The kids got split up and added to other classes for the day. I feel a little guilty but I wasn't feeling very positive or relaxed and you can't teach drama when you're exhausted and tense!


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