Day Three: Frustration

Today, besides waking up tired, I went through a whole range of other emotions. Frustration being the most prominent. Now that day 1 and day 2 are over, the school is slowly starting to go into full swing again. Classes are starting to put more content in them, students are becoming more engaged, jokes are being made, and I can finally smile again. Which is all really wonderful.

Still, the logistical aftermath of the tragedy is starting to unfold. We had midterms scheduled for next week, and the powers that be decided instead of changing the nature of the midterms (have teachers make them take home, or one hour instead of two, or have group midterms, or any number of other things), we are canceling them entirely. Which I can support, and will support. Sometimes top-down decisions have to be made. However, the result of this is that teachers are expected to continue teaching next week.

But no teacher, at least none of the teachers I’ve talked to, is in any way ready to start teaching our new material next week. We have a bunch of work we planned on doing during the lull of midterm week. At least, I have a ton of work — in addition to prepping for next semester. 

So things are stressful. And the fact that this is all coming out today, Wednesday, makes it hard to manage.

Clearly, you can see from this that I like order, stability, and clear expectations. When things are messed up, I get messed up.

As a last side note, I found out that I’m not even going to be in the classroom next week. I was told this after trying to figure out what I’m doing in each class, and when I’m doing it. The school is hiring me a substitute for every one of my classes, because I’m a 10th grade adviser and we have to put on gradewise community service project that was planned for midterm week. So apparently I have to leave all 4 of my classes in the hands of substitutes for a week. Which is such a waste of time for the kids. 

I hate to say this, but I think showing math movies is on the table in some of these classes.

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5 comments

  1. I hope the break from midterms helps your students. Even if it continues the nightmare for you.

    Good thing you have the new movies in your library. (Hoping that the purchase orders go quicker at your school than mine.)

  2. @Sarah: thanks. It’s unclear to me that canceling midterms helps students. But definitely I’m supporting the decision.

    And purchase orders at my school go through like lightning. But it’s a private school, so there is less bureaucracy. I like when I buy donuts for my homeroom, I can take the receipt and a signed form to the business office, and they give me a reimbursement right away from the petty cash drawer. Lovely.

  3. Instead of showing movies, is there something you can have your students create? Work in groups and create questions for their own midterm review then give their questions to other groups?

    Then again, with all that has been going on maybe movies would be good for them.

    (You get reimbursed for donuts? Nice.

  4. @Jackie: thanks for the suggestions. In fact, I’ve come up with a take-home exam for the Calculus classes, and the Algebra II kids have already had some sort of cumulative review thingy.

    I was going to create some project for them to collectively work on, but I just don’t have the energy or time to create anything that wouldn’t be crud at the moment. I think that a movie might be just what the doctor ordered.

    Then we start refreshed and new the following week.

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