Monday, December 6, 2010

Time Flies For Mrs. Hillbilly Mom

Perhaps I've mentioned that my workday simply flies by. I feel like that old magazine ad for Maxell tapes, the one with the guy sitting in a chair and the sound blowing his hair and tie. Yeah. Like that. Extra duties blowing me away at the speed of sound.

I stay after school for an hour or two every day just to break even with my basic job duties, such as lesson-planning and paper-grading. I use every spare minute throughout the day to stay caught up, like entering grades after passing out the assignment, grading make-up work while students are working, using my plan time to run copies. Actually, make that 10 minutes of running copies and 39 minutes of unjamming the copier and 1 minute for the bathroom.

Today I thought I was going to coast along, perhaps have time to read for pleasure during a portion of my plan time. I was giving a test to four classes, and by the end of 1st hour I had all of theirs graded, though not yet recorded. I intended to do that during 2nd hour, after a short review, while they were taking the test. Well, you know that old saying...Teachers plan, the principal laughs.

OK, I didn't actually hear the principal laughing. But I know he would take the side of all the various and incidental time-suckers who waltzed into my classroom, and tell me that of course I should cheerfully grant their wishes, because that is my job. Point taken. Which doesn't mean I agree, only that I will do it, because that is the way to stay out of trouble and the doghouse.

Within five minutes of starting 2nd hour, just after taking roll and reading the announcements, and on #8 of my study guide review before the test, I had double guests. One came from the office, needing five days worth of assignments for a student who has already missed 25 days this semester. There are only 45 days in a quarter, people. 90 days in a semester. This student has missed a fourth of the school year so far, not all at once, but a few days here and a few days there, and I must seek out the past five assignments and send them home, expecting them to be done and handed in upon return, or else why the rush? But no, the student will return empty-handed, and say, "I get one day for each day I missed to turn that in, right?" Which is written in the student handbook. So it might conceivably be ten days after the assignment before it is turned in, and meanwhile we've moved on, and so I'll have to look up the answers and what date to record the scores and how much it's worth etc.

The second guest came right on the heels of the first, before the door even slammed shut, and asked for the four assignments he missed last week. I told both guests that I was in the middle of something and would have to get to it later in the hour.

While gathering those past nine assignments, a third guest traipsed in, asking for a test to take that hour for one of the previous guests. I told him that Guest 2 must first make up the past four assignments before taking today's test in his resource room. That's normally the way things are done, you know, read the material, do assignments to master the concepts, then take the test.

I barely caught up with grading the tests that hour, and then had two classes awaiting recording and posting in Gradebook. I planned to do that 3rd hour, but saw that I had only one alternate test page out of four for my Biology test tomorrow, so I used my spare time then to alter more questions. Copy and paste is the best invention EVAH!

During 4th hour, I had to watch my testees closely (hah, hah, I said testees) because I caught one keeping his book and study guide on his desk right after passing out the tests. I might have to take a page out of Miss NewMath's book and make them pile all of their belongings at the front of the room on test days. Again, I barely got the tests graded when the bell rang, leaving three classes awaiting recording and posting.

5th hour just had a study guide to work on for their test tomorrow, but even though it only had 15 questions, they kept me hopping by needing more assistance than a preschool class of two-year-olds during potty-training season. In the midst of our self-continence lesson, in strolled a former absentee with a note that said, "Please excuse X from class." I asked if it meant not to count him tardy, because the way it read, he was excused from class. I also wanted to know who wrote it, because of the scrawl and no signature. A senior student office worker, he said, so now I need to check that out tomorrow because that doesn't seem right to me.

In the meantime, that office worker rushed in to drop off a list for ISS assignments that needed to be done immediately, because the ISS was the very next day. The next FOUR days, in fact, which necessitated taking my plan time to run off future work in a hurry for the immediate ISS. Which of course meant that the copier jammed up.

During 7th hour, I had three students who had been absent Friday who decided to take their test today, plus two others who should have taken it today but didn't come get one, so decided to take it in their resource class tomorrow, plus another one who already took it in resource this morning and wanted to sit and do nothing. Try figuring that out on the fly while passing out two different versions of your test and listening to some really nonobservant kids demand to know why I skipped their row again this time when passing out the answer sheets and had to come back and then give them answer sheets while the observant kids shouted, "Because she gives different tests! Where have you been all year?"

But I got all of their tests graded, just not recorded or posted, and then it was time for the monthly faculty meeting after school, so I took two classes worth with me and recorded them during the Tech Nazi's speech.

The day was over before it began. But I can't figure out why I'm so tired.


Mommy Needs a Xanax said...

Yeah. I'm definitely going back to school to be an xray tech.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Mommy Ann,
That sounds tempting. Especially after that 25-day absentee-er was gone again today, and a paper circulated for two MORE days worth of assignments.