Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Doors

What a whirlwind November has been. I started a journal entry Nov 1, got interrupted after writing the first line, "I can't believe it's already November" and didn't have a chance to pick it back up until Nov 20th. That's ridiculous! But I've been enjoying myself, so I'm in no way complaining. Obviously I have many a story to catch up on, but that will likely have to wait a few days as I enjoy my weekend with report cards and other I teach an overwhelming amount of kids too many subjects kinds of things :) I had a really great day today, and decided I would just make time to write about it. Fridays are my e a s y days, but I am basically non-stop the rest of the week so the end of the week downtime always feels like such a treat. Of course there's generally a translation interruption, sometimes a class that needs covered and the occasional crier in search of hugs, but Fridays are nice.

These are all stories that will unfold later, but we've completed our first period, had a week of exams, a week of recuperation (best not to get me started on that concept ;) and are now starting new material while toiling away at paper grading, talking to parents, calculating averages, organizing ten weeks of work from 17 different classes to stuff into student's folders, compiling grades and comments from other teachers and carefully filling out all the report cards. It's hard to believe the first period is over, and sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I didn't teach so many students, but at this point I've connected with them all so much it will be tough to separate if a new teacher joins the fun! So my to-do list is a little long, but I know it's nothing I can't handle. To be honest, Monday I started getting a little stressed, but was able to convince myself that was just silly. Not too long after this personal pep-talk I found out I had to get both classroom doors decorated for Christmas during my downtime. Rather than asking, "What downtime?!?" I figured it would be easier for everyone if I just got to it. My issue isn't with the doors being decorated, because that's fun and gives the classroom a better feel, it was from the mountain of school related tasks, topped with the decorating I didn't feel I had time to complete. I love getting creative, and I felt like I didn't have time to give the doors the attention I'd like! Now it feels silly writing so much about doors, but I guess you'd have to be in my head. Anyway, it was a long week, graciously capped with a relieving Friday.

I tried hard to come up with cute ideas for each door, and worked on them little by little. Part of me feels bad for having a slightly crappy attitude about them in the beginning, because they turned out nicely and it really wasn't so bad. Mom's school sent lots of borders (thanks again guys, a post about your boxes really is coming!) so I had some cute edges to work with; from there I just had to decide on, you know, the actual door! A lot of the kids were crazy this week (darn those kids and their energy! What do you mean you don't want to talk about English grammar or what makes a long a long?), and my evenings have also been busy so I have to go ahead and admit I was in a bit of a funk for a few days. The fact that yesterday was Thanksgiving and I missed my family's annual reunion didn't help things very much. But I was so thrilled to be able to video chat with lots of the family--that cheered me up quite a bit. Who doesn't love technology? I went to school today knowing I'd finish the door for 2A, and believing I could get 2B all decorated as well. As a Friday treat, the kids were really fun, and that always leaves me smiling. A lot of the kids are improving on their weekly spelling tests, which is incredibly exciting! And in 2A we sang and danced while we colored etc during art class--what a blast! Some of the kids helped me decorate their door, and it was neat to see them hold a word up and try it out in different spaces before they found the perfect place to stick it. I don't spend much time with 2B on Fridays, but I did get to sing a little with them after their spelling test. Most of my breaks were busied with door stuff, but it was such a relief to ride home knowing they were done (and pretty cute!) and I could give the grading/report cards all of my focus for the weekend.

Tonight I am headed to a Thanksgiving dinner put on by the school so I'm looking forward to that. In fact, I need to scoot my boot! It's always fun to think about thankful lists, and this year I'm thankful for the lesson that there is something to appreciate in every situation, no matter how frustrating it seems at the time.