We studied D-Day in history today, and I learned, along with my students, that “D-Day” does not refer to Doomsday, or Drop Day, or any abbreviation. “D-Day” is the military term for the day an operation begins. D-1 is the day before, D+2 is two days after. So rather than try to figure out how many school days we’ve had this year (it’s been so long since I’ve blogged I’ve lost count!), it is easier count until the last day of school. Including today, thirteen school days until summer. D-13.
I’m currently drafting a post trying to explain my husband’s current career limbo, but as of now we are moving SOMEwhere in three weeks. Our landlords sold their home we currently rent, and our lease expires May 31. School ends May 28, so sometime between the last Thursday and Sunday in May we need to load up a moving truck. That will be a busy weekend: I need to grade final projects and exams, pack up a classroom, attend graduation, and move. Oy.
We still don’t know if my husband’s army paperwork will go through, but for right now we are working under the assumption that we are moving home to Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the beginning of June. Hubster is enrolled in seminary full time and I am looking for a teaching position. I have submitted several application and had one interview; I’m applying at the local public high schools as well as several of the Lutheran schools in the area, including my alma mater. We’ll see where I end up…it’s nerve-wracking to know that 1) I will be the primary earner and 2) I don’t yet have a job. I know teaching contracts just started coming out so it’s still early, but it’s certainly an added stressor at the end of the school year. There’s also the possibility that we will NOT move, and it’s hard to plan for so many contingencies simultaneously.
Spartacus did not cooperate for my first mother’s day; he had a 103-degree fever with plenty of teething, mucus, and general lethargy. It finally broke during the night, but a friend is keeping him during the day since daycare rules are 24-hours fever-free before returning. My husband did make me chocolate-chip pancakes as I requested, but basically his gift to me turned into watching the boy at home so I could go to church and teach Sunday School. Spartacus is a pretty sad spectacular right now; his eyes are glued shut by goop when he wakes up, so he’s mad…I try to wipe the goop off, which makes him madder. Rough weekend for baby Spartacus.
School-wise, we’re in the midst of state and AP testing and students are going nuts. We’ve had storms that have messed with our wi-fi, I’ve lost kids to drug arrests, the flu, and weird bloody noses (that particular student was back in school today, though my freshmen swore to me last week he had a “brain aneurysm”…I assured them I would probably have gotten an email about that). I’ve hardly seen several of my classes. My schedule last week looked like this:
- Monday: I proctored the AP Chemistry and AP Psychology test; saw none of my classes.
- Tuesday: Algebra state test; most freshmen took this. My English classes were in the library working on Chromebooks. It turned out they were pulling from the wi-fi hubs that were needed for testing, so technology shut down all the devices across the school. No internet for any of my morning classes. Also, we normally have a 4th period homeroom, but since so many teachers were proctoring we just kept our 3rd period 35 minutes longer. This meant I had an extremely squirrely grade-level English 3 class for nearly 90 minutes in the library with no internet. No work got done. I did not see my 1st period AP, 3rd period English, or 5th period history classes.
- Wednesday: Biology state test; all freshmen took this. I was supposed to cover for the 5th period AP biology class (since those teachers were proctoring) but the exam got done early; I had my entire freshman history class with no lesson plans since I didn’t think I was going to see them today. Tried to watch part of Band of Brothers episode for WWII but my speakers in my classroom inexplicably didn’t work. Wasted class.
- Thursday: US History state test; all sophomore and all juniors took this. Freshmen went on a field trip to local community college; seniors had a late start. Proctored the test – so boring. Sat in classroom with everyone done for two extra hours before being released at 11. Freshmen returned with twenty minutes left of last period and were instructed to return to their 8th period class. A herd came into the library instead where my classes were working and I had to threaten with truancy before they would leave. Had to define “truancy” for them.
- Friday: AP US history test. I thought I had lost my English class; I showed up the library 6th period and none of my students were there. Turned out 22/23 of them were taking the test, and the 23rd non-tester was absent that day. Saw my freshmen for a full class for the first time since last Friday, but went at least two days without seeing some of my English students.
My AP kids are working on their college portfolio for their end-of-year project and exam grade. My English 3 kids are working on a poetry presentation with song lyrics. My history kiddos are finishing up WWII before we start reviewing for our final exam next week. I don’t have much teaching left to do, which leaves me feeling weirdly lost…and struggling to find things to grade since every day is a work day. Completion grades abound. Today the wi-fi was down again from storms, so again, more wasted periods.
My AP English test is on Wednesday; I’m scared for my kids. Since only about half my kids are taking it, I didn’t want to do extensive test prep in class as it would be a waste of time for the rest of the kids. Taking the first six weeks of school off for maternity leave threw the entire year off track and we never regained momentum. We’ve been using a cool online study site called Learnerator, and I know some kids are engaged in that and reviewing material, but I still wish they felt more prepared. With the new baby I haven’t had time to grade and I just don’t feel like I’ve given them the feedback they need on their writing. I know many will do very well, but I still am left feeling like I didn’t do my job.
My church choir sang “Be Still My Soul” in service yesterday, and I found myself tearing up at the lyrics. The stresses of sick babies, job searching, managing students, and the unknown of the next year take their toll on my attitude. I know everything will work out. I keep praying, waiting for direction. Here are the verses we sang; they bring me great comfort on a rainy Monday:
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.Leave to thy God to order and provide;In every change, He faithful will remain.Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly FriendThrough thorny ways leads to a joyful end.Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertakeTo guide the future, as He has the past.Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;All now mysterious shall be bright at last.Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still knowHis voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.Be still, my soul: the hour is hast’ning onWhen we shall be forever with the Lord.When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.Be still, my soul: when change and tears are pastAll safe and blessed we shall meet at last.