Two more weeks home with this adorable munchkin:
I’ve been procrastinating checking my work email because every time I do something bad has happened, something unforeseen has occurred that I do not know how to fix from home, or I feel like I have screwed up somehow. Progress reports came out last week, and I have a slew of parent emails wanting to know why their kid is failing (typically because their kid didn’t turn in a worksheet we did IN CLASS that I entered as a test grade…I didn’t tell them it was a test grade, but why should that matter?) I don’t like answering these emails, and sometimes can’t; I’m on leave, so I don’t know if a kid actually turned in a worksheet or not.
Today’s issue was the discovery that basically all the school computer labs are inaccessible to students this week because technology is, yet again, messing with student logins. Silly me, I would have thought that this would have been fixed by the fifth week of school, but I’ve never worked in IT; I’m sure it is one of the most thankless jobs in the universe – no one ever contacts you except to complain that something isn’t working!
Anyway, my history kids were supposed to spend several days in the lab working on a biography project this week, which about half of them did at home and the other half will need those days in the lab, so now I don’t know what to do with each half. I had planned to have them present their projects next week for a test grade but if the half that needed the technology can’t access it reliably on the school network…what else can I do?
My English classes are set to finish reading The Crucible this week because my sub has been showing the movie while they have the textbook open to follow along. I wanted them to read the play first, then watch the movie version to give them a visual. This is what we did last year, and it took us the better part of three weeks to get through the play. Instead it has taken my students about half of the time, leaving me with nine days of lesson planning I thought I already had done!
These last two weeks of my leave I am docked pay, and I had promised my husband that I wouldn’t do any school stuff – and now what I had planned is crumbling around me and I don’t know what to give my students to do. Naturally, this occurs the same morning my home internet is being spotty (thanks Time Warner) so I can’t even properly access what I need, leading me feeling very…deflated. I am still in awe of how much work I’ve actually had to do while on maternity leave. I’m sure if I had been more organized before I took off I wouldn’t have had to do so much work, making me feel guilty for not planning better this summer – but then I also know my kid came 3 weeks early, and that I couldn’t have realistically planned six weeks of my school year in the three weeks after the last one ended, especially when I was adding a class I’d never taught before.
For the moment, I feel like it will be good to go back to school so I can deal with these issues from inside my classroom instead of outside it, and that the routine will help both me and Spartacus immensely – but I also feel the stress of how much work I’ll have to do when I go back; while I’ve still spent 1-2 hours a day planning for the following day from home, now I’ll have to find time to put those planning hours in WHILE teaching seven class periods and not getting in the extra naps I get while at home now. I guess I’m scared that I’m not going to perform as well as I want to – as a teacher, as a mother, or as a wife – and that no one will get my best. And I hate knowing I’m returning to school already feeling like I’m behind; it’s hard to feel excited with that feeling.
I know I’ll feel better after a nap and a cup of coffee, but for right now, I feel like Goose in Goose Needs a Hug, which I read several times in the last week trying to get Spartacus to go to bed at a reasonable hour (currently defined as “before midnight”).