I've just poked my head from the haze of over two weeks worth of writing (typing) end-of-year student reports which here down under would have to be the most time-sucking, energy sapping, brain deadening thing to do in the whole school year. I swore (not the profanity kind) that I wouldn't post to my blog until I had finished.
And I have.
Well, my part anyway!
I share a classroom and so the report writing responsibilities have been split pretty fairly between myself and my tandem teaching partner. All of our student reports have three sections to fill with about 180 - 200 words of insightful text - I had to do two of these. Multiply by 30 students and the premise that each section will be uniquely composed and it's no wonder the blog has been dormant meanwhile. Then liase with my offsider to make sure we're not presenting contradictory views back to the parents.... well, you get the idea.
These busy times always seem to coincide with the more interesting online events in the "edublogosphere". Last time I was flat out was during the K12 Online Conference and I still haven't checked any more than the bewildering preconference keynote and half of Clarence Fisher's keynote. Now apparently the edublog awards are on and some extremely generous person (or peoples!) decided to nominate TGZ for Best Teacher Blog. You may have seen the outsized badge in the sidebar - I found five minutes to install that but not to resize it so it doesn't look ridiculous. I'm hoping to beat the 5% I garnered last year (not looking good at the moment!), although with the voting fallout already wreaking havoc, I think I'll be content that someone (someones!) felt that my occasional writing was worth pushing forward for consideration. Anyway, I let James know about my feelings over there on the blog so enough on that particular topic.
(Although I did post this -" There seems to be a lot of lobbying for edublog award votes going on - some methods could mean a very hollow victory." - on twitter about 7 hours ago. I do like grapes that aren't quite ripe anyway.)
So, here's my point. Finally.
We finish school for the year in just over two weeks. My non-teaching friends always remark about how nice it is to be winding down for the year. Except every year it seems that we're winding up for the year. The pace is going to get hectic from now on with staff dinners, Year 7 graduations, assemblies, class party days, reports being published, kids finding which classroom and teacher they're getting for 2008, Kris Kringle (oh no, please, I'm being blackmailed into participating AGAIN), farewells for staff leaving, visits from staff joining us in the new year, jumping into new ICT program initiatives, blah, blah, blah, blah.....
No wonder I hate Christmas when all I want to do is go home, pad barefoot around the house for a few weeks, sleep in (until the kids bug me to get up), ring a mate to play golf, go for a walk along the Torrens or play Tiger Woods 2008 that I've only tried once since buying it two months ago.
What usually happens is I'll come home after the last day of term with a massive headache. Basically, the rubber band that is my brain will be wound up so tight, it'll eventually snap.
I couldn’t agree more. The windup is well under way here but we don’t finish until the 21st of December!
Gosh, that must be weird to have Christmas and the end of the school year going on at the same time. We’re not quite halfway through the school year here. It reminds me of my favorite episode of “Leave it to Beaver” (which I’ve already written about once, slightly alarming!) in which Beaver makes friends with Chuy from South America and asks Chuy if things are “funny in South America” and Chuy says, “Funny here.” It’s all about perspective.
But, I know how you feel about the rubber band thing. Only I find the start of school to be much, much worse for me.
One thing I wonder is this: do you teach only 30 students?
Lynne, we used to go until that time until the state government generously said that we could have that week as holidays if we managed to achieve the week’s 37 and half hours equivalent in verified training and development throughout the course of the year. Now most teachers I know exceed that by a long way but it brought South Australia back in line with 40 weeks for the school year when we used to be 41. Bear in mind we are talking government schools here – many private schools run closer to 38 weeks of teaching.
Taylor, I teach more than 30 students in my role here but am responsible for writing reports for the class where I am based for 3 days of the week. I am a primary school teacher (North American equivalent is elementary) so I teach all subjects when I’m in there, quite often as integrated units of work. Our Global Project is an example where English, Maths, Society & Environment are blended with Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) to cover cross-curricular outcomes. My students are based in one classroom as their home base and head off for specialist Science lessons and PE lessons as our school has a flash gym.
For me, weird would be a Christmas that doesn’t include prawns, mangoes and cherries on the table. Weird would be a Christmas where the temperature isn’t at least in the mid-30’s (Celcius that is) and weird would facing the prospect of going back to work shortly thereafter!
Graham I love the picture of the rubber bands. I feel like that after writing reports. Oh you can feel your summer break. I on the other hand am feeling mighty cold. Thats OK play a few rounds of golf for me and I will shovel your walk of all that snow…. you will never get. Thanks for blogging and being such a fantastic read.
I read your blog with envy. My team teacher and I are just finishing up our personal learning plans to go home for our 58 children and I did a word count. 1700 words for one child! Plus four other pages I didn’t bother word counting. Christmas is coming! I can feel it! Loved the rubber band image. Thanks for your posts this year. I do enjoy reading your thoughts. I am planning on three weeks away without the laptop. Bring on the holidays!!!
Ah, Chris, the snow always looks so nice in the movies.
Paul, the report writing frenzy workload is influenced by perspective – here I’m thinking I’m slaving my guts out while you have a much greater writing load! In fact, I’d love to get an array of report formats from around the world (preferably with a sample of typical comments for a fictitious student) for a blog post comparison. I reckon that might be a worthwhile thing!
Each year we run four races, each of them a sprint. There is a short period between each race to catch your breath.