Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas break!

It has arrived!

The blessed Christmas break is finally here. I am HALFWAY DONE with my first year of teaching! 3 cheers!

What a long week it has been as my kiddos and I were just ready to be done. We had benchmark tests this week which makes for a bit of a change in schedule on top of the Christmas programs and parties, so overall, it was just a crazy week. I kind of like the crazy weeks, though . . . is that bad? I like having a break in routine.

So, for once, my kids did well on their benchmark tests in math! Reading, not so much. But all of my kids but one passed the math, which is a major improvement! It was a nice feeling to see those scores come back. Now, if only I could get them going on reading. It's strange for me to see success for them in math, and not reading, because I always thought that I would be a much better reading teacher than math teacher. I realize now how much easier it is to teach math (at least for me) because it is so much more straight-forward than reading. While there might be more than one way to find an answer, there is still just one specific answer. There are specific steps that have to be taken and taught. Reading, on the other hand, is much more difficult because it just seems like every single child is at a different starting point and even in small groups I have a hard time meeting all of them where they need it. And how do you teach someone a skill like inferencing when they can't figure out how to sound out a word? Simply put, teaching reading is just . . . messy.

Actually, teaching in general is messy. Kids are messy, their home lives are messy, papers are messy, grading is messy, testing is messy. It's all just way more difficult than it appears. I am ready to start over and regroup. I am ready for new organization of papers and baskets and books. I am ready for a new seating arrangement. I am ready for new things on the walls. I am ready to rethink some procedures. I am ready for a fresh start, and I'm hoping I can get that in January. I would like to spend a day or two just reviewing/introducing procedures again, and hope for a smoother semester than the last one (I'm not counting on it, but we'll see).

The Christmas party on Friday was crazy, but I didn't mind. They have put up with me learning how to be a teacher with them, so I think they deserve a little reward. :) It was a surprise to receive sweet gifts, cards, and candy from a few of my students, because I wasn't expecting anything from these families that I know have very little. It's amazing how some people are so giving even when they don't have much themselves. I am pretty sure that I have learned more from these students than I have taught them.

And now, I'm signing off for a few weeks and enjoying sleeping in (that is, until 7 am, which is sleeping in when one gets up at 5:15 everyday), hanging out with my fiance, and Christmas shopping (which I have had time to do NONE of yet)!

Have a blessed Christmas! And remember why we are celebrating. God has given us the greatest gift and I love that we have time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ at this time of the year.

From the candy-covered desk of,
Miss Davis

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