Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Day in the Life Post 4 #DITL: What I do when I'm Angry...

This is the fourth post in the Day in the Life of a Teacher #DITL series that I am taking part in.  I received an email earlier in the week to comment on this graph:
I was not feeling this valley for November.  I was actually feeling pretty good, like I could breathe again.  I just wrapped up coaching my tenth season of cross country with our team banquet on Monday night and freed up some of my time.  I love the team, the runners, everything about it, but it is a big time commitment and a lot of effort and it is nice when the season is over.  The boys even gave me this cool shirt:

Tuesday was great.  I had four rock star girls stay after school to work on an Algebra 2 assignment sheet with some tough questions on it.  I did not have the answer key done, so we were working together.  They are so creative and bright.  They enjoy it and persevere.  It is refreshing to work with them.

Then, this morning came.  I woke up and something happened school related, but I am going to be vague about it, sorry. 

Disclaimer: The rest of this post is said with sarcasm, tongue-and-check, and some seriousness, yet still vague.

We had a half day before Thanksgiving.  I had 3 classes out of 5 and in two we played Quizizz and in Algebra 2 we did a Who Do It? - A Radical Murder Mystery practicing with radical equations.  It was a great short day with the students.

Meanwhile, I was trying to deal with aforementioned problem.  It is nothing I will be able to fix now.  I will just have to make do and find a way to fix it in the future.  It just made me really, really angry.  So, this is about how I reacted.

I really wanted to come home and curl up on the couch with a book, but then I realized I have 17 people coming for Thanksgiving so I got productive.

I put a last coat of polyurethane on my new wooden pi lazy susan for in the middle of my kitchen table.  (It has 1200 digits on it and is about 18 inches in diameter)  I am going to have all my family members sign the back of it at Thanksgiving tomorrow as a memory of 2016.  It will be our first without Grampa, who passed away in September.

I got to cleaning like a mad woman!  I dusted like crazy, vacuumed, picked up stuff everywhere. 

Then, it was time to start the food.  I turned on some Christmas music to try to get out of my own head.

I took a butcher knife and worked at cutting the squash.  When it was done, I got my anger out by mashing it.

I took the chef's knife and chopped (really just cubed) the potatoes to soak in water and be made into mashed potatoes tomorrow.

I made a chocolate pie.  I cut apples and made a mile high chocolate pie that kind of looks like a turkey itself.  It is a dark picture because it is tucked away in the corner, hoping none of my animals finds it. 

I baked some chocolate chip cookies and had a warm one before I went for a run.  After 5 hours of cleaning and standing in the kitchen, I needed to get a run in before it was dark.  Just a short one, but I needed some fresh air and still to clear my head.

Home again and time to change - time to "wash that gray right out of my hair".  And, as I sit here with the dye on, I am blogging.  Another form of processing it.

And, I do feel better.  It does help that I got a second piece of mail in a week today.  It was a nice card from a community friend about my father in law and remembering him.  I love getting mail.  I love warm chocolate chip cookies.  I love having my family over tomorrow and eating and playing games.  And, I have moved on.

#DITL Reflection Questions and Answers:
1.)  What is a teacher decision you are proud of today?  What is one you are worried wasn't ideal?
I was happy I didn't give the kids quizzes this week.  I usually like to wrap things up before breaks but it fell nicely in that we could just play practice review games.  The kids were totally engaged and having fun for the 35 minute classes today.  A teacher decision that wasn't ideal - perhaps this post?

2.)  Everyone's lives are full of ups and downs.  Share with us some of what that is like for a teacher.  What are looking forward to?  What has been a challenge for you lately?
It is funny how entwined my feelings/emotions/moods are dictated by what happens at school.  Yesterday, feeling super, bam, today, not.  I will get passed it though.  I am looking forward to presenting in CT on Dec 5th and seeing Jen Silverman again.  I am presenting on ways to make review fun from low tech to tech.  I am also excited to share the news of next summer's mission trip with the parents and youth at a Dec 14th when we have an informational night.  (I do need to get ready for that.)
3) We are reminded constantly of how relational teaching is.  As teachers we work to build relationships with our coworkers and students.  Describe a relational moment you had with someone recently.  
I loved extra help with the girls mentioned above.  They are accelerated students.  The assignment sheet isn't due until Wednesday, Nov 30th and they are working hard on it. 
It's like a party with them, and doing math at the same time.

4) Teachers are always working on improving, and often have specific goals for things to work on throughout a year.  
What have you been doing to work toward your goal?  How do you feel you are doing?
My goal is to have the kids up and working on #vnps (vertical non-permanent surfaces) and I love it!  I love finding new problems to make them think together at the boards. I love just standing in the middle and watching them work and listening to their discussions.  Their work is getting neater and more organized all the time.  I had a student teacher come to class first block on Monday.  She got to see the kids use desmos to look at the transformations of radical graphs in a teacher activity I created and she got to see the kids work together at the board on 4 more in depth, trickier graphing problems.  

5) What else happened this month that you would like to share?
It was my birthday month and my sister's so there was a lot of fun.  I went out with a high school friend on my birthday to dinner and to catch up.  Two days later, I went to dinner with another friend for my birthday.  Two days later it was my sister's 40th birthday and all my siblings and and nieces and nephews went out to lunch and bowling.  It was so fun.  Then, last week, I went with the first friend out again to see the movie The Edge of 17 which is all about high school awkwardness.  I highly recommend it.  And, tomorrow, all about hanging out with family.

Thanks for reading. And, now I am off to read a book.

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