Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, Monday

I don't know what it is about Monday, but it seems like the longest day of the week.  I woke up tired, drug myself to the pool, back home again, and then to work.  I've managed to pull it together to pretend I'm "up" for my job, but, I'm home now, and I am giving in to the weariness. This is what I would like to do . . .

Sleeping Nikki
But, even if I could get down on the floor and curl up with her, it would be too much trouble to try and get back up, so I won't!

This is conference week, possibly the most exhausting week of the year, next to the last week of school!  I've spent many hours preparing, gathering work samples and assessments, writing out my usual 1/2 page of notes detailing progress in all academic areas and behavior.  Parents nearly always appreciate my efforts, and when it's all said and done, I really like meeting with families and talking about their kids.  (Or maybe, I just like to talk!)

Still, it's tiring work, prepping and meeting, and still planning and teaching all week. This year I have four conferences with an interpretor, something I haven't found necessary since my second year of teaching.  The first one was today after school.  The parent arrived 20 minutes late, stayed 30 minutes, and brought her older child with a grandchild. (My student stayed after school with me to wait for her mom to arrive.)  I got a taste of what Kailyn must be feeling, as I sat at the table with five people all talking another language, and me not knowing what was being said! (I just smiled and nodded, hopefully at all the right moments!)

Tomorrow is an early release day, and I've got eleven 20 minute conferences scheduled.  If they all show, I'll be almost half way done! Makes me tired just to think about it!  That's a lot of talking . . . and listening, I hope.  

Because it isn't all about me, and what I want for these kids.  I need to listen carefully to the parents, pay attention to their needs, and hopes for their children.  More than ever before, I need to be compassionate and sensitive to cultural differences, as 40% of my students come from homes where English is not the first language. I am awed by this knowledge.  And impressed by these students who come to school every day, working hard at translating what they are learning from English, to their home language, and back again to English to respond.  I admire their tenacity.

It's Monday, a little closer to bedtime, (hallelujah!) and I'm pondering the swing I've made from being tired, to being inspired.  To looking forward to bringing hope and encouragement to each family I've been given to work with this year.  

And, to getting to bed at a decent time, so I can be rested and energized for this upcoming week.  


  1. I am sure you are just exhausted. Meeting with parents is exhausting. When they don't speak English, it is even more of a challenge. I don't know if you know that I am an ESL teacher. I miss working with those wonderful families.

  2. Sandi,
    This post makes me miss teaching. OK, not enough to come back because I do not miss the educational BS that came with the job. Working with you and my students was a dream!! Miss you. Sending good thoughts for your week.

  3. Nikki looks so comfortable, I even feel like joining her and I've just begun my day, here! Good luck with your hectic schedule ths week, Sandi. You certainly do seem to have a lot going on right now and I don't envy you.

  4. I cannot imagine how tiring it must all be, but as you said, it's important work. Consider all those people who are doing work that provides nobody anything except something they don't need... you are really very fortunate to be strong enough to get through this. Teachers don't get paid enough! :-)

  5. I still remember the encouragements of many of my teachers. You are doing such valuable and important work.

  6. I remember conference days/week. I taught elementary, and many were non-English speaking. The prep alone was exhausting.
    But, when I finished with conferences, I felt exhilarated. Seeing these students through new eyes was invaluable.
    you are doing a great job--one that changes history and lives. God bless you.

  7. My conferences are next week...I'm into the collecting grading and pondering about each of my 50 students...It is a fun time to see where the kids get their behaviors. Sometimes, just knowing that lightens my reactions. Good luck to you.

  8. You are doing such a great job Sandi. It's Friday now - yay, end of the week, one in which I'm sure you worked your butt off. Hope you can relax this weekend, much like that dear dog of yours! Teaching is hard work.
    I think of you with your daughter away. I have good and bad days with missing mine. I'm sure you are the same with yours.
    A big hug for your mighty efforts.x

  9. The week is almost over and I hope your conferences went well. You sound like such a caring teacher and I know your students are lucky to have you. Enjoy the weekend and get some rest!

  10. I hope all your conferences went well. I'm with you - I really enjoy talking with my families. That many second language families is hard, but I know you, and I know you'll turn that into a gift. Fun post to read, my friend.

  11. P.S. I love the picture of Nikki! So cozy and inviting. Oh to have a dog's life.


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