Thursday, March 29, 2012

Really, REALLY long post!

Yes, I am still alive.
There has been so much that has happened recently. Let's rewind the month of March (and half of February) and examine, shall we?

Last time I posted was... ohhhh... Valentine's Day?! Wow.

I forgot to mention in my last post the meeting that we had to discuss our progress, re-evaluate the students that are in skills and discuss areas of growth and weakness. This meeting generally involves the two skills teachers, the school counselor, the other second grade teacher, and myself. This time, however, Mrs. Principal was involved. This wouldn't normally be a bad thing, but Mrs. Taller Second Grade Teacher was sick and I was still recovering. I sat down and it was like I was being interviewed for the job again! I felt like Mrs. Principal began grilling me with questions as soon as I closed the door! I began to sweat (it really was hot in there according to other teachers...) especially given the news of possible reductions... She was then called out to deal with a student and the whole room seemed to relax. We began having a conversation about the data and students, instead of me being interrogated.

Anyway, moving on. Shortly after we recovered from our sugar coma and rid ourselves of all the Valentine's candy, we began to do our quarterly data assessments. These involve two-minute timed math probes and Mastering Math Facts, which the students actually don't hate doing! We also have writing probes using the "official" rubric (which I hate detest wouldn't mind changing - and probably will next year). My students don't enjoy working on the writing probe as much. They would much rather be doing the Daily Five and choose what to write about.

Then, suddenly, BOOM! The bomb drops. Mrs. Principal decided that she needed to do my final observation the week before conferences and while we're trying to assess and gather all of our data. Not only do I have one observation, I have two. On the same day. First thing in the morning Thursday morning and last part of the day on Thursday afternoon. I have my pre-observation meeting Monday at 1:00. I find all of this out on Sunday at 8:00 at night. Every.single.Thursday at 9:00 we have a religion test. My kids expect it. They know our routine and prepare accordingly. Mrs. Principal didn't want to see my kiddos take a religion test. I had to change it. (This is the second time I have have to change my schedule because I had a test scheduled during our observation time and she doesn't want to see us give a test. She wants a lesson that makes us "shine"! Kinda hard to do when you are told to change your lesson at the last minute...) Anyway, we worked on our guidance lesson and had a really relaxing morning. 
Then came the afternoon part of the observation. I found a few different activities for the students to work on as they finished with their work. Overall, my lesson was okay. And I'm glad my observations are over with until next year and I should only have one formal observation...

Finally, all of our data was entered and we quickly moved on to preparing for conferences.

Parent-Teacher Conferences. This time I was a pro! This was my fourth time doing conferences and I have really gotten to know more of the parents this year. At our school, we are required to have a conference with the parents. I expect my students to come as well so that they can show off some of the great things they've accomplished. My first meeting was with a dad that had given me a hard time at the beginning of the year. Dad walked in and said "Why is it that I'm more nervous about this conference than he is?!" (somewhat joking). At that point, little Mr. had been pretty good third quarter and I had some really positive things to say and the conference went well.

We have conferences Monday 4-8 pm, Tuesday 4-8 pm, and 9:00-2:00 on Thursday. That gives us Friday off and Thursday with no kids. It is WONDERFUL! Sure we have long days on Monday and Tuesday but Thursday with only three conferences and Friday off with the following week being spring break? I'll take it! My kiddos needed a break from me as much as I needed one from them.

I had plans to go shopping with a friend and made hotel reservations at 8:00 Saturday night to stay in Sunday. Fast forward 3 hours and I have whatever Hubby had and spent the next 11 hours on my death bed and then 2 days after that recovering. Since I wasn't able to go shopping with my friend, Hubby had some time off as well and volunteered to take me! Hubby generally has tunnel vision for what he's out to buy. He spent more on our shopping spree than I did!

My new Coach Swingback! I have a tan one that I got for our honeymoon in Cozumel last spring break but I wear so much black that I needed this one too. :)

I finally found shoes for one of the weddings Hubby and I are in this summer! Aren't they amazing?! The heel is quite high but I am the shortest one in the wedding by at least a half a foot! Fun fact: I'm nearly 2 feet shorter than the Groom.

I also got a few other things as well but I still have quite a bit to write about. Are ya still with me?

Hubby usually goes to the college national wrestling tournament over spring break with a few friends, his dad, and some of his dad's buddies. They had a great time and I spent the last half of my break cleaning the house (getting rid of all of the germs and going through closets to get ready for a garage sale). It feels great to have a spotless house and all of the spring decor out.

Thursday was my baby brother's 21st birthday so we headed to Texas Roadhouse for dinner and then out to celebrate after! He'd be so proud to be featured on my blog. Sitting on the saddle! YEEHAW! :)

I had the cutest date on St. Patrick's Day! 
I volunteered to babysit my nephew (we'll call him LachMonster) Saturday night so that Sister-and-Brother-in-Law could go out and have some fun. LachMonster and I had a great time watching some NCAA basketball even though our team lost. (See picture above. He stopped paying attention to me to watch the game.) He ate and was out by 8:30. I did some work for school (my electronic portfolio that was due Monday when we got back... and we were told the Wednesday of conference week - the day before our spring break started. I was displeased to say the least.) and headed home to read and watch some TV to finish out my holiday.

The meeting about my portfolio went well and I'm glad that has been crossed off my "To-Do" list. Last Friday we had a meeting in my room (remember, no news given in my room is good news) after school. We knew it wasn't going to be good when Mrs. Principal called us all over the intercom to make sure we knew about the meeting right after school in my room. We never have meetings on Fridays - unless we're out for Happy Hour! Mrs. Principal was so upset that another coworker read the news for her. Our school district (private schools made up of 3 K-8 and 1 high school currently, new middle school opens next year and we will then have 3 elementary schools, 1 middle school and the high school) is facing some budget cuts. We have some people that are voluntarily taking a reduction or retiring. We also, unfortunately, have a few people that were recommended to the school board for reduction. Next Wednesday we will have a meeting that states why these choices were made and teachers that will be moving will be notified on Thursday. Our contracts will be issued April 9. I am getting nervous about where I'm going to end up next year. There are a lot of rumors but I will be happy the day my contract is issued and I know what classroom I will be moving to.

Now, I'm going to finish painting my nails and get ready for bed. Have a fantastic Friday and wonderful weekend!