Today is officially my last day of summer. Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I will need to be at school. Many freshmen will arrive and go through their first day of high school via freshmen orientation. Luckily, I don’t teach freshmen, so while they are running through their schedule in the afternoon, I will be putting together last-minute things. I’d love to put together last minute touches on my rooms, but that will have to happen after school.
As I head into my fourth year of teaching, I realize one amazing fact: this is the first job that I’ve had for more than three years. As I’m counting school years instead of calendar years, it works. I’m proud of myself for that fact. The first three years weren’t easy by any means. I’m not kidding myself in thinking that this next year will be easy either. No…we’re changing the game, again.
My district decided to institute a change in grading policy this year. Apparently, they’ve been studying the research for three years (according to an article in our local paper). However, the first we heard of it was last year. And, we’re expected to make these huge sweeping changes in how we grade, what we grade and how we decide what to assess and how much that assessment is worth — in one year. As someone who is her own worst critic and who really wants to be a good teacher — I’m in panic mode. I think that the only reason I’ve calmed down internally is because it’s necessary for survival. My insomnia was about a week long — which is too long. Part of it was my brain in panic mode about a number of things. Part of it was also because my apartment was too damn hot. Apparently, I need it to be about 70 degrees in order to sleep properly. It was between 75 and 80 in my bedroom, till I turned the a/c down super low (it’s wonky & doesn’t work right) and wet my hair before bed so I’d be colder yet. The heatwave plaguing us finally broke yesterday too, so…that was nice.
SBG is going to be a huge mindset change for many people. As someone who grew up with the points system and who did her homework because a) I wanted good grades and b) it was expected, this is a change. I like the idea of grading w/ rubrics. I like the idea of grading less (since that will apparently happen), but…I have to alter a lot of my assessments. I also have to change my mindset of HOW I grade many things. Additionally, there are a number of other responsibilities we have, as teachers, this year. This is why I’m freaking out.
And…we have a new principal. *glub*
So, when I say it’s my last day of freedom…that’s true and untrue. I’ve been struggling w/ anxiety about all these changes since June. So, I’ll never be free of that till I’m comfortable with the new grading system, etc. But, this is my last day that I have that’s officially summer.
Tomorrow morning, bright and early…I resume my teacher life full-time. I’m excited, but scared as hell.