The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Work work work

I'm off work right now... but there is just so much to do.

If you asked me one thing that teachers in America consistently need more of, it wouldn't even be more money. It is honestly just paid prep time. I get approximately 5 hours a week of paid time for planning, preparation, collaboration, etc. This is so far from enough time to do a sufficient job at writing lesson plans, grading papers, planning units, working with other teachers, etc. It is a big part of why I have so much trouble maintaining a balance between school work and my home life during the school year. If I could have 3 hours a day every day, for a total of 15 hours a week, paid time, then I think I would feel sufficiently prepared for each day. Since I don't, I live in survival mode, only doing as much as I can handle, working myself to the bone, and getting by with what I can, making a lot of sacrifices in things I would like to do (plan better lessons, read all my students' papers, etc.), and then holding out until the breaks. In January and July, I just go crazy planning and getting stuff done.

Tonight's project...BTSA. I have supposed to be doing it all the first semester, but I put it off until now. I have a lot that needs to get done by the midway checkpoint on February 10. I am meeting with my BTSA mentor next week, and I want to get through it all quickly by having it all done for the checkpoint. That means a lot of work this week. The final deadline is May 27, but there is this note saying that we can turn it in early if it gets completed early. I'd love to set myself a goal of right after spring break, but we'll see.

Tomorrow- all units for next semester. Yup, that's right. I am meeting with the other sophomore English teacher and she emailed me her lofty goal for tomorrow's planning session:
Plan all units, including instructional activities.
 Wow! That is a lot of work. I am bringing the kids too, so I guess I am going to have to bring a lot of snacks and toys. 

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