Saturday, August 27, 2011

Never a Dull Moment

Well this was my Friday. Except that, really, it wasn't. We didn't find out about this until sixth period, though it does explain some of the more bizarre things I noticed during my day, such as all the gates being locked what seemed randomly in the middle of second period and a higher than normal percentage of district office people roaming about. I just figured it was so that they could see for themselves that our kiddos are packed into their classrooms like little sardines. But they were there I guess essentially as security. Hopefully they did a little noticing of the situation, though ...

It is a little troubling to consider that despite being more than adequately practiced at dealing with tragedy on our campus, to the point where we seem to be getting pretty good at it (and what an awful thing to be good at), I'm not entirely convinced we are practiced enough at a disaster -- of any kind. I think about the hurricane happening on the East Coast and the earthquake that just happened in Virginia and about a myriad of other weird and disastrous and dangerous things that have and could happen on a school campus and really have to wonder whether our students -- and our staff, too, I guess -- really know what to do in a true disaster situation. Sure we do drills and practice walking out to the football field, but that's a drill. Nerves aren't rattled, death isn't imminent. I mean, I guess maybe you can never be actually prepared for an earthquake or any otherwise unsafe situation, but I just can't shake the feeling like we just really wouldn't know what to do.

But to change the subject, because dwelling on what may or may not happen is depressing ... I got up early this morning and got cracking at my summer assignment grading. I should probably be doing that instead of blogging, but I'm going to try to make a concerted effort to blog much more frequently, especially this year. But I worked from 8:00 until about 9:45 (I had to be somewhere at 10) and graded about 25. In the old days, this would have meant I would be almost done - I mean, if I'd had 32 kids, I would have only had 7 left. As it stands now, that left me with 17 more, which is going to be about an hour more work. I did grade a handful a few hours ago, while watching Lifetime's Dance Moms marathon (more about that later, perhaps) but now I really should probably get back to them. I want them done for Monday and I still haven't done anything for lesson planning or grading for my sophomores yet. A lot of the problem with grading, I think, is psychological. Granted, I do have almost 40 more students total through my day that I did when I first started, so that is more than a sixth class worth of work to grade, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not *that* many more ... okay, maybe that's me being in denial. But anyway, it's just ... psychologically demoralizing to look at a pile that seems to never get any smaller. When I had classes of 36, you could do half -- 18 -- and feel good and take a break and come back later and do the other 18. Now half is nearly 25 and it's insanity. And I don't really want to even talk about the 120 Writing Diagnostics I have from my sophomores.... but at least those I don't really need to write feedback on.

So anyway. I should probably get about the business of grading. I'll digress into my analysis of Dance Moms later, but for as snarky as I've been in my head lately about this show's existence, I accidentally ended up watching it and minus a few of her quirks, the dance teacher/studio owner lady may be my new hero. A post for another day...

Onward. And tomorrow, I shall discuss gamification. And my attempt to gamify English. ... Heh.

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