Tuesday, January 19, 2010

insomnia watch: 2010

Hey there, folks! Welcome to my blog...again. Sorry for being so dull. So here's the scoop: I'm doing better, and adjusting myself more into non-survival mode/depression mode, which means I'm trying to care more about my kids' education in the classroom. Serving their needs along with my own. Sounds like a good thing, I suppose, no? I'm not saying I've been selfish, I'm saying that along the way, I disengaged myself from what the kids were learning because I didn't want it like I would've wanted, say, The Odyssey. Regardless, things'll be getting better now, I think. I hope. Either way, I've still got this tiny little problem:

INSOMNIA 2010!!!

To the untrained eye, it might seem like a movie. To the trained eye, it'll seem like work--or the thought of it, perhaps--is steeling away into my subconscious, making me wake in the middle of the night. I will say, the periods of time when I wake are short (thus, not really insomnia), but my mind wakes completely for a sec, thinks I have to go to work, looks at the clock, then tries fitfully, and finally successfully, to go to sleep again. I've been trying to use guided meditation and warm glasses of milk. It's worked, for the most part, in that it gets me back to sleep. Last night was a little different, though.

I woke up at 5 this morning, turning absently and then groggily awake, to the sound of a bus. I started to dream (in the I'm-about-to-go-to-sleep dreamy way) that I was a waiter, and asking someone's personal opinion on something. Then the dream muddles into all sorts of other unidentifiable things. All in all, not a great rest from 5 til 6:30 am wake-up time.

What do I do? Has anyone had similar experiences? Any advice?

Monday, January 4, 2010

first day back: plus twenty experience points!

So, in general, I had a pretty great first day back! This is a huge change from all the negativity I've been reeling from for the past forever, so I'm pretty happy about it.


Student A: Are those new glasses, mister? You look real gangsta in 'em!
Student B: *titters*
Student A: No, for real!

My usual ridiculous guy in 3rd period started off his year by handing in a project (woo!), farting in class real loud (not woo, at all), and then making up for it when I gave him a "it is your choice to be inappropriate, your choice to do all this stuff, your responsibility" schpiel.

One kid who totally shut down, kind of opened up to me, said he didn't want to go to this school anymore. I told him that he'd been doing so well (in class...outside, really, he's doing pretty poorly...as in, grade-wise) in terms of being a leader in his group, helping out this other kid who doesn't know diddly (not my words, but ya know, I'm a blogger, so I can say things like that, right?). I want you here, I said. I think all that cheered him up, because he went back inside the room and did all his work.

Off to a good start, Read 180, let's continue chuggin along!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

new year, new everything!

So, as the new year dawns, and school starts tomorrow, I've got plenty on my plate:

1) Grapple with time management and the anxiety that it produces
2) Being reflective about appropriate homeworks
3) Predicting future weaknesses, and planning appropriately

The third one is what I'd like to focus on today. This is the question of the day, it seems! Recently, before the year let out, I grouped my high schoolers differently in one of the classes: low-medium-high (3 groups, respectively). What a relief that was! Now I have students who're much more engaged, and they seem to be learning on a higher rate (except for this one kid who's an utter space cadet), and, more importantly, understanding at a higher rate.

So, now I have to do the same for my middle schoolers. Yikes! I've grouped them pretty well, I think, with one who's about a medium-low, with the rest being low and very low. I'm a little apprehensive about including the medium-low student, because I don't want her to get lazy or fall behind simply because I need to explain or show better. Though, I think she'll benefit. It's tricky. We'll see how it goes.

Either way, I'm scared that this group is going to become an ESL group, where I'm going to have to differentiate a shit ton of language that needn't be in any part of the lesson plan. But, I suppose that'll have to be something done at the end of the day for kids who need more attention.

I'm starting this new year off with a pop (no bang...not just yet), so let's hope this works out.

Here's to a whole new start!