Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Midweek Mumblings.....

Not a great title for a post, but it is as creative as I can get right now.

It has been a tough week. Part of it, I am sure, is "let down" from the GREAT readathon this weekend. I think I was on an adrenaline rush all last week in preparation for the event - and a crash was bound to happen. I need to publish a review for Rebecca (I LOVED it) -- but I just haven't found the time to write something eloquent enough to publish.

In the meantime....Janel won my 50th follower give-away, and a few of you have asked what she won. I wanted it to be a surprise for Janel, but since she emailed me to say it arrived safely, I can let you in the prize. I found a very lovely writing journal - and matching notepad at Michaels. I thought the journal could be used to write memorable quotes from books (although I think Janel may use it to keep track of vacation plans (HOW fun!!!) and the decorative notepad is just the right size to carry the list of all the books she wants to read in her purse -- so it is accessible she is out and about at the library or bookstore. And the, of course, there was a bookmark. Like I promised, nothing big and extravagant, but definitely bookish. I hope Janel enjoys these items.

I am in the final weeks of school and it is definitely crunch time. I teach at 2 very small private schools - who are on opposite schedules (one school meets Monday - Wednesday - Friday and the last day of school is May 15; the other meets on Tuesday and Thursday and the last day is May 7). In addition to that schedule, I also teach one senior level class - which is on a completely different schedule due to graduation ceremonies. I teach mostly English and have 2 classes working on Narrative fiction; one class working on a school newsletter; and one class preparing to perform a portion of Midsummer Night's Dream. I simply do not know if I am coming or going at this point.

In addition to the stress and strain of teaching 7 different classes (with 7 different preps and umpteen papers to grade), I have also had to deal with a very frustrated parent whose child is failing my British Literature class (a senior level class whichh definitely affect graduation diploma). This is truly a heart-wrenching situation. The student, I truly believe, has suffered with a learning disability her entire life. Unfortunately, the child has never been tested and because she is a sweet, kind girl who tries very hard --- she has been passed along from grade to grade. I have a very difficult time doing that -- my convictions will just not allow me. We are now 2 weeks away from graduation and she will not pass. She did not pass first semester, and she will not pass 2nd semester. What am I to do??!! My compassionate side says to pass her -- my justice side says no. We are a college preparatory school and she is not prepared to enter college. By just giving in, I feel like I am diluting the grades of all the students who have strived to earn the A. By giving her the D I feel like I am the heartless monster of the staff. This is a no-win situation --- and it has worn me down.

Enough grumbling (all the complaining in the world will not make this situation go away)....I want to end on a positive note. I just discovered the pleasure of BlogTalk Radio. The scuttle-butt on twitter over the weekend was that Ted Dekker was going to be a guest on the program this past Monday afternoon. I didn't pay much attention, as I knew I would be in class. When I got home I learned that the interview had been recorded and could be listened to at anytime here. I followed the link, played the tape, and went about my everyday business. OH MY GOODNESS --- what an amazing interview. Not only did he share insights into his new book, BoneMan's Daughters --- but he gave an amazing creative writing class to anyone who cared to listen.

Since my 9th grade English class is studying Narrative Writing - and writing their own fictional story as a final paper -- I quickly changed my lesson plan to include listening to this amazing interview. The students took notes and we had a great discussion afterwards. What a rewarding experience - not only for me, but for my students. Now THAT is what teaching is all about!!


  1. I see why you said midweek mumblings. It sounds like there is not good answer for your student. I know that has to be heart wrenching for you. Hopefully your school year will end on a high note.

  2. I really loved the package. Thank you very much.

    I'm sorry that all of the problems with this girl have fallen on you. It sounds like other teachers in the past have let her slip through, but you are right about her not being prepared for college. It isn't fair for her or you to be in this situation. Hang in there!

  3. Oh dear, Molly. What a rough week. For what it's worth, I think you are doing the right thing with your student--not that it makes the situation any easier. I agree that passing her isn't doing her any favors, but what I really feel strongly about is that it wouldn't be fair to the other students who have worked hard and deserve to pass.

    I think this week has been hard for me too---I keep thinking what a fun day Sam and I had--and how much more fun it would have been if I had felt better! I want to do it again. I am still feeling drained--work has been hectic--and we are leaving town this weekend for my other son's saxophone state competition.
    I hope you can hang on until the weekend--

  4. Hang in there. I always hated to fail students who were sweet and trying. But I also thought that if they couldn't meet the criteria for passing, then I was actually doing them a disservice by passing them.

    What a dilemma. school will be out soon.

  5. Wow, you went from the lows of teaching to the highs all in one post. As a former teacher (only four years) and the sister and mother of teachers, I'm familiar with your dilemma. Your brain, your heart and your logic know what to do.

    Thanks for the tip on BlogRadio. I didn't know we could listen at any time. I'm off to check it out.

  6. Your problem with the young girl is a very tough one. I cant' imagine it is easy ...but ultimately, you are doing this out of care and concern -- not mean-spiritedness. Know in your heart that you are doing the right thing ... and that isn't always easy. Ugh.

    And then to go from such a low in teaching to such a high...that is great. I hope you find a more happy medium soon.


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