Yeah, I know, I've been MIA for awhile, but it's that time of year when there is sooo much stuff going on, I can barely remember my own name. And the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is sit down and try to compose anything that could even remotely pass as intelligent. You know, because that requires thinking, and my brain seems to enter sleep mode quite frequently lately. So, until I actually have the time and can muster up enough brain cells to write something of more substance, here's a little update for you...
Our county is in the middle of SOLs right now, and for those of you (like I was) who are unfamiliar with how this acronym applies in a school setting (because, if like me, your mind immediately went to the not-appropriate-for-school meaning of SOL, then you'll need an explanation.), SOL stands for Standards of Learning. And SOLs are the state tests, although why they didn't decide to call them SLTs is a mystery to me, except I suppose if you add a certain vowel into that acronym, you'd get another not-appropriate-for-school word, but I digress.
I have a love/hate relationship with the SOLs. For one, I love the fact that students have been well trained since Kindergarten to keep their mouths shut anywhere and everywhere in the building during SOLs. This makes art class very quiet and productive. On the other hand, I don't like how one of my schools completely rearranges the lunch and specials schedules to accommodate SOL testing. And doesn't tell you about it until, at most, a week beforehand. And it changes every week. Did I mention I won't be returning to that school next year? Yeah... no, I won't. I'm also hating how cracked out classes are when they show up to specials after testing all day. It's like someone dumped a pound of sugar down their throats and shipped them off just as the high hit. Some days I wonder if I shouldn't just bag the whole trying to teach them something routine and take them outside and let them run it off.
On Next Year's Plans
I've decided not to return to my current Wednesday school next year, for a variety of reasons (see above), but mostly because it takes me an average of 45 minutes to get there and with a new baby arriving in August, I don't really see myself wanting to spend that much time driving to work once a week. I will, however, be returning to my M,F and Tu, Th schools. I had considered pursuing a full time gig at one school next year, but decided I didn't want to start at a new school, mid-October, with a new baby at home. Best to stick with what is familiar for another year.
I've already filled my vacant day, and was amazed by how quickly it happened. Especially since I didn't even apply to any openings. Principals pursued me. Let me repeat that... Principals pursued me. Like that would have ever happened in New York? Not only did they contact me first, one principal even took the liberty to contact one of my current principals to arrange to have my last class of the day covered so I could meet with her for an interview! Just. Like. That. And despite the fact that I arrived to the interview 15 minutes late (seriously folks, who schedules an interview at the same time your school of 1,200+ is dismissing students?), and despite the fact that I was very obviously pregnant, I was offered the job not 3 minutes after I left the parking lot.Like that would have ever happened in New York?
On Being Knocked Up in a School Setting
I'm on the cusp of being 7 months pregnant, and yet I still have classes that are figuring out for the first time that I'm pregnant. It seems 3rd-5th graders are considerably less observant than the K-2nd and 6th graders. Which is interesting. It's also interesting to hear the responses of my students when they find out and how much those responses differ depending on the students', dare I say it?, race. But that's a post for another day.
The conversations in some of my art classes have changed as my belly continues to grow. My third graders seem to be the most inquisitive. Wait. Scratch that. My third graders are the most polite inquisitors. Followed by some of my 5th and 6th grade classes, which tend to be more bold (again, depending on race, which I will argue is not racist on my part if it's actual observed behavior). My Kinders like to rub my belly on the way into class and ask me silly questions like, "You still have a baby in there?" and "When are they going to cut it out?" That last one makes me shiver.
On Being Knocked Up and Unmarried in a School Setting
And this is yet another post for another day.
Hope everyone is surviving the end-of-the-year chaos. I know I've been lax in my blog reading, as well as checking my email, but things have been crazy busy 'round here. I have quite a few posts floating around in my head that 1) are sure to be conversation starters and 2) I intend to get around to writing at some point.
In the meantime, remember to wear your patience and your sunscreen every day. You're probably going to need both to get through these upcoming weeks.