Tuesday, June 19, 2018

My Blogging Hiatus

Wow.... It has been a long time since I have had time to blog and I have really missed it.  A lot has happened in the last year, and unfortunately I just never had the time to make it to my blog.  I tried to at least keep up with sharing on Twitter, but I even had trouble keeping up with that after a while... :o(

I usually blog a lot over the summer, reflecting on the previous year and sharing my ideas for the next year.  Last summer was the exception....  After 15 years, I decided that it was time for a change, and I bought a new house in another town....  I spent all summer, going through the moving process...  My new house closed the same week that school started.  I started moving little by little, but I was not able to fully move until a month after school started.... After I finally moved,  I then had to spend the next two months fixing up my old house and get it ready to put on the market.... This again consumed school nights and weekends.... So when I wasn't planning for the next week, I was either unpacking at my new house, or at my old house fixing it up.  I finally got my old house on the market and sold it in November....  And then in January, my father ended up in the hospital and it took me 3 months to get him back home....

This year, I also started a new position at school....  Our district started a new "Coaching Model" and instead of having full time instructional coaches, they have teachers/instructional coaches. Teachers teach half the day, and instructional coach the other half of the day....  All teachers/instructional coaches are also department leads.  (I had experienced instructional coaching the year before, but only one period a day... Our school still had a full time math coach, so I was still able to maintain teaching as my focus.)  I never envisioned how overwhelming it would be to take on the position as teacher/7th and 8th Grade Math Instructional Coach.... I had 7 teachers in my department, 3 which were brand new teachers, never been in the classroom.  I had a lot of responsibility as a coach, including the curriculum.  I learned that I have more success with the teachers who are open to coaching and did not resist.  :o(

All in all, this was by far the most exhausting year I have ever had.... I had a lot on my plate, and tried to remember to maintain a focus on my teaching and my students. This was easier said than done.  I would teach my two blocks of students in the morning, 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th periods.  I was technically an instructional math coach 5th period and 6th period because I had prep 7th period.  I rarely used my prep period and if I wasn't subbing during 7th period, I was in the classrooms coaching, because this was the toughest period of the day for most teachers.... Every day, 1st lunch and 2nd lunch fell during 5th period.  I never took a lunch and usually had a working lunch because during 5th period I would either have students coming in for help, to make up work, or other teachers asking for help during their prep or lunch.... After school was the toughest because I had to figure out which hat to wear and that was very exhausting. Was I in "Coach Mode", "Lead Mode", or "Teacher Mode"?... I had so many meetings to attend regularly.... Coaches Meetings, Leadership Meetings, Curriculum and Instruction Meetings, IEP meetings, and 504 meetings. I had to have department planning meetings for 7th grade math and 8th grade math every week  and I needed to do intervention with my students on a regular basis.... And after school I still had to also do my regular teacher duties such as homework, grades, get my room ready for the next day, supply orders, phone calls home, yard duty, answer more teacher questions, and regular visits from past students. 

Even though this year was overwhelming and exhausting, I am very thankful that I was able to persevere and keep my focus on my students and my teaching.  I am so proud of my students this year and the success they had on the CAASPP Summative Assessment.  My students rocked it more than ever this year.  Hard work does pay off... :o)

Next year, I will be teaching less and coaching more.... I am hoping that next year will be less exhausting and that I will be able to maintain my blogging more....  Until then, this summer I plan to update my free resources on my blog and catch up on some blogging about my lessons, and ideas for next year.... :o)

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog.... :o)

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