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another month

I ended my last post by talking about the weather and how my students were all praying for a snow day. Well, they got it - 3 of them in fact, but they were really ice days, not snow. Georgia got a freak ice-storm that left up to 6 inches of ice in some places, making driving school buses suicide. Some counties lost a whole week of school. Fortunately, we only missed 3, and 2 of those count for the built-in snow days, so we'll only have to make up 1 day at the end of the year.

This semester so far, I'm facing some of my biggest challenges ever when it comes to being a teacher. I've had a student sexually harass me and had to deal with that (incident reports were filed with the campus police officer). My wheelchair-bound student uses his disability as an excuse to do nothing unless I get really witchy and take away his cell phone and don't allow his parapro to look things up for him. I even made him read out loud one day (we were reading Of Mice and Men) and he sure gave me a hard time about it. The kids had a test one day that we had been preparing for for over 2 weeks. I gave them study guides with actual test questions. We went over the questions and I made sure that everyone wrote down the answers. The test itself was all matching and multiple choice AND it was open book! I finally finished grading them the other night and about 50 or 60% of them failed. Miserably. Not because they put down wrong answers mind you, but because they didn't even answer at all. The 40 or 50% that passed didn't just pass with D's. No, they got B's and A's! My immediate worry was that people (meaning administration) would see this and think that I'm a horrible teacher who's not actually educating my students, or I'm asking too much of them. So I talked to my department chair. His response was that if kids were passing it, then I had obviously taught them the necessary information and that it was obvious who had not listened and learned, or studied. He said there was nothing wrong with my test or with me as a teacher, that it was now on the students' shoulders whether they were learning or not. That was an amazing thing to hear. Usually teachers whose students are failing are told that it's their fault and their fault alone, that everything that's wrong with education in this country is because of crappy teachers. No one ever seems to mention lazy students and parents who are not involved or don't give a crap. To be told by a "boss" that he knows I'm doing all I can was and their failure in this case does not reflect on me was very affirming, since I know I'm running myself ragged making sure I do everything I possibly can to teach my students.

Ok, that's enough teacher talk.

My brother is getting married in May, so everyone in the family is all a-twitter with wedding talk. There are showers to attend, gifts to buy, dresses to try on, hotel arrangements to make, and the list goes on. I think it's a whole lot of fun, and can't wait to spend a weekend in May celebrating with my brother and his fiancée.

A friend recently asked me if her daughters could interview me for a project they were doing about female missionaries. They sent me a page full of questions to answer, and I got to work writing my responses. There were a lot of really good questions in there that aren't your typical "what's it like being a missionary" questions. It really got me thinking about a few things, and one issue in particular that seems to keep cropping up in my head as something I'd love to really write about. Maybe I'll have to do some thinking and try writing up my thoughts on the subject.

Tomorrow, I'm back to work after a week off for mid-winter break. So I'd best get off here and enjoy the rest of my free time. :)