I sit here in bed trying to get some sleep before going back to school tomorrow from Winter Break, but sleep escapes me and my frantic mindset. I find myself refreshed from my time off, but also dreading going back. I’m fortunate in that I don’t actually have students tomorrow because we have a work day. Therefore, I get to wean my way back into this so-called work thing. At the same time, I’m worried about my students coming back on Tuesday because they’ve been gone from the academic setting for a total of 15 days. I know it’s not as long as the summer break, but it’s long enough to ‘lose’ is my thinking. Granted, I sent home packets for Language Arts AND Math (yes, I know, I’m THAT teacher), but that’s just busywork. Will they have lost more than that in the mean time?
The incredible professionals I follow on Twitter have referenced so many resources over the course of the past month that I can’t wait to use. But I find myself overwhelmed in trying to find time to use them, while sticking with the basics (aka: guided reading, spelling, math). I want to get away from the typical textbook use in my room because I can see it’s not working with many of my kids. They’re simply not engaged or can’t recall any information that we do read and discuss. When we worked on our Christmas Around the World Powerpoints, they wanted more. So, I’ve been thinking, planning, and slowly preparing for more. But then, in the back of my mind, I know that our CAT testing is the first week of March, as well as all of the remaining district standards tests that must be completed by the first of April. I ultimately find myself going back to the notion of drill and kill to get them ready for these tests and avoiding all the “fun” stuff because there’s no time. I don’t want to do that! I don’t want to kill my own creative ambitions and prevent my students from developing the ‘Habitudes’ of learning.
So, I dread tomorrow because I’m wondering if should stick to what I know or try something different to inspire and not stress so much about testing.