Monday, December 28, 2009

Busy CHRISTmas Holiday!

What a whirlwind Christmas break this has children and I rode with my mom and step-dad down to Sterlington, La. to visit my family who live there (Mom's family who we rarely get to see). That was a really long drive and we stayed with my Uncle, Aunt, and Grandmother for 3 days, then drove home again. WHEW! We arrived home on Christmas Eve Day around 1:00.

My husband went and worked at the early Christmas Eve service, then the kids and I met him at the later Christmas Eve Service at church. It was beautiful and our family carried on our tradition (3rd year) of helping peal the bells at the end of the's wonderful!

We stayed home on Christmas and got up early to see how good Santa was to us all, and also opened our gifts to and from each other. I cooked a big breakfast and then Mom and Woody came over and we shared a big dinner and watched a movie.

Mom and I got up and went shopping at 7:00 a.m. on the 26th (I know...I FELT like I was insane when the clock went off at 6:00) and I was able to finish up the shopping for Dad and that side of the family (sneaky, huh?). We left Rock Hill around 2:30 and went to Anderson to stay with Dad and Carla for a couple of days. We have just returned home from that Christmas celebration.

Dad is having knee replacement surgery on Wednesday morning on his right knee. I will be headed back there as soon as I can on Wednesday to be with him for the remainder of the day and try to be there for his first PT session. I would greatly appreciate your prayers for my dad...knee replacement patients are no longer put to sleep. Dad is very nervous about being awake for this...can you blame him? Anyway, please consider praying for him, his peace of mind, an easy procedure and quick recovery.

How about you all? How have you spent your Christmas break?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's the MOST WONDERFUL TIME.............

Many of you (do I have MANY readers?) may have read my last post where I quickly brought you up to date and explained that on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving my car was broken into and my school issued laptop was stolen. What I didn't explain in that post was that I had to file a claim with my home owners insurance and get reimbursed for the cost of the laptop minus the $500 deductible. To add insult to injury, I was required to pay the $500 deductible to my school in monthly installments, because the liability had to lie somewhere, and the computer was in my possession at the time of the theft.

I have been so upset about this. I know that my school district is only doing the "right" thing...but there are just some times when the "right" thing doesn't feel "right" at all and this is one of those times. I spoke to my principal about it, she called the head of the technology department at the school district, I spoke with the superintendent about it...even my mom got upset and called the district office (without my knowledge) to try to talk to the superintendent.

This morning when I got to school, my principal stuck her head in my room and said "Merry Christmas!" When I turned around I said "Merry Christmas" and smiled like my regular jovial self and wondered why she was doing that. Here is a written version of the conversation after that:
P: You haven't read your email yet, have you?
Me: No ma'am.
P: (Steps into room, HUGE smile on face) You don't have to pay any more money!!!
P: John (technology head) and Lisa (superintendent) and I have all been so bothered by this the whole time! Lisa went to John yesterday and said "This is really bothering me! It's not right!" and John said "It's bothering me too!!! It's not right! And I'm not going to make her pay that $500."
Me: OH MY GOSH!!! THIS IS THE BEST PLACE TO WORK!!!! YOU HAVE JUST MADE MY WHOLE HOLIDAY! I COULD CRY!!!! I will be sending thank you notes to those people today!!!

Just another example of why I love my job! The people in leadership positions here truly care about us! It is a wonderful place to work!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

I know it's been way too long since I posted. I'm sorry...please don't be upset with me if you happened to be one of the four people who read my blog. Let's see...quick rundown of the last few months...we had H1N1 run through our school at the same time as a horrible stomach virus. Every computer in my school also had a terrible virus and had to be reimaged. Neither of my own children came down with H1N1, and neither did Greg or I! (Hallelujah!) Thanksgiving was eventful, as I left school on Tuesday, picked up the kids, then went straight to dinner and had my car window broken and my laptop and Sarah's backpack stolen. Now we're caught up to today. (sigh)

We have two weeks left until our "Winter Holiday" (as it's called by the district) which will be a nice two week break. The awesome teachers I work with in 6th grade this year have been awesome to plan with...we met yesterday and decided that we are going to try to get back to teaching with some "fun" stuff. We've gotten into the rut of lecture, practice, homework, lecture, practice, homework, etc. So I'm working a little bit this weekend to find some fun stuff!

I'm sure this post is kinda lame, so to spice it up a little bit, here's a picture of the kids last night while we were decorating the tree/house. Sarah had her Santa hat from about 5 years ago and Caleb was wearing Greg's hat! Funny stuff!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Illness...How are people your way?

Our school has been HIT with illness. I don't mean a little tiny thump, or even a slap in the face. I mean a full on right/left...punch in the stomach, or kidney, or wherever it hurts the most. In one week I had five students (out of my 95) who were out for an entire week. Some of them had H1N1, but not all...some of them had a really nasty stomach virus that lasted for 48-72 hours. One of my teammates was out for four of the last five days, and other teachers are out sick too. I'm trying so hard to avoid getting sick (frequent and thorough hand washing, keeping covered when I sneeze or cough, and as awful as this sounds, asking students to keep their distance, especially if they have symptoms of illness). I'm trying to keep my own family well too, encouraging them to do all the same things.

How are folks where you live? Are you experiencing lots of illness in your area? Work, family, friends? Praying everyone stays well!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Story (Part 3 and the most recent story is still being written!)

When I last posted I told you that my story got very interesting! It did...I was working in an office part time, which I also told you I detested! Well, God started talking to me. He told me that He had a plan for my life and it involved teaching. He even started asking me nagging little questions like "If you HAVE to work for your family's financial peace, why are you working out of the field you trained in? Didn't I take you where you went in college for a reason? Don't you believe that I know what's best for you? " I knew that God was telling me it was time for me to go back into teaching public school. I filled out an online application and went for my pre-screening interview.

Mrs. C called a couple of days later to say that I had done well in my interview and she would be calling me soon to set up interviews at schools. The really amazing thing is that by the time all this was done and I was able to go on interviews, school had already begun for that year. It was September of 2005. I waited for Mrs. C to call and set up interviews. One morning while I was out of the house she called and said "Robin, there are two interviews I'd like you to go is an elementary teacher position at B Elementary. The other one is a long term sub position at CH Middle School, and it's a chorus position. Call me back as soon as you can." I called and was quickly ready to go on these interviews the next day. Before I left the next morning Mrs. C called again and explained that the middle school I taught music in before Sarah was born was about to begin interviews for two teaching positions in 8th grade. She wanted to know if I'd be interested in those interviews as well. Of course I was, so we set that interview up for the next day.

Have you ever actually HEARD God speak to you, or FELT Him guide you with his hands on your shoulders? That's what happened. God turned my shoulders in every direction He wanted me to go...He was sitting with me in every interview, told me what to say, spoke to me quietly and peacefully at the end of each interview. He said things like "This is not the job for you, but you need the experience of this interview." Or "You did great there...let's wait for a call." After the interview for the long term sub position I got home and there was a voicemail message from the principal, offering me the job. I did not return her call immediately because I was going to the interview for the 8th grade teachers at RR Middle School the next day.

I went to the interview and things went well. I waited...impatiently! Finally the next day I got the call offering me the full time position as an 8th grade math and language arts teacher at RR Middle School. I accepted, then called the other long term sub school to explain. I started on Caleb's birthday in was a great day all around.

My first group of students in the 8th grade came to my classroom in October 2005. I was really nervous about teaching math, but as it turned out, it became my favorite thing to teach. I loved it! It was in April of 2006 that God led me to WU to pursue a Master's degree in Middle Level education. I graduated in December of 2008 with a Master's in Middle Level Math. I have been teaching math in middle school since 2005, and have just begun my 5th year there. Imagine that...after teaching music for 7 years, I'm a happy math teacher!

God has turned my "ho-hum" life into an amazing story. It may not seem that way when you read about it, but to live have a career where you were relatively unhappy for so long and then have God physically lead you to the place where you are extremely happy...that is an amazing story! Now I can't wait to get to school every day! I work on school stuff pretty much all the time. I have a true love for my students and my subject and really know that I am working where God wants me and I will make a difference for someone!

So there's the most recent part of my story. Remember, it's still being written! Hope you've enjoyed it and I'm sorry it's been so long! :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Story (Part 2)

I left teaching music to stay home and raise my boy. What a wonderful adventure this would be...but we ended up not being able to afford to live on one salary, so I went back to teaching music. I got an offer to teach Chorus at at large middle school in Rock Hill. I cried every night the two weeks before school knowing FOR SURE that middle schoolers were going to EAT ME ALIVE!

Sure enough, some major changes happened with elective classes the year I began teaching middle school and my classes were HUGE! I had 60 eighth grade students in one class and 60 eighth grade students in another class. Many of them didn't sign up for chorus, so their behavior was ridiculous. Anyway...that's a whole other story/post.

The important thing is that during that first year, I really fell in love with some middle school students and began to LOVE teaching this age group. I stayed at my school for three years, teaching chorus and general music. Then I found out I was expecting baby number 2.

This time I was going to stay home and make it work!!! That idea lasted for a very few months. I couldn't handle being at home all day every day with two babies...just needed adult interaction too badly, so I took a part time job at my church. I stayed in that job for two years, at which time I left (working at) the church to go work for a local real estate broker. Just working part time...doing odds and ends. A little bookkeeping, a little PR, a little errand running, etc. Well, guess what...I QUICKLY learned to D-E-T-E-S-T that job. I was miserable...more miserable than I think I had ever been in a job. There were so many reasons I was miserable, and I will not go into all of them, but please know that I'm not kidding I was miserable.

This point in my life/career is when God really got ahold of my heart and began working a miracle. I began to feel like I NEEDED, not wanted, but NEEDED to get back into the school district as a teacher. And although I love music and singing I really didn't care if I taught music or not. I have a certifcation in elementary education so I am a little more marketable than someone with just a music certification. God was working, not just in my heart, but in the hearts of others who would be instrumental in my getting back into education. This is where the story gets very interesting!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Story (Part 1)

Can you tell a story? Do you have a story to tell? I remember on one of the LOOOOOOOONNNNNGGGG trips from SC to my grandparents' home in Louisiana, I was telling my mom and brother about a movie I had mom interrupted my story and said "Robin, you're such a good story teller." That was all it took...I have "enhanced" every part of my life since that day with stories. I love to tell them...just ask my students. Sometimes they are very short and silly, and sometimes they are longer and more meaningful, just as the one I'm about to tell you. I won't keep you hanging any longer. Here's my story:

I was raised in a Christian home. I've known God since as long as I can remember. I remember that I publicly asked Jesus into my heart when I was six, but I knew LONG before then that He was the author of the way I wanted to live my life. No...I didn't use those words, because I was only six, but I knew Him and that I loved Him and He loved (loves) me and I wanted to live for Him. There were times throughout my life that I didn't do all the things God would have me do, and I didn't act the way God would have me act, but I ALWAYS knew God loved (loves) me and I have always come back to Him.

When people ask me (usually only at church and not very often) about my salvation I say something like "I don't really have an amazing, transforming story of my salvation because I've been a follower of Christ as long as I can remember." I know that in itself is a pretty fabulous story, but it doesn't make for a very intriguing story of salvation...if you are a Believer and have heard any amazing salvation stories, you know what I mean.

So, for most of my life...really until 2005, that was my story. God chose me before I was born, God provided an amazing family who are Believers who raised me to Believe. But in 2005, God did something in my life that was AMAZING to me and showed me, in real life, how much He loves me and how important I am to Him!

My father is a music professor...from a long line of musicians/teachers, and my mother is a math teacher, also from a long line of teachers. My mother is also musical...both sides of my family are well educated, musical, educators. My parents raised me to make my own decisions, including what I wanted to study in college and what I wanted to do for a living. I just happened to choose to study music (voice, particularly) and then He led me to teach music. Similar to my father, only I was not AT ALL interested in higher education to the extent required to teach on the college level. So I graduated from college with a pretty great foundation of music, voice, choir and choral music, and went to an elementary school. My first teaching job started in January of 1994 at a very small elementary school in the Northwest corner of Greenville County. In order for me to be a full-time employee of the school district, I actually had to teach music to two different schools, which is not uncommon for those who teach a fine art in elementary school.

I taught music in two elementary schools for 3.5 years. I was MISERABLE in my work. This was NOT what I had worked so hard to do...why did I have to drive to two different places almost every day, to be a babysitter for teachers who only got one 40 minute planning period, three (maybe four) times/week. Please keep in mind that the period of time I used to drive from one school to the next was considered my planning time. In the 3.5 years I taught elementary school, I had one school that was considered my "home base" but I taught at three other elementary schools, and never had a real classroom at any of those three schools. My classroom was mobile and it was on a cart...I rolled to each classroom on my cart and we did a really bad class. Did I tell you already that I was MISERABLE???

In order to help myself escape the misery, I volunteered to lead an area rehearsal once each week during the Spring for a children's choir that performed in a large concert toward the end of the year. I did this for 3 was somewhat of a relief, but still not able to do the really great choral music I learned while I was studying. But I did it anyway.

During these 3.5 years, I met and married my wonderful husband. He was GREAT! But he got really tired of hearing me complain about work....which I did a lot of because, if you don't already know, I WAS MISERABLE!!! The Spring after we married I went to him and said "Honey, I'm not sure what I'm gonna do, but I can't keep doing this. I'm miserable. I would rather answer the telephone for a doctor or attorney than to keep doing this!!!" He was extremely supportive and told me that he would do whatever he could to help me find a job I could tolerate, but that we couldn't afford for me to not work. During one of those after school, area rehearsals, I had the opportunity to talk to the district Fine Arts Director and just mentioned to him that I was planning to resign. I said that I had gotten stuck in the circle of elementary music, was no longer in the loop of the larger music world in my district and didn't have any idea if there was a high school job open. He asked me what it would take for me to stay, and I said "Get me a job in a high school, and then we'll talk." So he did...he contacted the principal of the high school with the Choral Director opening and set up the interview.

I got that job and didn't quit teaching. I taught at Berea High School for one school year and LOVED it! Greg had been transferred to the Charlotte area and was living in Rock Hill during the week (in a really bad rented room in a boarding house here) and coming back to Greenville on the weekends. It was really a great set up for us because I was able to devote as much after school time as needed to the choral program at the high school and didn't ever feel guilty about being away from home.

Then in January of 2008 we became pregnant with Caleb. I finished out the school year at Berea, but Greg's transfer to the Charlotte area was final and I resigned to move and to be a full-time mom. How exciting! God allowed me to have a wonderful year in the final year that I was going to teach...because now, as I had planned it, I would be home teaching the most important lessons I'd ever teach in my life!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring Break!!!

WOOOO HOOOOO!!!! We're on Spring Break this week. BOY, did we all need it. The kids were getting tired of each other, and the teachers...and the teachers were getting tired of the kids and of each other. Hahaha! I hope this will get us through the next seven weeks!

We really don't have too long left at all if you put it in perspective like this: We have about 3 weeks or a month until the PASS test then only three weeks until school's over after PASS. It seems so much shorter when I say it that way.

My own children have already been scheduled for at least two weeks of the summer, with my oldest planning a week of "Uncle Randy Camp" (learning to play guitar), Grandpa camp (spending a week with my f-i-l), and trying to plan a week of Aunt Becky camp (a week with my step-sister in Washington D.C.). He's gonna keep me in the road, I'm afraid.

My youngest is still too young for me to let her go for that many weeks...I know, I need to cut the apron strings, but she's still my baby. Ah well...there will be plenty of time for me to let her go later! ;-)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Big Move

Well, it's time for contracts to come out and be signed. I have LOVED teaching at my school this year. So I was a bit upset today, when many other teachers in my building received an email saying "your contract is ready to be signed" and I didn't. Never fear...I did not lose my job, which is especially fantastic considering all the cuts school districts are experiencing right now. But my principal did call me in and tell me that I'm being moved from 7th grade to 6th grade.

I'm not super happy about it, but I will make the best of the situation and I feel sure that I will learn to love 6th graders just as much as I love 7th graders.

Please just keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I prepare for this change and move my classroom. That part is REALLY bothering me! :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Shanny...

A while back I posted that I was going to have a full time student intern this semester. I shared some of my concerns about teaching her how to be a teacher, and my concern that she might not learn the good stuff from me.

Well, I've had her in my classroom now for about 2 months. Her name is Shannon and I like to call her Shanny...and you should be able to guess since I have a nickname for her that I like her. She's a great teacher! Shanny walked into my classroom and right into the hearts of my students (and my heart, for that matter). She quickly developed an easy relationship with most of my students, and experienced some of the same types of struggles that I experienced at the beginning of the year with these students.

Pretty quickly after Shannon started coming to my class, we planned what she would be teaching and when she'd begin and stop teaching. She will still be with me for three more weeks, four weeks if you figure that Spring Break comes while she's still with me, and I'm so excited to have seen her grow this semester. I know that I've been able to help her with some things that she has needed help with, but I've also learned from her. It's been more like a partnership of teachers than a mentor/mentee relationship. She's just great.

About three weeks ago Shanny said "I'm going to be so bored after I finish here." I promptly told her that I wasn't discussing that yet and that I want her to be able to get a job in my school. In all seriousness, I will be kind of bored when she finishes too. She has been great at making me see the good in my students at a time of the year when I begin to only see the bad in them. She also has a great since of humor that keeps me laughing! My students will miss her of them proposed to her about 3 weeks into her internship. He's in seventh grade, remember! So anyway, if you read this blog, and you know of any open positions for really great middle school math or language arts teachers, please let me know. I know a really great middle school teacher who is certified in math and language arts and is looking for a job! :)

Shannon and her dog, Hank

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring has SPRUNG

If you've taught for more than one year you know exactly what I mean when I tell you that my students are acting foolish because Spring has begun! It's kind of like coming to school when there's a full moon go because you have to and you are getting paid to be there, but you really don't look forward to the foolishness you are about to encounter!

The "Happy Thought" is that there are only 3 more weeks of school before Spring Break starts, which we are all looking forward to. Please don't misunderstand me...I LOVE teaching and LOVE my students but we've all gotten to the point where we need a break from each other.

Let me brag on my students for a little bit here...we have had MAP testing this week. I love MAP testing for a couple of reasons...1) it's computerized so the kids don't have to spend hours bubbling, and 2) students have immediate feedback about how well they've done as their score pops onto the screen when they complete the test. I gave my students a sticky note with their fall score written on it and prior to the test I had given them all a pep talk about doing their absolute best on the test.

Well, I haven't done the math so the figures I'm about to spout are estimates, but my students kicked booty on these tests this week! My estimate is that around 80% of my students showed gains from fall to spring. Somewhere between 15 and 20 of my students had gains greater than 10 points (generally when a student has a "BIG" gain, it's about 5 points or so). And finally I had one child gain 20 POINTS!!!! Yes...I'm shouting! This child worked SO hard on this test and it really paid off!

Lots of people at my school have said things like "well, they gained so much because you've taught them so well" but I don't see it that way. My teammates and I talked to several of our students who showed significant gains. We asked them what made the difference for them...why they scored so much higher this spring, etc. A majority said "because my teachers care about me." How FANTASTIC is that? We care, and they know we care, and because we care and they know, they work harder! I'm really excited about this!!!!

So, if you have any opportunity to lift up a student, show them that you care, please do it. They notice...they may not act like they notice or care, but they do and they work harder!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Poker's Over

Thank God!!! It was stressful. I'm not really sure that my students learned what I wanted them to learn by playing Poker. The other teacher who did this same lesson said the same thing..."Do you think the kids wanted to do the math that went along with the poker game? SHOOT NO!" I had the same experience, so we finished that and put the cards away. But I did take some photos of the kids playing and thought I'd post them for your viewing pleasure! :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Probability and Poker

My friend, and the math dept. chair at my school found a great lesson in the New York Times on teaching probability using the game of poker. She shared it with me and I loved it! the the dollar store I went to purchase cards. Forget about the fact that I don't play poker and really don't have a clue on how to do so.

I printed the lesson for my intern and myself, then printed the article that goes with the lesson (a classroom set) so that my students could read it. Then also printed a classroom set of General Poker Rules so we could all go over them together.

On Thursday each student had a deck of cards and we discussed the number of the following in the deck:
face cards
number cards
high cards
low cards
red cards
black cards

Then I had them shuffle their decks and deal three hands of five cards. We did some pretty cool figurin' on probability based on what they dealt. It was very fun.

Yesterday we went through the article and talked about reasons Poker is a good learning tool, so that when they had the discussion with their parents about what they are doing in math, they would actually be able to say that I am not teaching them to gamble.

Yesterday we also had a few house-keeping things to do before we started on that, and because none of my students work at the same rate, classes as a whole were cut to about 20 minutes (tops). So during my last two class periods I showed them a great card trick my dad taught me...spent some time fooling them all...then taught them the trick. I know...I know...that is not necessarily in the curriculum, however I do have a theory about just having fun in my classroom. There are very few teachers who would take 10-20 minutes to show them a card trick...but you see, what I'm doing when I have fun with my students, is building relationships. Each time I let my "teacher" persona take a rest, they realize they can trust me and it helps them realize that they truly have an advocate in me. might semi-backfire every once in a while, so that my students think they can get away with stuff, but all it takes to bring that back in is for me to have a conversation with that particular student about the right time to get to work and the right time to have fun, and the problem is over.

Anyway, if anyone would like to give me hints on how to play Poker, I'm certainly open. I really think I should understand a little of it before I really use it as a teaching tool.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I am sitting in the comfort of my house enjoying watching a light snow fall. It's so beautiful...check out the photos at the end of this post. The kids went out first thing this morning, making snow angels and trying to throw snowballs at each other. The snow is so powdery that we can't get it to stick together.

The other amazing thing about today is that I am watching Barack Obama's inauguration on T.V. My dad and step-mom are IN Washington, D.C. with my step-sister. I got a text from my dad about an hour ago...he's roughly 100 feet from the Washington monument, watching the festivities on jumbotron. I wonder if they are planning to go to the South Carolina Inaugural Ball??? They haven't said...maybe I'll get another text!

Isn't this amazing? I am so proud to be an American today. The simple fact that our country has elected an African American is amazing. We are definitely blessed.

Enjoy your snow day!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Back in the day when I was in college, when it was time for us to go into a classroom for our last semester of college and teach, we were called student teachers. Well, things have seriously changed and now those people are called interns. And guess what...I have one this semester! I've never had an intern...she's my first (she was the first intern for her mentor teacher last semester too!). She is going to be good...I can already tell! She has brought her planner everyday that she's been with me, so that's a great sign that she's organized.

I am filled with excitement about this adventure, but I'm also a little scared. I love teaching, and I know that I do a good job, however I'm not the most organized teacher on the planet (please insert extreme sarcasm here...I'm incredibly NOT organized). I am partially responsible for this young lady learning how to teach middle school math, and also partially responsible for her learning to love it. What if I totally screw it up for her! I don't want her to learn everything NOT to do from me.

So...part of my attitude now is to get my poop in a group and be sure I show my intern how wonderful this "job" can be! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Half Done

The last day of the first semester is tomorrow. We are giving semester exams to our students this week, and my team will have their math exam tomorrow. This is very nerve wracking for me and the kids! They are nervous that they are going to bomb the exam and I am nervous that they will not remember what I've taught them this year!

They've already had their Language Arts exam, and we had some who have had the nerve to say things like "I got bored and just filled in bubbles!" With that kind of attitude, how can we expect them to do well?

We've had a lot of interruptions and problems this week, especially today. I've had three students cry to me already today, and my teammates (as well as myself) are feeling frustrated too, so sensitive students and frustrated teachers are not always a great combination. We have a teacher workday on Friday and a holiday on Monday...both of these are much needed breaks!!!

So when we come back on Tuesday we are starting a new semester...we're halfway done with this school year. This is shocking to some ways, it seems like I just met this group of kids, but in other ways, it seems like I've been teaching for three years with this particular group of kids. I'm trying to come up with a really good, fun, "let's start again" activity for them to do on Tuesday. I am thinking about having them write a "goal letter." When they do this, they pretend they are at the end of the school year, and write reasons why "this has been the best school year ever." This activity always gives kids a little focus and something to work for.

I'm open to suggestions if anyone has a suggestion...we all need a fresh, clean start, don't you agree???

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy New Year!

We're back in school now, having started on Monday, Jan. 5, 2009. I can't believe I'm writing the date 2009! I remember when I thought I'd be old in the year 2000 and here I am almost 10 years past I really getting old?

In previous years in my school district we have finished the first semester with the last day of school before Christmas break. Well, last year and this year we have started school later, thus moving our semester end about two weeks after returning from Christmas break. This is very frustrating to me! I need schedules to make sense, and this just doesn't make sense to me.

Also, in previous years, the students who took semester exams at the middle school level were either in 8th grade or taking the Algebra I class. This year we are going to give exams to ALL middle school students....6th graders will take 9 weeks exams, and 7th graders will take semester exams. We will begin giving the semester exams next semester, but we (teachers) thought for a few days that we were going to give semester exams by next Thursday, so this has been a super crazy week. My team has decided to go ahead and give a semester test, but only count it as a test. SO...I will be working tonight and tomorrow to create a study guide for my precious kids to use over the next few days in preparation for the big semester test.

I really want to make a difference for these kids...I would feel this way, regardless of where I was teaching. Please say a little prayer that I will give a fair test and my students will be prepared to take the test.