This week went really well. Monday was the last day of break, so we saw all the staff returning that hadn't made it back yet. Tim and I spent most of the day at the school lesson planning and preparing for the new semester to begin. It is always a bit overwhelming to consider the huge responsibility we have of educating kids and also how time consuming it is going to be to fulfill that responsibility. On the other hand, it is always exciting to have a fresh straight. None of the students are behind. We don't have any grading to do. Policies can be changed or adjusted. Expectations are reset. I always have loved that about starting new semesters.
Tuesday was an official workday. We all had to work, but we didn't have students. I definitely accomplished more on Monday than Tuesday. On Tuesday all the rest of the staff was there and I just wanted to chat with them and find out how their breaks were. I managed to focus enough to get my work finished though. Tuesday was also the day that our heat finally got fixed. When we woke up on Tuesday morning, our room was 46 degrees. It was day 5 of our heater being broken. In those 5 days the outside temperature had ranged from -30 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Needless to say, we were grateful when our principal told us there were two men on a plane headed to Togiak to fix our heater.
Wednesday was the first day of our new semester. It was a pretty uneventful week from there on out. Unfortunately our attendance was very poor. I have to brace myself. I know that about 50% of my class is starting out behind because they missed the first 3 days of the semester. This is likely going to cause them to have poor attitudes toward class which will negatively affect my class as a whole. Unfortunately, there's not much I can do but move forward with those students who are showing the initiative to come. I just hope all of those absent students decide that they want to come to school on Monday and have perfect attendance from here on out. (I know that's a lofty hope.)
One of Tim's classes changed this semester. He is now teaching computer applications instead of US history. He now teaches 8th grade history, 7th grade history, computer applications, Alaska History, Civics, and Weight Training. I got new students in half my classes and changed a PE class to a health class. I am very spoiled when it comes to my schedule. I don't think any other teacher in our district has as nice of a schedule as I do: Health, PE, Biology, Biology, Biology, and Health. I'm going to enjoy it while I can.
This weekend was uneventful and relaxing. I spent most the day at home. I told myself that the housework was coming before schoolwork. I haven't been brave enough to do that for a long time. My house ended up getting clean and I only worked on lesson plans and grading for an hour or two.
Saturday evening we invited our neighbor, Mike, up for dinner. I made potato soup. Then we headed to Heather's house to play the new game we got for Christmas: Qwirkle. I would describe it as a shape and color version of scrabble. The rules are simple and straightforward which I'm excited about. It's nice for those learning new games when the rules are simple. However, it is still a challenging game. Thanks Marshall and Jani for the great gift.