Monday, October 22, 2007

Pleasant Surprise

Puerto Vallarta, 2007

After entering my posts yesterday, I was overtaken by a tsunami of depression. It’s appearance was an unpleasant surprise that I did not see coming. What brought on this deluge? Lesson plans and papers to grade? Yes, but also my perusal of our benchmark assessment results. Believe me, I love what I do, I just wish that changes, interruptions, and asinine demands weren’t so frequent. Then, perhaps I would have the appropriate energy level for the things that are necessary like grading, planning, and teaching. Add to this the smoke-filled skies all over southern California, and it’s easy to see why I was blue.

My mood was on the upswing when I was pleasantly surprised by my students’ effort in class today. After a review (complete with graphs) of how we did on the first benchmark assessment and an outline of how what we would be doing the rest of the week, there was plenty of participation in our examination of how the plot was influenced by the setting in “The Fun They Had”, by Isaac Asimov. It was not that this was a fun story. We now had more than a purpose for reading – We had a goal!

Later in the day, I made a discovery that changed my mood again. I thought the benchmark sub-committee meeting I agreed to cover for a colleague was occurring during school hours tomorrow. I put in for my sub weeks ago, went over expected behavior with my students today, and stayed late putting everything in place for her. Just as I was confirming the location of the meeting, I discovered that it convenes after school hours. How could I have made such a mistake? Needless to say, I cancelled the sub. It’s hard justify being out on school business when there is none being conducted.

Tonight, as I think of my students’ reaction to the prospect of a sub, I wonder if my appearance at school will be a pleasant surprise for them.

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