I almost threw up my hands and quit today. I am feeling so overwhelmed, and then the way this week is shaping up, it's just about pushing me over the edge.
Report cards are upon us again, so that means lots of last minute testing and long nights of marking, tallying, and totalling. This is the last week before Spring Break, and so the pressure's on. All this week, the kids are polishing and performing their routines, taking quizzes, and handing in projects. It's do or die time, with no room for error because there's no time left for extensions or excuses.
So, in I walk to my class on Monday, ready for a full day of testing all my classes. I didn't even get through the first period before the principal called me: "Hillary, I'm sorry, I'm going to have to take you out of your classes today to cover Mrs K's grade two class. The district is out of subs again."
The school board has a ridiculous shortage of teachers-on-call (substitutes). At least twice a week at my school alone somebody calls in for a sub and there ends up being nobody assigned. They end up using a special ed, resource, or English as a second language teacher to cover the class, which means that the kids who need the most support don't get it for that day. Or, they pull a specialty teacher (me) out of their classes for the day, which means the kids miss out on their music class and the classroom teacher misses their prep time for that week. It's not a good scene.
So I got yanked out of my classes Monday, which means, guess what? No tests. No tests equal no marks. Kinda hard to write report cards with no (or very few) marks. Luckily the classroom teachers were able to give the written part of the tests during the time they were supposed to have music, but the playing part of the tests had to go down the tube.
Fast forward to today. I had one more class first period that had to do their test. They were supposed to take the written part of it last week with the substitute when I was away, but - SURPRISE! - they ran out of subs that day, too, so my music classes got cancelled. I was going to cram the two parts into today's class, but just as the kids were settling in, the announcement came over the PA: "Would all grade 4, 5, and 6 classes now please make their way down to the gym for the electrical safety assembly." Wheee. Guess what grade my class was??? Somehow I had missed today's assembly in the staff calendar. Whoopie. No marks for them, either.
At recess, I asked two of the grade seven teachers to please remind their kids to bring all their props/instruments for their performances tomorrow. The kids have been working for about six weeks on a Stomp routine, and this week is performance week. My request was met with the announcement that a whole swack of kids would be away the morning of their performances to go watch the BC Boys Basketball Championships. Super. Just when are they going to perform? And how am I supposed to mark them? If they miss the performance, the last 6 weeks has just been a big waste of time. After some crazy fanangling, we were able to swap some kids around and shuffle others to a different day, and I THINK it's going to work, but wow, is it ever frustrating to have every single attemptat evaluationg my kids thwarted in some way thios week. (Not to mention that I'm sure feeling low on everybody's list of priorities!)
Add to that some extrememely wingy kids (they're just as ready for Spring Break as I am) and a kindergarten girl who had a temper tantrum and ran away not once but twice in one fourty minute period, and you see why this post is waaay longer than I intended it to be.
Two and a half more days... two and a half more days... two and a half more days...