Friday, August 17, 2007

Busy Week, Nice Surprise

It's been a busy week, as is always the case in the days leading up to the beginning of a school year. We had district (conference) meetings Wednesday and Thursday that were filled with quite a bit of anxiety, as our superintendent decided that we all needed to have refresher courses in math and grammar. Now, being an English teacher, the grammar wasn't such a big deal to me, although we had to diagram sentences (which I have never had to do, believe it or not). But the math...oh, boy, did that cause me a LOT of stress! It was "only" 8th grade math, but...when you've not had math since 10th grade, and that was more than a few decades ago, well, let's just say that I was on edge for hours leading up to the "test" given at the end of the two sessions.

Happily, I can report that I did not fail the test. But there were a couple of questions I was blanker than blank on. The fun thing is that our teacher, a college professor, was a former student of mine (I won't say how long ago...). I am pleased to say he is an excellent teacher, and I enjoyed learning from him. Except it was math... And wouldn't you know, we spent hours on diagramming sentences, but ran out of time for that I wouldn't have had to hang my head about...

We also had a session about blood-borne pathogens with a test at the end, which I aced =) So, school has started for me. I'm just glad I don't have to take any more tests!

Today, we had our first full staff meeting. We watched an excellent video, Good Morning, Miss Tolliver, about a middle grades math teacher from East Harlem. Quite inspiring. But...math again!!! No, really. If you're a teacher of any age and on any level, it's worth finding and watching. It got our staff all fired up for the new school year.

I'm encouraged by the interest in our school this year. Enrollment is up, our spirits are high, our courage is strong. I am optimistic about the days and weeks and months ahead. That's a good place to be.

I've been putting in looooong hours, though, so it was a nice surprise to come home, turn on my computer, and discover that my long-time friend Patty had awarded me with the "Nice Matters" Award. It truly is nice to know so many interesting and creative people out there in blog land. Patty and I go back long before blogging was invented, but I do enjoy connecting with her on a daily basis...something that our geographic distance would not allow without the magic of the internet.

In tracking back to other blogs giving and receiving this award, I read that you are supposed to recognize 7 blogs that you consider to be "nice," but I would have to say that all my blogging friends have nice and interesting blogs, so check them out! You will be inspired by beautiful pictures and meaningful words at each stop.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

I always wondered why you never taught us sentence diagramming. Now I know!