Good Day, Not-So-Good Day

Self-Reflection for January 3 and 4

Yesterday was awesome. Classes were fun and/or interesting, students did their homework and were alert, and even my chatty ninth-graders were attentive. We did labs in science, "A Modest Proposal" in English, a "round table discussion" on the class essay in comp, and "Richard Cory" in English 9. Life was good. I was a happy teacher lady.

Things went well because (1) I was prepared and (2) the majority of my students actually did their homework and were thus able to participate in class discussions. I was also rested, which helps a lot.

Today was different--not a bad day, but definitely a ... not-so-good day.

Part of the reason is this: After school yesterday, I met my trainer (a Christmas present) and worked out. Then I showered, got re-dressed in my school clothes, and headed over to the library. Spent a half-hour doing some school-related work and looking for a poem to read for the poetry group. Then, poetry started at 6:00. We usually finish around 8:30, but I left at 8:00 because I was exhausted and still had a lot of work to do.

Came home. Hubster had dinner ready for me (he is a saint), so I sat and ate while we talked about our respective days (gotta love quality time). By the time 8:45 rolled around, I was ready to get to work.

Sort of. I stared bleary-eyed at the science lesson for today, and none of it computed. I stared bleary-eyed at my preliminary notes for my "Welcome to the 18th Century" lecture for English lit, and none of it computed. I stared blearily at the grammar material for ninth-grade and tried in vain to formulate a lesson plan, but I was pooped. Couldn't keep my eyes open.

Fast-forward to 2:30 a.m. I'm in bed. I still haven't fallen asleep yet.

How is it possible to be so exhausted, yet still not be able to sleep?

Anyway, as you've probably guessed by now, I was a zombie at school today. My kids seemed tired, too, and I wondered, "Are they really tired, or is my tired attitude affecting them?"

Not a good day. Science was merely okay. One of my English Lit classes didn't happen because more than half the small class was out with some respiratory thing that's going around. Comp was okay, but the students seemed distracted and not particularly interested in thinking about revisions. Ninth grade English wasn't bad, but it wasn't particularly good, either. Just kind of blah.

My over-full schedule (workout and poetry after school) made me unable to prepare adequately for school. I probably couldn't sleep because I was so revved up from such a busy day. I need to give myself more time to relax after school, and I need to get to bed earlier. Too often, I'll be tired at 9:00 but will stay up until 11:00 or 11:30. When I get tired, I just need to go to bed. I'd much rather wake up early and work than stay up late to work.

I'm still exhausted, but I have to do the following tonight:

1. Plan tomorrow's quiz review for science. I was going to get materials for another lab, but I don't have the energy.

2. Grade English Lit homework and classwork. Look over Pope's Essay on Criticism and lesson plan (I've already written the lesson plan, so it'll just be review).

3. Put together something for comp tomorrow. We're going to discuss research-related things for the next week and a half, and tomorrow's topic involves the difference between quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. I've found some paraphrasing exercises at Purdue's Online Writing Lab that I think will be helpful.

4. Revise the study guide for my freshmen. They were supposed to have a test before Christmas, but snow days got in the way. So their test is Friday and will include a couple of things we did this week.

Those are the urgent, must-be-done-before-morning tasks. I have a few other things I need to do as well, but they can wait until tomorrow.

Did I say I was going to fit in 30 minutes of piano each day? When did I say that?

Maybe I'll go practice now. Thirty minutes can't hurt.

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