Feliz Navidad

It's hard to believe that I will not be going into work for the next 12 days. Hard to believe I don't have to wake up at 6 in the morning (okay, 6:30). Hard to believe I don't have to stress out with test prep and figuring out how to deal with Maverick, Lil Miss Breakdown and the rest of my cast of characters.

Last year, winter vacation was vital. I would not have survived the year without it. I came back from my time in California re-energized and with a renewed sense of purpose. Things started to come together, and while far from ideal, I held it together from break to break, until June came around.

This year I didn't need vacation as badly. But, I need it all the same. I'm excited for the relaxation and I'm excited to get back in the classroom with some extra energy.

While this isn't technically the halfway point of the year, psychologically it is. The second week after we get back is the NYS ELA test. That's a major milestone. In February we have another week off. Then the math exam in March, another break in April... Before we know it, it's June.

More than anything, I'm looking forward to putting the tests behind me. They've plagued me this year in a way I didn't think was possible. The other day I looked over some goals I had written down for this school year. Go on regular field trips. Bring in guest speakers. Teach my students all 50 states and their capitals. While testing in no way precludes me from carrying these out, it's drain cannot be understated. That said, I intend to achieve all of the goals I set for myself. I hope the next 12 days will give me some of the energy I need to do so.


Hugh O'Donnell said…
Yo Ruben, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Belated Channukah!

Keep on keeping on!
Hugh O'Donnell said…
Hey Ruben, Feliz Navidad to you and yours!
dmac said…
Test prep has been partly numbing, as you describe in an earlier post, but I don't find it mind-numbing enough that I turn off. I find it harder because in the space of a day I'm supposed to introduce my kids to historical fiction and make them experts in the kinds of questions the tests ask by the end of that lesson. Meanwhile they're all ELLs and I need to adjust the teaching points so I can actually teach them the language and not just content of these damn tests.

I definitely feel the way you feel -- not in control of what I'm teaching and much less inspired. I feel like these tests are not made to help my students in any way and it's robbing them of true, meaningful assessments. I'm hoping that once I've had a few more years under my belt being able to create concurrent assessments that are more meaty will seem more tangible. I feel reliant on what the admin at my school dishes out to an extent.
Zoemonster said…
Happy New Year. Just wanted you to know that I have read yr blog for a year--or so-- and really enjoy it. Hope the new year brings oodles of entries!

Best, Syb

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