contact us

Want to hear more? Having trouble accessing something on our site? Have a comment? Let us know!



First Year, Nineteenth Week: Teaching Edition

Tabitha Helms

Report cards were printed out and finished up this week. It was pointed out that I forgot to write comments. There's so many different things to remember on our grading system; it's nuts! Last quarter, the comments section was what I spent the most time on--trying to think of the "sandwich" technique: begin with something good, put in the area to work on, and end with another something good. I reread, edited, reread, edited, etc. Now I had to scribble down some notes last minute by hand and then type it in to the grading system so it will print out next time. Thankfully I had time to do it. It was also awards chapel this week. This is the second one we've had, and again the principal was not able to be there. I think that fact has led to the lack of details planned out for it. It was semester awards so in addition to our normal, quarterly teacher awards, there were also perfect attendance, honor roll, and GPA awards. This made it extremely long. The first time we had an awards chapel, we talked about kindergarten leaving at 9:30am if it was still going because that was their snack time and because their awards go first in the ceremony, it's an awful long time for them to sit. There was no mention of us leaving early this time though, at 9:30am, we were only at 3rd grade awards; we still had to get all the way to 8th grade. The two kinder classes sit on opposite sides of the room. I tried to make eye contact with the teacher, to no avail. Finally at 10:00 I saw them get up to leave. I hadn't talked to my class about this so only half of them were paying attention when I whispered for them to get up and follow me out--a different way than we usually go so as not to walk in front of the whole sanctuary.

The awards themselves went well, though I had one parent there whose child wasn't receiving an award because she had put the awards flyers in her son's folder when she was helping in my class, but I had gone back and removed it after finding out that this awards ceremony was supposed to be for academics. I had wondered to myself if that would happen with her, but thought she would ask me about it when her son didn't come home with it. I should have told her.

This week I taught my kids a song I learned when I was in elementary school. I remember it from church, and I remember teaching it to my classmates in 2nd grade. I also remember my 2nd grade teacher asking me when I was older to come teach it to her new class. So I've had lots of experience teaching this song! I even managed to find a version online to play while they did their work in Bible this week. They were singing it all week.

The rest of the week was fairly uneventful. My kids are getting better at their addition flashcards. I submitted my intent to return next year. That doesn't mean I will be offered anything, they just asked if I would like to come back or have other plans. There was a spot to write if you want to change grades or not and why. I was able to put that I plan to complete my clear credential program next year so staying in the familiar of kindergarten would be helpful to me.

I was able to have a good phone date with my best friend on Friday. I got in my usual lunch break walk around the parking lot while we caught up. I started feeling feverish at that time. I had taken my temperature that morning because I woke up feeling a little off. I was anxious the night before though so when I didn't have a temperature, I figured that's all it was. I took some ibuprofin and it had worn off by lunchtime. I made it through math and rest time before I became convinced that I had a fever. I can never tell if I have a fever because my hands were always cold. But I felt like my face was on fire. I sent the kindergartners off to computers and sat in the office with my iPod. My head was pounding, but the school day was almost over and I figured I would just run home as soon as it was over. I didn't get any prep done during computer class, so when the kids returned, I set them down with a movie and lollipops to appease them of their loss of center time since I wasn't feeling well enough to supervise that craziness. They promised to be extra quiet and extra good. That lasted about 20 minutes. I had to give them a couple reminders, and put their heads down once. But we suffered through the end of the day. I thought I was going to fall over when I stood outside at pick-up. Those 15 minutes feel like the longest minutes of your life when you are sick. My whole body was aching. I raced back to class and threw next week's papers onto the correct shelves just in case my sickness lasted through Monday and I needed a sub--everything would need to be where it belonged.

I got home at 3:30 and crashed after discovering I had a 100.4 degree fever. I couldn't fall asleep, so I just twisted and turned in discomfort. My face was on fire, but the rest of me was shaking. I was so frustrated. I just had a fever last month; I really have to have another one?? I did know it was going around my class, but I was mad to have caught it anyway. I stayed in bed and put off taking ibuprofin until 8pm for headache relief so I could sleep. I woke up at 1:30am and my fever was gone.

It's Sunday now and my fever has yet to return. However, now I am plagued with a stomach virus. It never ends. Just when I finally was back to a normal, healthy weight, I have slipped too low again. My body is still sore and stiff, the headaches still pound, my stomach growls that it's hungry and then again that I shouldn't have eaten. Misery. It's 2:30pm, and I wonder if I'll have enough energy to teach tomorrow, if I should just plug through or if I should be safe rather than sorry. The only consolation is that there are only 17 more weeks in this school year. Soon my immune system will have 3 summer months in which to recover and return again immune to almost everything. I fear that when I become a mother someday I will have to face this battle once again--coming down with everything they are coming down with.

Today I'm having a Peter Pan day. Finding Neverland, Hook, Peter Pan, and Disney's Peter Pan. After which I plan to listen to the audiobook as I have never read the actual story of Peter Pan. Yes, I am having a pity party that I'm an adult in a career that is making me miserably sick over and over again. So what? Pity parties are allowed when you're sick.