So, I missed an ENTIRE week of school, due to the MAJOR Blizzard the entire Northeast coast received- reeking havoc on DC, Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, Pennsylvania, New York, and so on. Most workers from the Federal Government were off as well! DC was called a “ghost town” on a CNN News Broadcast this week, which is pretty accurate!
I’m not gonna lie,… I was fairly pleased with the shut down of school, mainly because January was my busiest month of the year, and a break was warmly received What I was/am not excited about, is the very fact that my 6th grade boys (whom I only have 8 weeks of the school year) missed an entire week of art AND preparation for their final this coming week…meaning I’ll have to revise the final, and try to cram what I can into actually ONE DAY of teaching-… here’s why:
Monday is President’s Day, Tuesday they have a mentor group called Best Men come in (which I am all for, but not always excited that they come during Specials time every other week…), Wednesday is a LAB DAY for a Stanford Math program that has been implemented school-wide twice a week (again, I’m all for it, but not always excited that it happens during Specials time…twice a week), Thursday is our ONE DAY of reviewing and finishing their final project, and Friday, they test and we say goodbye! Phew- craziness. We’ll make the most of it! This is probably my main negative point for the snow, but what I’d rather share are…
Some other positives about the major snowfall:
1. I was able to really think through some planning for the rest of the year, and have had time to revise and make smARTer plans than my originals hehe …you like that play on words? This will undoubtedly benefit students.
2. I was able to just hang out with my roomies, and feel like a real person again…I watched TV!! Can you believe it? It is rare for me, those who know me…Don’t worry though, I stay connected with what’s happening in the world via the internet- CNN (to the horror of my Father, sorry it’s not Fox…), TED, npr, and the like.
3. I had time to do some more art, and read about different European art movements that I previously had a background knowledge base of slim to none…PS: Filling the well is important for artists- especially if you’re teaching it and never have time to just play around and study for your own curiosity anymore!!!! MAKE TIME ARTIST/TEACHERS!!!
4. I was just pleased by the sheer coincidence ( I thought ), that DC and NYC- two cities that ‘never sleep’ or stop for anything other than their ‘agendas,’ were literally SHUT DOWN by the snow. haha, and people were forced to stay inside and actually spend quality (I hope it was quality…) time with their families and loved ones! SUPER important.
I think the snow proved that…
Sometimes we need to be reminded that we’re not in control really… ever, and point blank: relationships are waaaaaay more important than anything else. ANYTHING. Test scores, making AYP, etc.
You may be thinking, “did a TFA teacher just say that?,” and Yes, yes I did.
Relationships- Quality, life-giving relationships are what it comes down to. I say, start THERE with your staff and students, and then work like hell and pray that those test scores go up, and your school makes AYP. Relationships should be the FIRST investment of your time in your community and your school.
Of course, this is all my opinion, based off my personal experience. You decide what you want to take with you in the end though. I want to know, did I love well? I hope so.