The trouble with Christmas Break …

… is those first days back at school. Ouch!

Wish it was only the students with eyes at half-mast and brains on auto-pilot.

And don’t even mention getting back to the gym!

My New Year’s resolutions this year do not involve food, but rather being faithful to keep up with social media. For a too-busy hermit, this is a challenge! πŸ™‚


6 thoughts on “The trouble with Christmas Break …

  1. Robin Helm

    Welcome back, Laura. I hope you enjoyed your vacation. Think of this as the second half of the school year. You’ll have a long vacation in a few months.


  2. Laura Hile Post author

    Hiya, Robin. My trip on the train involved reading — my own books (eh, I forgot some parts and needed a refresher!) — and looking out the window in a catatonic state. Pathetic, like a prisoner who’s being transported from one facility to another, desperate for open vistas of sky and sea!

    I am working on setting the spinning plates in motion. This year I’m determined to stay caught up not only with blogging, but also with Facebook and Twitter. Using those little minutes, like I tell my students.


  3. Gayle Mills

    I didn’t have to make a New Year’s resolution. My school district made it for me. Starting January 17, all of our lesson plans have to be uploaded to a program called Curriculator. Even the name sounds painful. Since I have five lesson preps for the six classes I teach, I know how every extra minute of my school day will be spent. And I won’t really be able to use the Curriculum Maps that I prepared last year because Obama’s education department has issued new federal standards for math. It’s a whole new world.

    It makes we want to go crawl into bed and pull the covers up over my head.

    I would do that if I didn’t have a house payment and utility payments. And then there’s that pesky little matter of buying groceries. And I’m still paying for the remodeling that I did last summer. And….



    1. Laura Hile Post author

      Sounds like my friend in Grand Rapids who, though an experienced teacher (the kind who builds excellent rapport with students), was new in the district. She was hired to teach remedial high school, and she was making good progress until the state legislature demanded that all students, regardless of ability, must complete Algebra I and Ii before graduation. Furthermore, every math class was to keep pace with a mandated schedule, right down to page number so-and-so on such-and-such a date.. Some of these students could barely read! Consumer math was a struggle!

      She has since moved on (violent conditions in her school were too frightening), and Grand Rapids lost a skilled teacher.

      I’m sorry for the new and constrictive yoke you must wear, Gayle. The assumption is that all classes are the same … and that you don’t know how to do your job. I’ve got to love the moniker, though. Curriculator.


      1. Gayle Mills

        The really good part of this is that our district could afford to buy this program. After all, we are using math textbooks that are so old, some of them no longer have a vacant spot to write another student name and number on the inside front cover. Some of my geometry books have been issued 12 times. I keep a roll of wide clear tape to reattach the bindings when the covers fall off. We have no money for books. We have money for a lesson plan program?

        And I fully understand your friend’s dilemma. Our state also mandates that a student must pass Algebra I to graduate. We divide it into Algebra Part 1 and Algebra Part 2 (counts as two units). We even give an end of course test (not that the score makes any difference). So, students who would have been in a general math course are now dropping out of school at 17 because they have never been able to pass both parts of Algebra 1. Some of them just can’t.

        So, every day I go into my classroom and do the very best that I can for the students I teach. It’s all I can do. And I really get discouraged when the system tries to make it even harder for me to do my job.

        OK, off the soapbox. Back to more cheerful topics. How was your vacation? Did you enjoy the train ride? It all sounds so romantic — riding the train, watching the world pass by your window, seeing the landscape change from snow to palm trees. I hope it was as nice as I’ve imagined it.



  4. Robin Helm

    The hardest part of my school day today was trying to teach a dance routine choreographed with a cane to 18 fifth graders. We were singing “Nothing Could Be Finer Than to Be in Carolina in the Morning.” Fun, but I’m pathetically sore now.



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