Sunday, June 12, 2011

Good Bye Spring, Hello Summer

It has been weeks since I posted anything except pictures. Seriously, these past couple of weeks I’ve hardly had a chance to breathe! Work has been absolutely crazy and finally, finally it is ending. Don’t get me wrong. I love my job but there are certain times during the year that are more mentally, emotionally, and physically draining than others. Ok, so maybe being a teacher isn’t as physically exhausting as manual labor. But for some reason during this time of year my body feels like I’m running a daily marathon.

The last two weeks I have had only one thing on my mind. End of course tests. To a teacher, those words bring out a slew of emotions. Nervousness, anger, frustration, excitement, failure, accomplishment. I start thinking about, personal growth, student growth, projected percentile, percent proficient, remediation, retest, my hair falling out. Oh I’m not kidding about that last part. I lose a heck of a lot more hair during testing time.

I wouldn’t say one school is worse than another. Every school has its own obstacles that teachers have to overcome. Teachers at private schools and elite public school have to deal with helicopter parents. Helicopter parents are those that hover over their children to the point of suffocation. Often parents at those schools raise hell if their child gets less than an A. And often times, of course, it’s never the kids fault.

We’ve all seen extreme examples of inner city schools so there is no reason to elaborate on it.

What about schools in rural areas? I’m talking about back woods, nothing but farmland as far as you can see, rural areas. This was my first experience and wow. Those kids………have very little. Little money, little spoken English in the home, little food, and little to no parental involvement. I can’t reach about 1/3 of my kids through a phone because they have no permanent address.

Now how do I make a kid who doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from care about physical science? I honestly don’t know. The only thing I can do is come in everyday showing passion for what I do. And I’m hard on them. I don’t want excuses. I want them to take action, some sort of initiative in their education.

A lot of my kids don’t have the internet but maybe one day they will stumble across this post. If they do, always remember you ARE somebody, you CAN do something, and MRS. CAVANAUGH IS PROUD OF YOU!

The state had a lot of my kids predicted to score between the 11th and 35th percentile. You guys proved the state SO wrong and I L.O.V.E. it.

Go home and enjoy your summer and have some pity on me as I grade all of your portfolios(yeah right:)!

To all the seniors: Congratulations to you and the hard work you did to get that cap and gown. Work hard, play hard, live life, and I look forward to one day seeing how you put your stamp on the world.

Congratulations Summer (family member not student)

So what do I have planned for my summer vacation? My family. Any working mom will tell you that we constantly live with guilt. If we put our family first than we feel as if work is slipping. If we put our work first than family gets put on the back burner. This next statement is hard to say but it's the truth. During the school year my husband and children slip on my priority list. During testing they really take a back seat. But I see it like this. My family will always have me and they know I will always be there for them. For a lot of my students……I’m all they have.

So what exactly am I going to do with my family this summer?

That's easy :) Make up for lost time.

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