Cherishing the quiet moments

January 14, 2009 at 10:01 am
filed under Classroom, Connecting
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A day with similar temperatures, about 2 years ago. It was frigid, as it is today. So cold smoke froze in the air. Click image for source.

A day with similar temperatures, about 2 years ago. It was frigid, as it is today. So cold smoke froze in the air. Click image for source.

When I went to bed last night it was -1 degree Celsius outside. This morning Montreal woke to a temperature of -23 with a wind chill factor of -36 and the news that it will stay that way, maybe even getting colder, until Monday. Cold as all get out.

It wasn’t easy getting started this morning, but now I’m in my classroom alone at my desk with a warm cup of green tea steaming in front of me. My students are about to start a Science exam in another room – it’s needed to graduate and all of the kids have failed it at least once already, some up to 4 times. But I didn’t teach them Science this year, so their Science teacher is with them while I have a few precious hours to myself in my classroom. Wow. That hasn’t happened since … hmmm … last term maybe?

So I am cherishing this time I have to clean my desk, organize my papers, and even update this blog during the day. Wow!

I teach Grade 10 English and Grade 11 English, so I have two sets of different written productions to go through and assess. I also teach Grade 11 Student in Society and I have their end of term written reflections to read and assess.

And of course, I need to prepare for the final History tutorial that will take place at 2:30 today because tomorrow morning Collin will have his precious classroom time while I invigilate a History exam that the students are all writing for at least the 2nd time, some for the 3rd, 4th, or more time. Not to mention begin preparing the Economics course that replaces the History course once the exam is written.

Is it end of term for you as well? How is it going for you?


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  1. Kate Tabor

    on January 16, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Tracy,
    How have I missed your blog? I also teach 11th grade, though I also teach a lot of 12th graders. The photo that you chose reminded me of Crane’s Beach in Massachusetts. I used to go there in the middle of the winter just because I knew it would be time alone. The beach in winter is such a different place than the beach in summer. But it is still alive and lively, just not with people. My computer tells me that it is -14°F real temperature outside right now. This would not be a good time to go to the beach, although Lake Michigan is just three blocks to the East.

    I have a ton of reading of student work to do right now (analytic essays, end of semester projects), and then I have semester grades and comments to write. We write a narrative about each student at the end of each semester, so it’s like writing a 50 page paper in a week. But what I really want to do right now is make that cup of tea, clean off my desk, and put my thoughts and life in order.

    Kate Tabors last blog post at [site]..Cross Posting – Pie Wisdom

  2. Tracy

    on January 17, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Kate – welcome!

    I don’t know how I have missed yours either. It sounds like we have similar students – in Quebec the 11th grade is our final year of high school and since I work in an alternative setting a number of our students are older than the norm, some turning 18 this year.

    That photo was taken on the banks of the St Lawrence River, looking south-east away from Montreal. I used to live right on it so spent almost every morning watching the sunrise as I brought my dog for his morning constitutional :)

    This weekend will be filled with reading and grading for me. At the beginning of the term I switched courses with another teacher. I used to teach grade 10 Math, but that just wasn’t meant to be, so a colleague graciously took my Math class in exchange for teaching English to the same group. I love it! But of course it means 20 extra essays and the such to read!

    I love the idea of student narratives. I take notes on my students throughout the term but don’t turn them in to narratives. I used to write stories when I worked with special needs students, I found it so much easier to assess them through narrative than through a number (Guess that’s why I chose teaching English over Math…)

    Pleased to ‘meet’ you, Kate.

  3. Elona Hartjes

    on January 28, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Tracy, it’s the very end of term for me. Everything is marked and report cards are done at last. I’m trying to get excited about starting the next semester on Friday.

    Elona Hartjess last blog post at [site]..Maybe teachers should get the same treatment as doctors. Fair is fair, after all.

  4. Tracy

    on January 28, 2009 at 5:31 am

    Trying to get excited… it’s a tough time of year to get excited about isn’t it! Our new term began last week. Our report cards were handed out yesterday and parent/teacher/student interviews are next week.

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