A new semester. A new procedure.

Interactive notebook

 

It was with vexing dismay that I realized that my job as teacher was consuming me.  That awareness was the catalyst for a bit of rearranging of my classroom procedures.  I started with what is probably the least important assignment that causes me much consternation: students’ interactive notebooks.

Middle school students are basically disorganized even when told exactly how to organize something, such as a notebook.  Some of my students’ notebooks are in such disarray that I despaired of their successfully studying the contents.  Whereas I was a student who relished learning and inhaled the scent of new notebooks, folders, and writing utensils, many adolescents today mutilate their notebooks beyond usefulness.   As I strove to create hyper-organized notes and table of contents, some students were writing  love notes and resharpening broken pencils to nubs so they could scribble pointlessly in notebooks.  For these students, earning a passing grade on a notebook check was an impossibility.

Today, I transmitted the sole responsibility of notebook organization to my students.  For the rest of the school year, students are responsible for what they choose to record in notebooks.  Each week, I will give a mini-quiz over the information we have covered.  It’s genius really.  Instead of gathering raggedy notebooks to pore over, I will recoup some much needed time for myself; I don’t have to cry at the sight of strangled, de-boned spiral notebooks anymore.

With this new tactic, I predict that I will save myself about twelve hours of grading and TOC-making  over the next several weeks.

Time rearranged = 12 hours

Rearranging stuff

My sister, creator of StoneLeaf & Co., has been rearranging stuff for a long time.  Each necessary shift has positively impacted her and her outlook. She wrote yesterday about how she has been on a journey searching for a purpose and voice for her writing.  She has accepted that her current story to tell is about our mother and the uncomfortable journey of Alzheimer’s.  I respect my sister’s strength to accept her current role.

I am therefore inspired to accept opportunities for growth as 2015 begins.  I don’t know what will need to be rearranged first, but I suspect it will be something mundane: hanging up clothes, painting the edges of the walls in my kitchen, clearing out all the bins I have collected in 12 years of teaching, finishing a book, redistributing my fat to muscle ratio, finding more time to spend with loved ones, etc.

I will probably rearrange some furniture sooner or later too.

I do know one thing.  I am not good at keeping “new year’s resolutions.”  So, this year, I am going to trust God first.  Then, I am going to set 24-hour goals and see what happens as stuff gets rearranged. I hope the result is a better me.

T-shirts folded and rearranged.

T-shirts folded and rearranged.

50 Ways To Be A Woman

I want it to be said of me that I am always a lady of class.

Thought Catalog

shutterstock_145396549

1. Practice good personal grooming habits. If you are going to have colored hair, keep your roots covered. If you are going to have fake nails, keep them filled. Take care of your skin, take care of your teeth. 

2. Dress modestly. Gain attention through who you are rather than the parts of your body you choose to expose. It is worth far more in the long run. 

3. Certain fashion staples will always remain timeless. A few conservative dresses, a string of pearls, a nice handbag and a good pair of pumps should always be in your wardrobe. 

4. Write thank you notes. It is one of the best ways to make a good impression and literally takes five seconds. It is a dying art that so desperately needs to be revived. If someone is nice enough to give you a gift or recommend you to a position, the…

View original post 1,010 more words