The school year is flying by, and I find myself already one month into my second semester as a teacher. It has been an eventful 2011 already, and I am starting to feel overwhelmed. At work, new challenges are coming my way, reminding me that teachers must be unfailingly flexible and patient. Many students were out with the flu, some for a week at a time. I have managed to stay healthy somehow (fingers crossed)!
I am now a co-sponsor for the student council, which means meetings every Monday and Wednesday after school, plus extra little projects like our upcoming anti-bullying week. In addition, lots of professional development is scheduled this semester. I have had at least one day of meetings or seminars every week, and have several more coming up in February. It is all very helpful, and it all counts towards the required hours for my certification. The difficult part about taking a day away from the classroom is planning for a substitute, it is a surprising amount of work to set someone else up to do your job.
The final months of my certification program are ahead, which means finalizing my portfolio and completing all of the paperwork the state of Texas requires of me. I am excited that shortly after my birthday, I should have my teaching certification! Unfortunately, this has become a stressful time to be employed by state or local government, due to the shrinking budgets everywhere. Austin Independent School District has already cut 450 jobs and is looking into closing over a dozen schools. Our district has told us that cuts are coming and they will inform us once any decisions are made. We are much smaller than Austin, however jobs will certainly be cut, it is just a question of how many. I am trying to focus on just completing my program right now, just concentrating on what is in my control.
It has been getting colder since Monday, with temperatures below freezing for nearly three days now. A dusting of snow last night led to all of the schools, universities and government offices to be closed today. I am very glad to have been saved from driving to work on unplowed, unsanded roads with a bunch of people not accustomed to driving in the snow. It was like a skating rink on most of the roads until everything started melting this afternoon.
Joshua continues to improve his cooking, spoiling me with homemade goodies. We have been on a Pad Thai kick lately, along with Ahloo Gobi, seitan sausages, chocolate pecan waffles, and Pho asian noodle soup. Mmm, yum! Geppetto hates the cold weather, but loves the fact that we are spending more time than usual snuggling with blankets on the couch.