Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Which Is Almost Over)

It's almost the end of the year, and I couldn't let 2010 end without posting on my poor neglected blog. I really have been reading most of the blogs I always have, but days go by in between and most of the time I have been too tired by the time I read blogs to come up with a coherent comment, let alone post. As I said to my parents the other day, "The amount of vacation days for teachers is great, but the thing is that you NEED that many days to recuperate."

I am still enjoying my job, though--at least as much as I can remember of it after two weeks off. (American literature? What's that?) Most of my students passed and some failed, but the ones who failed were the ones who did not turn in their assignments or study. I can live with that. I used to feel personally responsible when my students failed, but I'm over that. The funny thing is, when I see my students in the grocery store--I am guaranteed to see at least one student in any grocery store in town--the ones who failed the semester seem just as happy to see me as the ones who passed. I feel that I've made some genuine connections with a lot of these young people, some of whom come to me for advice or just to talk. *sappy sentiment alert* I hope they remember something I teach them, but most of all I hope they feel that I value them and what they have to offer. For example, I really try to listen when they talk to me, individually or in class discussion, and although I'm pretty laid back about my classroom, I am adamant that they are not allowed to interrupt or insult each other. My heart was warmed when one student told another recently, "Hey! This is a no-put-down class!" Awkward phrasing aside, I'm glad they see it that way.

My children are doing splendidly and they enjoyed the Christmas holidays very much. I wish I could say they were not too spoiled at Christmas, but that's just impossible. Santa does limit his offerings so the toys don't completely take over the house. They get their stockings and three presents--big, medium, and smaller--which I explain is because Baby Jesus got three presents from the wise men and what's good enough for Baby Jesus is good enough for them. Also this year they got an extra present because I Santa thought one gift intended for Mr. Blue had not arrived yet, when it had (Justin had hid it and there was no tracking info so I didn't think it had come) and I Santa went out to buy some Transformers. So rather than return the Transformers, Santa decided that they got a present to share, because even though it was intended for Mr. Blue, they both like to play with it--it is an octagon shape that you can make mosaic patterns in, like so.

Anyway, they got new bikes, which they have been riding a lot. My brother and his wife got them Lite Brites (which I was relieved to see have a storage drawer for the pieces). Miss Pink got a matching T-shirt for her and her American Girl doll, and another doll from Target and a (plastic) pony. Mr. Blue got three sets of Trios, which are infinitely preferable to Legos for younger kids, and some Iron Man toys he likes from my mother-in-law. Besides the doll, pony, and Trios, my mom also got them clothes and shoes/boots, and she also does stockings that put Santa's to shame. We had a lovely time on Christmas morning at our house, then going for lunch at my parents' house at 1, followed by the present-opening and hanging out for the rest of the day. I didn't actually take a nap on Christmas Day, but that was all right since I've been going back to sleep every morning for at least an hour and a half after breakfast. Going back to school next week is going to be BRUTAL.

I was going to write about our experiences in 2010, and what goals I am planning for in 2011, but since I have rambled this much about teaching and my children's Christmas presents, I'll stop here and save that post for another day (and not one months from now).

Happy New Year to anyone who stops by and reads this! I miss commenting back and forth with my blog friends, so I'm going to make an effort to stay in touch better in the coming year.