Sunday, May 31, 2009

Back to the Grindstone

I have learned this week that I am meant to be a working mom. Everyday, I left the house feeling excited about two things. I was excited to see Lydia when I got home, but I was also excited to get to work, see my co-workers, and yes, see (most of) my students.

My measure of how the year went academically had to be my TAKS scores, since I went on maternity the week after the test. Throwing all humility aside, I have to say that my kids rocked the test. In my at-level classes, which had their fair share of "difficult" kids, I had nearly 90% of my kids pass. My pre-AP numbers were lower than they had been, but this was not a surprise to me, and considering the circumstances, there will some miraculous passing students in the class. Like any dedicated teacher, it is hard to completely celebrate these numbers without thinking of the handful of kids who worked really hard and didn't pass--it is always hard to see them after receiving that news--but I am pretty proud of them and proud of myself.

As I worked with my kids last week, I realized that there is a separate measure of the year that I got to see upon my return. 1.) The kids seemed generally happy to see me and all asked about Lydia. They were very concerned about where she was and who was taking care of her. 2.) Most of them did not buck back when I promptly asked them to get to work, even though it was the last week of classes. (This week is finals week.) and 3.) My students really seem to be friends with each other. They are dating each other. (I am not a fan of this. Having couples in classes is annoying.) They know each other's names, have each other's phone numbers, and joke with each other.

I really love my job, and for me, going back to work is the right thing to do. I am also proud that Lydia will grow up with a mom who has a challenging job and does it well. I am happier when I am working, and I think a happy parent is ultimately a better parent. So back to the grindstone, I will go.

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