I'm Feeling Neglected


I've had two people comment this week that I haven't been writing enough.  Luann mentioned that I'm only updating my blog once a week and she liked it better when I wrote more often.  That was nice to hear but I got thinking about why I haven't been writing more.  I feel like so much of what I do isn't interesting to my readers.

Then yesterday Jennifer sent me an email mentioning that I hadn't emailed her all week and that she was feeling neglected.  Now I talk to Jen daily but usually I send her an occasional email when I find something she might enjoy reading.  

I came to the conclusion that my work life is interfering with my fun life.  I have a contract with Grand Rapids Public Schools to be a writing coach for teachers in three elementary schools.   I had 50 days to work and as we are getting to the end of the school year, I'm trying to complete the contract.  I've been working every day and it looks like I will continue on this schedule until the end of May.  (Remember I took 2 months off in Jan. - Feb.)

Yesterday I spent the day working with 1st grade teachers at Cesar E. Chavez Elementary all day.  They had subs in their rooms so they could concentrate on our planning.  But every time they went out in the hall, there were little students who had something to show them.  We were planning the writing curriculum for next year.  But when talking to them, it was evident that they didn't feel confident having to teach a poetry unit which they have to do yet this year.  So we spent lots of time getting ready for that.  So much fun for me.  They were amazed when I found great resources for them on Google and wanted to be shown how to do that.  I can do that!

The pictures above are of Burton Elementary School.  This is the elementary school that Mom Benedict attended.  It was completely renovated last year and is a showplace in Grand Rapids Public Schools.  The other two schools I work in-Chavez and Buchanan Elementary are both old, old schools.  Chavez will move to a new school over the summer.  All three are Native Language Centers which means that almost 100% of the students come from Spanish speaking homes.  That makes the teaching of writing much more complicated than is normally is.  

My work involves watching teachers present their writing lessons and then meeting with them later to coach them.  We discuss how it went, look at the student's work and plan the next lesson.  I also will present lessons for them, help them with grade level planning and any other issues related to writing instruction.  At Buchanan I'm working with a sub who just came in to cover a pregnancy leave.  So every day is different but the issues seem to be the same.

So I could write every day about my school experiences and maybe I will.  Then you, dear reader, can give me advice on how to handle the sticky problems I face.  Oh, did I tell you that teachers aren't always that thrilled when I come to work with them?  Occasionally it is because the principal thinks they need 'support'.  But at other times, teachers ask for my assistance.  That is when it is the most fun and rewarding.

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