Last week, I had Open Classes for the parents to observe me in action. For the past while, I've had increasing issues with the chattiness of the class. Of course, for the Open Class, you might have thought they had taken vows of silence. The other 4th grade teacher and I had planned what we thought the parents would like to see: reading, speaking, and writing in one class. The reading was limited to phrases (the students were given cards with phrases on them to hang on the wall to match to the correct category) and the writing was a group effort on the board. The speaking was a non-starter. No one wanted to risk making a mistake in front of their parents. Later, my partner teacher told me that the parents would have liked the kids to play a game. Seriously? I don't recall playing too many games in elementary school, and am pretty sure my mother wouldn't have taken that as a sign of good learning going on if she had come to observe.
That was last week. This week, we will have a Field Day on Saturday. All day. 8:30-3:30. To "prepare", we are taking the first 90 minutes of school each day this week to practice. The students have to stretch and then practice the prescribed cheers and hand jive. The stretching is clearly a routine they know well, which is a good thing, because when we got started yesterday, I found out that I was supposed to lead my class. I "led" by watching what my students were doing. The students also had to practice a relay race which was run by two teams made up of one boy and one girl from each class. There are about 20 classes. By the end, I felt like I was watching a marathon.
Tomorrow, the kids have midterms, so I won't have any classes. One of the moms will come to proctor, so I just have to sit here quietly. Next week, we only have a full day on Monday. Tuesday, we have Children's Day ceremony, then the rest of the week off for Children's Day.
I like time off as much as the next person, but I've got a lot of material to get through this year, and I'm already skimming over most things far more than I would like.