I've been out of school the last couple of days due to a family emergency that came up on Thanksgiving. The emergency is, if not resolved, at least not an emergency anymore, for which I am thankful.
I started ruminating on this year. There's no question at all that this has been a terrible year for me - far too much to do, not able to do anything well, stressful and frustrating. But I was thinking about the effect on my students and on their (and their parents) perception of me.
I have a huge amount of respect and affection for my students. Even when they make me crazy, I think they're funny and smart and fun. I can't imagine anything I would rather do than work with middle school girls. I feel like my students respect and like me too. Even this year, I think the kids are having fun and learning stuff.
I wonder what the students and families think about my year. It is clear that not all of them understand what has been happening, though some certainly do. I hope that they are patient - that I have built enough of a reputation as a decent teacher that even the families who don't know me will hear that this is just an off year. Or that I'm managing to hold it together well enough in the classroom (when I'm there!!) that the students and families are satisfied that they're getting a decent education. Mostly I hope that next year is better! If a bunch of things come together perfectly (HA!) then things could be better starting in January, but you can guess how optimistic I am about THAT.