So....it has been a LOOOOOOOOOONG time since I last posted on my blog page. I've been quite distracted by....life!! Some good, some chaotic, some GREAT!!! :)
Let's start with the good......my students this year are a JOY to teach! I had such a rough bunch last year, that it wore me out and drove me to exhaustion by the last day of school! This year I am teaching only literacy and social studies, so I have two classes to teach instead of 1. I have 43 students in all. My partner teacher is pretty much the best thing to happen to my job this year!! He has been a life saver, for MANY reasons!! :) Our students are well-behaved (minus the couple of usual ones), and are pretty decent with academics. One class is a little higher than the other, but they make up for it with their chatty lifestyle!! :) Overall, my students have made my job a lot better this year!!!
On the OTHER hand.....the chaos!!! This year our state has started a new program in third grade called "Read to Achieve." Allow me to explain.......
Our students will take the End of Grade test in May. In years past, if they do not pass they get a second chance. If they still don't pass, the teacher basically can argue for a student, if they are ready to move on or not. This year, if a student does not pass by the second time, they are placed into summer school. If the parent declines to put their child in summer school, they are retained in 3rd grade again. If they go to summer school, they will then get another chance to take the test at the end of the summer. If they pass, congrats....4th grade. If they fail, they are placed into a 3/4 transition class. Not quite 4th grade material, but not 3rd grade material either. They then will get another chance to take the test. If they pass....congrats 4th grade. If they fail, 3rd grade!!!! So.....there is a lot of pressure being placed on us as teachers, and them as students, to PASS THE TEST. Who cares if they show growth in class, have a learning disability, are poor test takers, had a rough life and just hate tests, or any other factor that goes into why some students just don't do well on tests!!!
Enter round 2 of pure chaos!! There is a portfolio section that teachers get to do to help out those students who may not pass. What do we do???? WE TEST THEM!!!! Each student is to receive 3 tests a week. If they pass the tests, they are placed in a portfolio as "proof" that they were performing in class, but just bombed the EOG. If they fail 3 of the tests we give, they no longer qualify for the portfolio process anymore. Enter back into the criteria above for summer school and all that other yadda yadda yadda!!! It is ridiculous!! I feel like my job this year is "Allison Burgess.....Test Administrator." I hardly have time to pull small groups because we test, progress monitor, test some more, progress monitor, and then test even more!!! I have quickly grown to feel very upset when I think about all the instructional time I have lost due to having to test my babies!! Not to mention, it bores them half to death!! Do you blame them!?????
Okay.....venting session over!!! Feedback is totally welcome to either try and make me feel better about all this, or to agree that PASSING A TEST DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUAL SUCCESS!!!!
So....onto the GREAT news!!! I am 23, going on 24 weeks pregnant!!! :) My husband and I found out we were expecting on September 15th, the day after we stood in the Verizon Wireless store looking for a new cellphone for me, and I bent over in agony of feeling like I was about to blow chunks across the store!!! :) Great visual...I know!! :)
I took a pregnancy test on September 15th at 6:30 am, and it came back POSITIVE!!! :) We were trying since June, so it only took us about 2 months to conceive!! We are SUPER excited about the new blessing that we will be welcoming into our lives, expected May 23rd! We are having a beautiful baby girl, and her name is going to be Alexis Grace, nickname of Lexi!! Let me tell you, this little girl already has daddy wrapped around her teeny tiny finger!!! Daddy also is ready to go out and buy a shotgun for when that first boy comes to our door and asks to see Lexi! :) Being pregnant, so far, has been incredible!! It starts out with extreme excitement of a positive pee-stick! Then comes to 6-7 weeks of constant nausea!! I never threw up (Thank you GOD!!!), but it sure was difficult to wake up and go to school and teach with extreme enthusiasm, when I felt like I just wanted to curl up into a ball and sleep! After the constant nausea passed, it has been so far, so good!! My belly is getting bigger, which is a good thing I suppose!! Right now I feel pretty good about the weight gain, even though I am seeing numbers that I have NEVER seen on a scale. I know it is all for the good of the baby, and is proof that she is growing nice and strong!! I cannot WAIT to meet our sweet little girl and hug her and kiss her and dress her up in cute little clothes (BOY ARE THOSE GIRL CLOTHES CUTE!!!). I'll try and keep you updated on how things are going! Please pray for a healthy pregnancy for mommy and baby! I am nervous, excited, anxious, and TERRIFIED all at the same time! I know God is on my side, my husband is FANTASTIC, and we have parents who are here to love and support us every step of the way. Now I just need to relax and give it all to God and know that he is in control of everything that happens in life!!
It's POSITIVE!!! NOW WHAT???!!!! :)
Baby Bean Burgess, as she was known as before we found out the sex.....
Look at me now!!! :) 23 weeks pregnant!!!!
So there is my life, in a nutshell, for the last couple of months! My mind has been so preoccupied with being pregnant, that nothing else has really mattered!! It has helped me not get too stressed out about all this testing crap, and has helped me to just relax and enjoy every moment!! Hope everything has been going well in your lives!!! Thanks for catching up on mine!!