I didn't forget about the giveaway - really I didn't. Life just kind of got in the way. I have been so crazy busy this school year that I just haven't had much time to post. I know I have alluded to it before, but I have never really said exactly what has me so darn busy this year.
Financially, Michigan is in a bit of trouble, and of of the ways our governor tried to save money was by cutting the funding for K-12 schools. So, for our little school to make ends meet, we had to make some pretty drastic cuts.
One of those cuts was a teacher. Thankfully she retired and no one was let go. But either way we were one staff member short and the school board decided that the best solution was to rearrange our elementary students. Since we are a K-12 school with only about 85 kids, we have always had combined grades: a K-1 split, a 2-3, a 4-5, and a 6-7; the high school students move from class to class just like in other high schools.
Given the numbers of students in each grade it was decided to combine the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th grades into one group. (Keep in mind that those four grades contained a total of 15 students.) I'm not saying it was a good solution to the problem, or a bad solution to the problem. It was just the solution. The plan was to keep the four grades together for two years - until the number of students in the group would be too large keep in one classroom. Oh yes, and our special education teacher was cut to half time.
So, as you can imagine I've been busy - teaching 4th - 7th grade math as well as science to the 4th and 5th graders in the morning, and then teaching math, science and social studies to the 2nd and 3rd graders in the afternoon. I'm trying my best to cover all the material, give each student the individual attention they need, plan meaningful lessons and activities, and grade and return work in a timely manner - not to mention have a life outside of work.
You can imagine how I felt when, earlier this week, the superintendent told us the that the school would most likely be able to separate the 4th - 7th grade group next year and that our special ed. teacher would be able to come back full time. We'll still be down a teacher, and I'm sure things won't be back to "normal," but it's a step back toward "normal," and that will be a good thing...