In which it’s been a long two days

I didn’t get around to writing a post yesterday, but it wasn’t because of parent/teacher conferences. I didn’t make it to parent/teacher conferences, in fact; my mother in law had either one stroke or a series of minor strokes over the last couple of days and ended up in the hospital yesterday. She’s fine, for values of “fine” that include “had at least one stroke in the last two days;” there is little to no apparent physical damage (no drooping facial muscles, difficulty swallowing, paralysis, anything like that; she can get up and move around) but she’s having difficulty recalling words and talking– although that has improved since I saw her yesterday. I found out toward the end of the day, tossed an “I’ll call you later” sign-up sheet in the hallway and headed to the hospital.

I had already taken this morning off because of the first meeting of the probation assistance team; that meeting was supposed to be from 7:45 to, most of us thought, 9 or so, and I’d have a couple of hours where I wasn’t supposed to be anywhere in particular and then would go back to work and teach the afternoon half of my classes. Between the stress of my mother-in-law’s hospitalization and a recurrence of the “no-real-symptoms-but-exhaustion” illness I was struggling with a few months ago, I decided to go ahead and take the afternoon off too.

Half days for middle school teachers in my corporation go until 11:00; the meeting that was supposed to be just over an hour long took until 12:30. I’d have had to scramble to get sub coverage in the afternoon anyway even if I’d been planning on returning to work. I won’t get into the reasons why but we hit some unexpected snags in putting the improvement plan together and it took forever to get everything done. It’s not like any particular member of the team dragged the meeting out; we just ended up having much more to do than anyone, including the more veteran members of the PAT process, had expected for us. My first observation is next week; we’ll see how it goes.

Another good reason– not that I needed one once the meeting ran so long, but whatever– for me to take the afternoon off was my frustration level has been through the roof lately. You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned my “don’t yell at kids” policy lately; it’s because the last several weeks have represented nothing but crashing failure in keeping that goal alive. My kids are manifestly not behaving or acting worse than previous classes (particularly last year) have, but for some reason it’s getting to me a lot more this year. I don’t know exactly what’s going on but I’ve got to find a way to get over it.

Something for me to work on, if I ever manage to drag myself out of bed again.