This week has been especially wonderful. Although I haven't been keeping the blog up-to-date, things have been going well. I had a light proctoring schedule for the Regents exams, so I was able to get a lot of grading and planning done. I feel rested. I wasn't stressed about lesson planning, so I went out to dinner more than once this week (a splurge, to be sure), finished a book and even watched a couple of movies. I can almost feel my stress melting away, though I am loathe to let myself go totally, since I do need to prepare for next week.
Today's snow day made my week even better. I stayed in bed until late morning, went for a long walk with the dog through the newly fallen snow and have been relaxing ever since.
But the best part of my week came yesterday. As I mentioned before, I had only one student taking the Earth Science Regents exam this January. I was confident that he would pass, but not overly so. Last June, I certainly thought more than 6 students would pass so I didn't want to get my hopes up. I looked at the test in the morning once he was already ahlf done with it and some of the first few questions even I had to think about. I became very nervous.
But the test ended and I graded it within a few hours. He passed with flying colors, not a mere 65 or 66. I was ecstatic! My pass rate for 2011 is 100% so far! It may not seem like much to a veteran teacher with years of high pass rates to look back on. I have seen a 90% increase and, while I don't expect quite the same results in June, I am more hopeful than a few months ago about my ability to get students to pass. Yes, this particular student was very self-motivated, but he was not unique. I have many students just as motivated and I now know how to better support them.
My year is certainly looking up!