Where does the time go?

I added a cup of coffee to my usual singles bag of kettle corn at 4 p.m. today as I dug into a mountain of grammar and spelling worksheets and random makeup work. It helped. I got really focused and managed to not only mark the incorrect reconstructions of inversed subject/predicate sentences, but I took the time to show ‘em how it should have been. Just telling them they got it wrong isn’t enough – at least for the ones who really want to understand. So I feel that the two and a half hours I put into that stack of grading was worthwhile. Of course, I’m not quite caught up, probably because I ‘took the extra time,’ but I did bring it home and have been staring at it as I’ve eaten dinner, browsed Facebook and played some Words With Friends (been beaten with words by friends).
We get a plan period, but it seems to vanish before I can do what I had planned to do every day.
Let’s see … what did I do with it today? My news staff left me with a pile of drafts to read – a good thing, actually, since tomorrow is the actual due date. It’s that many I’ll be ahead of schedule on. So I read those in the silence I finally had once they’d all moved on to second period.
Then, I had to address an issue one of my staffers was having that could reflect badly on that person, the rest of the staff and the paper itself. After speaking with the individual during class, further conferencing was necessary, which took a bit more of my plan period. Then there was the copying and preparing for English class and suddenly my Encore kids had arrived. Each needed something different and needed it first. Also had a couple yearbookers come in to catch up and a couple newsies come in to touch base on some things. I really need to be cloned. In that 25 minutes, I could have been three people and still not satisfied everyone.
I have learned, after four years, to take lunch, no matter what.
When yearbook rolled around, I found myself making promises I had no business making. Knowing full well that I’ll never in this lifetime catch up on grading, I heard myself uttering words that promised I’d have the masterbook ready next week so that they could actually start designing real pages.
What was I thinking, and where will I get the time?

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About teachjournalism
I am a high school teacher of journalism, technology and reading. I advise the school's newspaper and yearbook, both student-led publications. Documenting and sharing my experiences is a way of reflecting to improve my own work and and inviting commentary so that we might all benefit. I believe, as I tell my students each year, that we all learn from each other.

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