My dogs are barking. By dogs, I mean my feet. My husband always uses this phrase, and it makes me laugh. But today, I'm not laughing. My dogs are howling. They are so tired, sore, and swollen, the thought of putting on a pair of shoes makes me want to cry.
This was our first week of school. Students started on Tuesday, so gone are the flip-flop, barefoot days of summer. It is serious shoe time. Full-coverage with buckles serious. I was a little hasty this week and actually attempted to wear a small heel on Thursday. Big mistake. Today, my poor puppies are letting me know that I made a very bad choice.
The school district where I work is in the process of rolling out RtI, which stands for Response to Intervention. If you're curious about RtI and want more info, you can check out this website: http://www.rti4success.org/ and get all of the official definitions. In brief, RtI is the process by which schools identify students who are struggling, provide interventions (specialized instruction based on need), and monitor their progress along the way. It's a good way to find kids who might have otherwise "flown under the radar" and support them earlier, rather than trying to play "catch up" later in the upper grades when the achievement gap has grown wider.
So on Thursday, the day I made the unfortunate mistake of wearing heels, the other math support teachers, math coach, and I were on day two of our universal screening assessments in math. (We screen all students in the district in grades K-6 in both reading and math as a part of the RtI process.) The math assessment that we are using is new to the district, so we were all at one of our elementary schools, working out the "glitches" together. After some technical difficulties the day before, we were on a roll, getting the kids logged on to the computers and then onto the test. That is, until the second graders came. Apparently, I should have worn roller skates, because it seemed like every hand was up and waving in the air, and I was running non-stop up and down the aisles of computers for the two hours that it took all 4 of the second grade classes to finish. When the 6th graders arrived later in the day, I breathed a sigh of relief, because they are much more independent. However, at that point, just standing still hurt.
Some teachers have commented to me that they would love to have my job, because it seems so easy. In some ways, it is. I can focus on two subject areas, reading and math, and I don't have to do recess duty. But I think all jobs have their highlights and challenges, and this week, my feet tell me that I worked very hard. Woof.