Post 12 – Sleeping In

This past week was the first time I put in for a sick day in maybe two years.  I rarely get sick, and when I do, the last thing I want to do is figure out how to send instructions up to school so classes can run relatively smoothly on their own.

Monday through Wednesday were fairly normal.  I’ve been doing my Jiu Jitsu classes at 6am those days and Wednesday is the day I start feeling fairly sore, but I went and was glad I did.  Wednesday evening I had dinner at a friends house and noticed a sore throat on the way home.  By the time I got in bed I had some mild chills.  Weird but figured I’d just sleep it off.  Woke up Thursday around 5am.  No Jiu Jitsu but I did have some school work to complete before I had breakfast with one of the guys in my bible study at 7am.  I was moving slower than normal that morning and my buddy commented on it.  After a hearty breakfast and a couple cups of coffee, my energy levels were beginning to feel like normal.

That day was predominately a work day for students.  The general energy levels of all my classes were low and I don’t know if that was the vibe of the day or it really is true that you set the tone for the day with your own energy levels.  I asked for someone in 1st period to summarize what we were learning last class and got nothing.  I did the whole ‘wait time’ thing where you just wait for an uncomfortable amount of time.  Most students were just sort of dazed and not really paying attention.  A couple chimed in after the long silence; ‘…what was the question?’  The rest of the work period was pretty productive and the room noise was a low lower than normal.  Students got a lot done.

2nd period is my smallest class and it’s full of mostly 6th graders who are super excited about math so most of that is just presenting them with problems and letting them figure it out amongst themselves.  This group in particular doesn’t like Khan Academy exercises.  A lot of them are perfectionists and like to get a 100, they have to get 4 or 7 right in a row (not sure how Khan chooses the amount when I assign a concept).  Khan Academy is only 10% of their grade, but since students can continue to do problems until they get 7 in a row, they’ll do 6 and miss the last one from a silly mistake, and since they don’t want an 86, they just do it again.  Not ideal, but again, it’s formative, not a huge weight and is supposed to be representative of their grade AS they’re learning (instead of summative – the ‘have you fully learned these concepts’ grade).

3rd period was probably the most off task.  Even though it’s after lunch, that class dynamic generally stays focused.  I do have a younger TA who’s just a grade above the other students in there and I often don’t have a TON for him to do and found him being more distracting than helpful that day.  I need to give him more structured instruction on how to help and what to do when others don’t need help.  I have a TA 1st period who’s really on top of it and she already takes care of a lot of the tasks that I can outsource to a student (class supplies, grading, emailing reminders out to other students).  This 3rd period TA is a former student and is generally really great when working with the the students in class; I don’t necessarily need him in there but I know part of it is that he likes hanging out with me and my students in that room and he likes math; he just needs more structure.

3rd period was also when I started feeling bad again.  I forgot my lunch at home so it was about 2:45 when class was over.  I stopped by Chipotle on the way home and got a bowl.  Energy levels were dropping and I had a hard time finishing the bowl (never the case).  Took a 30 minute nap when I got home and when I got up, I wanted to make sure I filmed the intro and outro of my video for the week for my YouTube channel while there was still good light in my study.  Did so and saved the middle part of the video for Saturday.  Video is below:

Since I had a late lunch, I wasn’t hungry for dinner.  Sara came home and was feeling pretty terrible too.  She had already called in for Friday.  We start watching a movie and I get under the covers because I was cold.  That never happens.  Around 7pm, I start falling asleep during the movie.  Sara knew something was up.  She took my temperature and it was 101.  She said I probably have the flu and would have to take a sick day.  Luckily Friday was just advisory and Robotics.

We headed to bed at 8:30 and I slept until 10:30am.  Probably the most I’ve slept all year.  Felt much better but my throat was still a little sore.  I didn’t tell her the night before about my throat so she took a look.  It was strep throat.  We get some medication and just took a rest day.  No agenda (for the most part) except relaxing and watching TV.  We always want to do those days on weekends but they turn into errand days.  I did go onto Google Classroom during robotics as students were turning in their ideas about their final projects to give them feedback in real time.  I also finished one voiceover/video job (I didn’t have to actually record the voice part).  Besides that, we watched Captain America: Civil War and Dr. Strange and went to bed relatively early.

I had a hard time getting to sleep.  I laid in bed from 11:15 to maybe about 1am.  Saturday I felt even better and having not really exercised since Wednesday, I wanted to go for at least a short run.  Felt great to be outside (it was like 72 degrees Fahrenheit on Dec 2nd…I live in Texas).  I ended up running one of my fastest 5k’s, doing 3.15 miles at a 7:25 pace #notsohumblebrag.

All this to say sometimes you just need to sleep for 14 hours.

By Thom H Gibson

I help middle school STEM teachers create meaningful & memorable experiences for their students. Teacher, podcaster, YouTuber. Two-time teacher of the year

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