To Do List

Today was a day off from teaching so our middle school teachers could hold parent-teacher conferences. To help families, we offered times Thursday evening and then more time slots Friday morning. I had a limited number of conferences because it was billed for struggling students and my current students are thriving. This allowed me to make a To Do List (which is making my friend, Erika, smile!). As Friday ends, I feel torn. Do I celbrate all I accomplished or do I feel defleted because one task hasn’t even been started? I ask myself, Why ???

Here’s what I did do:

I took pictures of all my notebook pages that might help our 8th graders as they begin a Dystopean Unit and made this slideshow. I did this because I like sharing possible mentor text which may help students. I did this because this was fun!

I made this anchor chart for a 7th grade teacher who is starting a unit on speech writing. I like making anchor charts and as a new coach, I was thrilled this teacher asked me. I did this because it was fun!

I shared this resource with 6th grade ELA teachers as a possible way to culminate their nonfiction research unit. I like this idea of creating a picture book that students could share with the elementary schools that feed our middle school. I love it when students write for an authenitic audience. I did this because it is a fun idea to share!

I created my February Literacy Log. This year, as a month ends, I started mapping all I read, viewed, wrote, listened to and spoke about (Inspired by @Tenille Shade) and I hung it on my classroom door for all to see. My hope is it will inspire others. I did this because it was fun!

I emailed the teachers who are a part of my Teacher Research Weekend Cohort about our Saturday breakfast meeting. I did this because I love facilitating this dedicated teachers who meet monthly and grapple with an aspect of their practice. Together we hold each other accountable and offer support. I did this because it is fun!

I did NOT look at the spreadsheet of 800+ students and their midyear Reading Inventory scores. By VA State law, I am to notifiy the parents of the students from the Fall, who at the midYear, now scored in the Basic or more range and let them know the good news that we are exiting them from an intervention. In addition, I am to notify the parents of students who, in the midyear assessment, scored below basic and therefore require an intervention. I did not do this because I do not find this task fun. I find the spreadsheet overwhelming. I find the county process for creating the parent letters unfriendly. However, I feel badly that it is STILL on my To Do List.

So now, it is the end of Friday. I just poured myself an adult beverage (Four Roses Bourbon w/ lemonade). I completed all my Parent/Teacher Conferences. I sent useful resources to teachers. My classroom door has the up-to-date log hanging. I’m looking forward to my Saturday morning breakfast meeting. And I am just going to be OK with the fact that a task is still on my TO DO LIst. Instead, I’ll do what Scarlett would do. (However, for me, I’m waiting until Monday!) Cheers!

13 thoughts on “To Do List

  1. Erika says:

    Yes, you know I LOVE your list. I learned so much in reading yours- somehow I missed that you are coaching now- I need you more than ever! I do not love making anchor charts- mine are not as neat as I would like! I would also have put off that dreadful task and now you have something to put on your someday list. I would love to see what your literacy log looks like- it must be a challenge to keep track of it all. I enjoyed reading about your busy list. Lists are all about progress, not completion. You rocked your list.


  2. Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski says:

    Wow you were super accomplished! It’s so fabulous that most of your students are thriving. I couldn’t access your Feb Literacy Log and would love to see it- interested in how you do that! I think you were right to celebrate all you accomplished.


  3. Maureen Young Ingram says:

    That is a day of accomplishment, in my opinion! I love this line so much, “I am just going to be OK with the fact that a task is still on my TO DO LIst” – yes, yes, yes, the tasks never end. Be at peace with this!


  4. Fran McCrackin says:

    I have recently been reading about anti-bucket lists, where we write about accomplishment rather than yearning. Your done items are impressive, and they are inspiring, as you find such a variety of ways to share your passion and enthusiasm. I have to say, I love the Scarlett meme. And share the dread of those spreadsheets. But most of all, don’t you think they are not fun because we know they are such poor, incomplete representations of our students? And if you have to send a form letter to parents- I hope you can add a personal touch to let them know you know their kid!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tenilleshade says:

    Whew! That to-do list was an ass-whooping, and you deserved that adult beverage. (Thanks for the recipe by the way!) Your students and parents are so stinkin’ lucky to have a teacher like you who goes above and beyond to make the parent-teacher conference experience meaningful. I love that you included links to the resources you used. (P.S. Some of the links required changed sharing permissions. 😊) I hope you will fully embody your inner Scarlett O’Hara today. You deserve some rest!


    • sallydonnelly11 says:

      Hello Tenille!!!
      I so love all your tweets and often read them on twitter and think that YOUR teachers and parents are so stickin’ lucky!! Thanks for letting me know about my links…I just changed the viewing requirements. I love your literacy log. I admire how you can make it as a prediction at the beginning of the month as to what you will read, write, view, etc. Thanks for leaving me a comment. I do hope some day in the future we can meet in person at a conference. You inspire me!!


  6. mschiubookawrites says:

    So many awesome accomplishments!!! You are a Reading Rockstar, and the other tasks will just have to wait till next week. I secretly kinda like spreadsheets, but only if it is useful. Like when they highlight the fruits of our labor or give insight into next steps. FWIW, I was late in sending out those letters because I was prioritizing meeting with students first. Progress monitoring needs to include student input, encouragement, and celebration. All that you have accomplished supports staff and students. Thank you for sharing!


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