The Second Mighty Labor.

It always feels good to vanquish a monster...especially a personal one.

It always feels good to vanquish a monster…especially a personal one.

Every educator has things that they could improve at. For some, it is making effective lesson plans. For others…a great many others, it is classroom management. That one looms large in the minds of many teachers as the Big One.

For me…it’s the matter of paperwork. Every five weeks, the District requires a grade report, and the business of making one has to do with two elements. The first, is the efficient and timely grading of work, the second is the simple data entry to get that into whatever grading program you are using. It would be easier for me if I used the MISIS system that the District has been gradually developing and adopting, but…no. I still use the arcane spreadsheet that I have used for years, in Excel.

This year, with around two hundred students on my course load, I have had to be far more efficient and timely about both the grading and the data entry. The teamwork structure is very different here at the Edu-Mountain than the systems that I used to deal with, so in many ways, it is a one person show. I’ve been acutely aware of that since Day One, and as a result have been significantly more efficient than I have been in many years. That’s a good thing, on many levels.

It will be pretty much effortless to get this done on time…the Verification Rosters are actually due tomorrow, and all the grading is done already. Grades are entered, spreadsheets are up to date. I was even able to consult with students on Tuesday about their grades, leaving some “wiggle room” if they have late work for me today. That’s pretty good feeling, being THAT prepared.

Especially when this is the thing that usually has you stressed out. Being ahead of your own personal “monster” and whapping it on the head with something heavy and kind of jagged, at least metaphorically…that’s a good feeling.

A bit about the art. I don’t know if that’s a dragon or a hydra head, or a snake monster of unusual size. I do know that it has the X-ed out eyes of my friend Raf’s “I Like Evil” tattoo. Also, our hero has a new belt buckle, that may or may not stay around. If I were drawing for DC Comics, she couldn’t just get a new belt buckle, or belt, you know. There would have to be a whole miniseries, “BuckleQuest: Part One of Eight,” where she would debate the whole belt buckle thing for a while, have conversations with the cast about it, and so forth. Here, being the entire creative team, I can just give her a lion head belt buckle for the issue.

Also note the Zebra Pony that is jumping on the monster’s head…or at least will be, since the pony is in free fall. I just got a Zebra Pony from Build-a-Bear Workshop. The Zebra Ponies used to be “Internet Only,” so I balked at getting one. That madness is over, and they had them at the mall nearby. I got one…and considered just having it at home as part of the Big Pony Collection. Zebra Pony had other ideas.

For some reason, Zebra Pony has a pretty floppy head. This endeared it to me, and it really looked like it wanted to come to school. Since Monday, Zebra Pony has been adventurous and made the commute, and seems to like the whole Edu-Mountain. It seemed past time for Zebra Pony to make it to the strip, what with Therapy Clown taking up the last few days. Zebra Pony actually has the mohawk, earrings, and necklaces, all worked out in plush and so forth, so its pretty epic. The student have taking a pretty serious liking to my new friend.

It’s a lot different than going in to a Negative Zone full of Haters…I’ll tell you that, True Believers.

Next Issue: Dark Consequences, and Beak Wizards!


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