Now that most of us went back to work, I thought it would be great to share some positive thoughts from the first week For me: - I had almost a month off. By the last week I was way too well rested (if there is such thing) and ready to go back to work - I was really looking forward to see my students and it was really great to see them. This school year I started teaching independent studies. I knew there would be so much paper work (there is but I caught on quickly) and that I wouldn't have to deal with student misbehavior ( I don't, because I'm dealing with them one on one), but I didn't know I could actually get this close t my students. I have 1 hour to spend with each student, and it doesn't mean we actually spend one hours, they turn in their work, I go over their new assignment and give it to them. Then a lot of them just get started, r still finishing old work. But most of the time we do spend time together, we talk about anything, sometimes important things (student being pregnant, goals after graduation, how to get to graduation with them being so behind) but other times it's just fun stuff. But if you think about this, high school teachers, when have you had 1 hour to spend a week with each of your student? I didn't. And there were kids I never actually had a lengthy conversation with due to lack of time, lack of interest from the student's part, even lack of need from my part (I was chasing after the kids that were failing or had behavior issues). But what I'm doing now really enables me to reach my kids and help them out. They need a lot of help because there is a reason they're doing independent studies. Here is just one example. I have a boy, let's call him John, he would come in to his weekly appointment and stay most of the day (not just the hour) and do his work. Unfortunately he was always so behind and this was very frustrating to me because it just messes up the paperwork, it's confusing and takes twice that much work from my part. So I was frustrated. He kept yawning constantly, I even made jokes that he was putting me asleep. He is a very sweet and respectful student, but never really opened up to me. It wasn't until after 6 weeks that I found out from him that he's working on the fields 6 days a week, 12-14 hours a day. He has only 1 day off and on that day he comes in and spends it at school doing his work. He kept yawning because he never really got enough sleep. Once I heard that, I looked at him a very different way. He is actually trying hard and doing his best not just sitting at home being lazy and playing video games. This changed everything, he talks to me more, and opens up a little bit and finally caught up pretty well. I was able to work with him schedule of assignments that worked better for him. This made think that if he was in my classroom I would have not had the time to really get to the bottom of this and figure out how to help him. I'm so happy I've made the decision to do independent study. The good part is that I will be teaching 1 or 2 English classes for our independent study students so I still get to teach in a classroom setting. I'm very happy with how everything turned out.