Today was Day #4 in the new school year. I’m teaching freshmen again.
Last year, I threatened to retire if I had to teach freshmen this year. I’m just too blasted old and do not have the energy and I reasoned that they need a younger teacher who is more creative and has more energy … Because of a change in my financial status, I could not follow through on my threat.
So, here I am with these young students who are eager to experience all that high school can offer them. Of course, analyzing literature and writing essays and research papers in MLA format are not top priority.
To my delight and surprise, I have been visited by students from last year’s classes. Lots of hugs. Lots of comments that they want back in my class. Now, I’m not naive; I understand that I’m what’s familiar and their sophomore teachers are the unknown. But it makes me feel good.
I had some behavior problems on Monday & Tuesday and made calls to MOM! The behavior improved.
I am thankful that my students have focused on writing their essays the past four days. Many of them turned in the summer reading project …. and the others are either reading … or thinking about reading and might get around to finding a book this weekend … maybe.
Maybe this year …… maybe this year will be a little bit better. Maybe this year, I will be able to teach. Maybe this year ………………..
It’s raining, a wonderful and rare event here in Phoenix, and the sky is gray, reflecting my mood. It’s been a difficult work week. There are two weeks left of school; we are in the midst of testing (my content area requires a minimum of five days of testing), and my freshmen are not responding well — lots of misbehavior which is wearing me down.
I need to grade papers this evening, but before I do, I must get into a more positive frame of mind. I always feel better after playing with images and blogging. I like the mood of these shots of water in the golden afternoon sunlight….kind of soft, mellow, and peaceful, soothing my troubled spirit.
After days of an intense work load, I’m taking a night off (well, I think it’s warranted as I was at school/work at 7 AM and left at 7 PM). I am ready to post grades tomorrow and I am prepared for tomorrow … but not for next week … does that mean another weekend of work? NO! I want a weekend OFF! OH NO, I have not prepared the paperwork for taxes. I NEED A PERSONAL ASSISTANT. Since that’s not happening, I need to stop whining and get to work. But for tonight, I am simply enjoying a few hours off. Watched DVR’d episode of House and now watching Grey’s Anatomy.
I had my post-observation conference today. My principal, and evaluator, appears to like my work. This evening, I learned my probable teaching schedule for next year. (I say probable because schedules change up until and sometimes after the first day of the new school year.) Not what I’d hoped for, but also not what I had dreaded. The current trend in education is to place the “strongest” teachers with the most difficult students, especially freshmen and sophomores. While it’s an ego-stroke to be reconsidered a strong teacher, the reality is that it is not a reward. What that philosophy does not take into consideration is the age, energy level, and temperament of said teacher. Retirement? Or another year with freshmen? I don’t know.
The other evening, because I was too exhausted to cook and clean up, I picked up dinner at a local restaurant. I got a little bored waiting on food or the check and started playing with the iPhone.
I’m trying something new with my students…a blog. I’m not sure how this will play out. The idea is simple, but I’ve learned that a simple idea can turn into something complex, complicated, and convoluted quite quickly. (How much alliteration can I slip in here?)
The plan is that my students will respond to prompts that I post on the blog as they read books, articles, poems, and epics.
A fellow blogger (http://nickexposed.com) asked his readers to respond to this statement … Live Life :: Love Life
Sometimes, like today, I forget to love … life.
My afternoon 9th grade students were particularly noisy, inattentive, and quarrelsome today. I wanted to escape. I wanted to simply throw the book down, walk out of the room, and never return. This afternoon, I did not love life … nor did I love my students.
I think that, at such times, it’s critical that I remember this simple maxim. The paradox is that it is simple yet profound, sometimes difficult.
As soon as I get away from the city, as soon as I get a breath of air, as soon as I catch a glimpse of the riot of color in a sunrise or the explosion of a sunset, as soon as I cuddle with my granddaughter, as soon as I pick up my camera, I live life and LOVE life.
The challenge is to live life :: love life while my students are being difficult. And I vow to rise to the challenge.