Monday, September 25, 2006

Sorry about the wait!

Now, I know that not everyone is waiting with baited breath to read this, but I do know I owe you some decent blogging. Or at least some blogging. Last week I was up to my eyeballs in papers I hadn't graded/handed back--I just didn't realize how much time it would take, nor how much MORE time it would take because I didn't organize my time well. Well, now that I've made the mountain into a few small, manageable piles, my life is not such a RAGING BALL OF STRESS.

So now I can write about how I still love being at my job and I'm still exhausted but the quality of life is 100 times better than it was last year when I was making more but dealing with degenerates on a daily basis.

Two of my biggest challenges are meeting the standards of the students, parents, and myself (and nobody's harder on me than me) and answering the myriad nitpicking questions of my students. As for standards, I was getting used to the pace; hence the piles of grading, and I just had this suspicion that everyone thought I was a slacker (or a laggard--one of our vocab words)and just not quite competent enough to get things done. My sophmores had this teacher who was a dynamo last year and got everything back in two seconds with tons of comments and a lot of them had him on this pedestal that I'm not even going to try to ascend to. I know I'm good at what I do, so I need to remember that...and always be on top of everything as much as I can. I don't care who you are; kids know when you're unprepared. Didn't you, as a student? You knew when the teacher hadn't done anything for class because they were floundering around and then gave you Sustained Silent Reading for the rest of the period. I would never do this...but I'm sure I'll be tempted. Plus it's a place where you're supposed to be all available to the kids at any time and I feel as though I'm committing a felony when I shut my door. Now, most of this probably comes from my own little mind, but the paranoia has to come from somewhere. Right? Right?

Now, the questions. THE QUESTIONS! No, none of us will get smarter unless we ask questions. I just said that to them last week. It's true. That being said, please do not ask me a a question when I am obviously headed into the bathroom. Let me pee! I swear I'll answer your question about how many paragraphs the summary has to be when I am finished peeing! And please, please let me finish talking before you ask the question I have just answered. That's not to say that I don't absolutely love it when they ask a legitimate question regarding our literature that shows critical thinking. I just have to remember that I am dealing mostly with

I think the one thing I have to remember at a girls' school is that there is lots of DRAMA. I call it trauma-drama because it is simply all-consuming and how could I possibly do my work when I am upset with someone for what they might have done to me in fourth grade? I think I need to call my mom and go home. DF and I are having boys. All boys. Who don't talk.

Ah! And I just found out that the sophomores are complaining that I don't give them enough comments on their papers and they want to work faster than the other classes. You want more work? Oh, I can accommodate that. No problem. More discussion in class? Fine; that means less lecture for me! That's what I like anyway; I prefer not to sit on high and run things.

Now, who thinks being a teacher is easy? It's rewarding and fun and amazing, but easy? Maybe not.

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