Monday, September 9, 2013

Back in the Game

Okay, I totally won today. Not that teaching is about winning or losing. Or, at least, it shouldn't be, but after last week, I was in the hole, and I feel like I am out of the hole. Granted its slippery and I need to stand my ground, but I'm currently very optimistic. I just laid down the law today. We finally went over rules (rules that I took for granted they would know already: mistake # 1) and consequences. I told them that I had a lot of ideas for the year, but I could not work with the amount disruption that has been going on to date.

Then we played telephone-pictionary which I didn't intend to do for over half the class, but, hey, sometimes you just have to make a cornucopia (which is a phrase that I coined last year after I spent five hours making a thanksgiving cornucopia out of bread dough rather than studying for midterms and writing important papers. Sometimes, you have to do the thing thats right in the moment, regardless of if its good in the long term. Like scrapping my grammar lesson in favor of a game. I'm hoping the phrase will catch on. I have a lot of power actually because people almost worship my native speakerness and trust that I know best. With all hope, I will have gotten enough control over the 8b class so that by Thanksgiving time I can teach them how to make a cornucopia, too.)

Tonight was Elternabend/"parent's night". That was kind of cool. When I got up to talk, the women in the back corner kept on talking. And then it was kind of awkward because the past three weeks I've gotten very good at waiting until its quiet before I speak, so I kind of waited out of habit and plus, I couldn't be heard, and then I felt weird waiting because I'm not THEIR teacher, but then I felt dumb talking over them as if I don't think that I am worth being heard. But they stopped eventually. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I think I spoke alright, although I don't hear my own mistakes so its hard to know. It was good to talk with the other 8b teacher's tonight and share experiences. I think we are collectively going to make a new seating arrangement.

Mondays are by far my busiest days. I teach an 11th grade compensation course the first two hours of the day (as I understand it, the upper grades need to choose two subjects to get supplemental help in and attend these weekly classes. So I have a supplemental english course). Today, was okay, but I should probably have a little bit more structure for next Monday. Its clear now that they don't exactly care about practicing their English when we are together. I made them answer Would You Rather questions to start class off. I hate when I plan fun things to do and then it feels like mandatory fun once I introduce the plan to the class. But they are such a silent group, I'm just trying to shake them up a bit. Then I teach 9th grade English, which is my 7 person class. We usually have fun together. They are writing short stories using Australian vocab. They are due tomorrow and the plan is to go get ice cream and read them to one another. Following 3rd period with my 9th graders I have a period off, and then have hall duty outside the cafeteria during which I occasionally try to reprimand a few rowdy 6th graders and then realize I don't have the vocabulary to effectively stop them. Afterwards, I spend a cozy hour with my 8th graders during the 5th period. And today, I was a substitute during 6th period in the 7d English class. SURPRISE 7d is so much fun! I wish I got to be with them everyday. One of the girls was in Martha's Vineyard this summer, so thats cool, because I'm from Cape Cod and MV is an island off Cape Cod.

Considering some days I only teach one 45 minute lesson, Mondays are jam packed. Especially when I am a substitute. Which has happened once a week so far. I'm okay with that. Honestly, I should volunteer to substitute more often. My world is small and I haven't exactly found ways to fill the time completely.

I had a moment today after school that was just sort of realizing that this is what my life is going to be like and feel like for a while. I don't really know what I mean, but I guess it was just recognizing the pattern that I have been in and knowing that this is the pattern that is going to continue. I think I'm okay with that. I used to be sort of pessimistic about starting a year long position when I'd much rather settle in somewhere for a number of years at least. But honestly, after packing up to move in between massachusetts and minnesota twice a year, being in one place for nearly 365 days is a gift. And, its such a relief to be teaching on an annual schedule versus a semester long schedule like in college. Its crazy to think that I will be together with these same students until July 25th!!! That is a long time.

But now, I am going to go to bed early with a book.

sunrise over the hills behind my house. one good thing about waking up early

yes. I did go back to school after hours and recreate a lesson and take a picture of myself on self timer. 

the 8b classroom. its got a lot going for it. 

Beyond the 8b and teacher's rooms, I spend a lot of time in the computer room where the computers seldom run efficiently and throw me into a panic each time I try to print something shortly before class and still leave enough time to copy it with double sides 23 times. 

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