The first week of teaching is over… and it was exhausting. Despite doing my best to wake up early all summer, it did not at all compare to 4:45 a.m. Yeesh. I was blessed with the gift of Starbucks coffee twice, once from a co-worker and once from a former student. That helped.
Let me take a moment to complain and vent:
- Public speaking is still terrifying
- I can’t believe I’m teaching 3 different grades again
- Marking essays is miserable
- Certain adults are buttheads of the highest degree
BUT, the good far outweighs the bad, and it is important for me to record that (in case I need a gentle reminder later on, in those desperate hours of early November and mid-March…)
- This was the easiest, smoothest start of the year by far. I knew which procedures I needed to focus on, I knew how to balance the boring syllabus stuff with ice-breakers and anticipatory sets, and I knew to get to the copy machine a week before school started so I could actually be prepared.
- My co-workers are awesome. It was really exciting to return to work and be, on both the giving and receiving ends, surrounded by genuine camaraderie.
- I appear to have a good set of students, who are going to behave and be open to all the stuff we have to learn this year.
- Despite the stress of attempting to teach three different grades well, at least nothing is brand new to me this year, so I can focus on adaptation and improvement rather than creation.
- My career allows me to be a lifelong learner (Ravenclaw nerd time)!!!
- Over the summer, I read “Engaging Ideas: the Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning” by John C. Bean and discovered a lot of good ideas for writing prompts and grading rubrics.
- Currently, I’m reading “Everyday Sexism” by Laura Bates and gaining a lot of good ideas (as well as depression and empowerment… oh the perilous highs and lows of embracing feminism in the midst of our effed-up society) for Women’s Literature.
- Up next is “So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to be and Why it Endures” by Maureen Corrigan. That will help with my American Literature class, I expect. Gatsby is such an amazing book and I don’t think I’ve conveyed that well to high schoolers yet.
- The work hours are insanely long, much more than anyone who doesn’t live with a teacher will ever truly understand, but the vacation time truly does help. 118 days until Christmas! ;)
- I get to talk about books, writing, grammar, and communication and someone pays me for it! And I’m helping make at least a few of the future civilians (voters/procreators/leaders/etc.) not be complete idiots! Hallelujah.
Of course, writing always gets placed on the back-burner when my teacher hat is on. Perhaps this year, my third full year/fourth sort-of year at AHS, I’ll be able to make significant time to work on writing and revisions outside of NaNoWriMos. Let us hope…
and let us sleep. Good night.