Radio Silence

Seems like it’s been a longish while since I had time to sit in front of my computer and just…exist! 2014 is continuing to try to test me, and while I don’t think I’ve been handling it as well as I should, I think I’m coming out of a bad patch (hopefully) and things will be a bit more smooth sailing.

sorryFirst, I think I owe a good friend an apology. I think I was jumping to conclusions (something I asked him NOT to do) about some things he wasn’t saying, all because of a selfish need that wasn’t being filled. Now that my car is fixed, although not quite in my possession, I am aware of how stressed I was about being trapped at home. I needed certain reassurances that I was too stubborn to ask for, and it caused my already tender feelings to be hurt nearly beyond repair. The subsequent argument(s) have kept me in a bit of a funk that opened some creative doors but shut down the more rational processing portions of my brain; the areas that allow me to make smart decisions and write useful stuff.

Secondly, my job has completely been turned on it’s ear! Any of you who are teachers are aware how difficult our job is, in spite of our hours, “paid” summer vacations, and the malicious thought that only inept people become teachers (remember that old adage: “those who can’t, teach…”). For those of you who AREN’T teachers, I’d be glad to enlighten you in a future post. Today, however, is for venting a little about current work craziness. Suffice it to say that teaching is more difficult than the average American believes it to be.

And my job just suddenly became harder.

Last year, I took (and passed) the test to become ESL certified. This means that I am now certified to teach people, who usually speak a language I don’t, how to speak English. I am also responsible for getting them ready for a test they can’t read (generally). The amount of paperwork that goes with this is more than I could have ever imagined, according to every ESL teacher I’ve ever met. See, I am not an ESL teacher.

Or rather, I wasn’t.

On Monday I was told asked to take over as an ESL teacher. My new students convinced a woman to quit after less than a day. I was told to leave my credit recovery kiddos, that don’t trust easily, and go to a classroom, on the second floor (notably the worst) to try to tame teach students who scared a veteran teacher away after less than a day…

classroommanagementChallenge accepted.

Then, on Tuesday I was given an hour to pack my classroom and move out, before I’d had a chance to tell my kids what was happening. Heart break on my part, anger (I was told later) on theirs.

Yesterday, with less than 3 hours of sleep (thanks to the aforementioned arguments for which I need to apologize), I was forced to take a workshop for yet another computer program to use in my instruction. Admittedly, this one was actually somewhat useful…but that didn’t stop me from falling asleep in the middle of the presentation. Repeatedly. The second half of my day was supposed to be for lesson planning, without any guidance or assistance from any of the people who were supposed to be guiding me. The two people who offered were forced to watch other classes. So yesterday, none of the English or Social Studies teachers got their conference periods, and I was relatively unproductive.

And so today, I met with my new kiddos. With a half-assed lesson plan that I used at the beginning of the school year, I was able to keep them somewhat busy. I understand, though, why these students were able to scare away a perfectly good teacher… They are a handful.

But can you blame them? I’m the third certified teacher that has been in there to teach them, and apparently they’ve been shuffled between about 5 subs while the school tried to determine who to shove in there with them.

Freshmen teachers, especially English teachers, are dropping like flies at my school, and I don’t quite know why, but it has me a bit frightened.

I guess we’ll see how things go. In the meantime, I’ll be working during this 3-day weekend on making someone else’s lesson plans (which require a projector) work for my new kiddos, in my new room (that has no projector).

As a side note, I was thinking of doing a series of posts on some of my more fun lessons. If you’re interested, leave me a message in the comments.

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