Tag Archives: education

keep going

How do I keep going?

Well, somehow Spring Break was more stressful than relaxing, and I managed not to get any of the things accomplished that I had set out to do. How do I manage to mangle my life so much? It’s truly a mystery…

However I managed it, today is the last day of Spring Break, and in just two days, I’ll be expected to go back to work, to face these people I keep feeling like I’ve let down.

Letting people down seems to be something I’m good at of late… I let my students down by giving up. I let me friends down by being focused on the boy. I let the boy down by not being able to just be his friend. I let myself down by not using this time to find a new job.

And now come Monday, I’ll either have to quit, or pull myself together and make it work until June.

keep going

I was inspired to write again today. This time, not by the boy (I’ve spent plenty of time writing about all that, and he doesn’t want to talk to me anyhow), but by a teaching friend of mine. She speaks of her faith and how God led her to teach. I wish I had that kind of faith when it comes to my choices… Continue reading How do I keep going?

Sunny days in Lizland.

It’s amazing what good news and sunshine will do for the soul! I have been dreading my job, to the point of missing work due to panic attacks the last few days. I was ready to pack it in and quit because I felt like everyone must know about how bad things were, and what a failure I was as a teacher. And I was wrong! (Been a bit of that going around lately…)

Turns out that my administrators didn’t think there was a problem because I quit going to talk to them. I quit going to to talk to them because nothing seemed to be getting better, even when I went to talk to them.

I wonder how that happened…

how'd that happen2

Oh yeah, I was in a deep dark funk because everything in my life seemed to be headed in a dark place. Or maybe I was just fed up with teaching because now teaching is the equivalent of a juvenile prison guard. Or possibly I hate teaching to the test, but that’s all my job is anymore. Continue reading Sunny days in Lizland.

when administrators break the rules

Your AP said what?!

I’ve been teaching for a bit now. Over 5 years isn’t enough to call myself a veteran teacher, or a master teacher, or any of the other wonderful titles they give to the battle worn people who continue to do this job. But it is long enough to know when something’s not quite right.

One of my students (from before the move) came to visit me last week to tell me goodbye… because he was dropping out… because an administrator asked him why he hadn’t quit school yet.

Wait… What?! Surely that can’t be correct. Surely an administrator, an assistant principal whose job depends on this school staying open, wouldn’t try to convince a kid to leave for no reason. Surely we haven’t gotten so locked into test scores that the fact that he hasn’t passed yet would be reason enough to try to push a kid out. Have we learned nothing from Pump Up the Volume?

Is that movie really almost 25 years old?!

talk hardI understand the need for the testing, I really do. We want to make sure that everyone is on an equal footing, but we’ve been lowering the bar to ensure everyone was equal for so long that now the kids don’t know how to think for themselves.

Nor do they seem to want to. Coming down from, or probably actually rising up from the realization that I’ve been losing my battle with seasonal depression (aka Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD), I may just be a wee bit cynical. Today when I arrived at the school, I felt like I could be successful. I could walk in there and teach my heart out and these kids would listen. I believed that they wanted to learn, to better themselves same as the other people in my life (the boy keeps telling me he’s working on making himself better, as do several other people I know).

I should have known better.

With the new one-to-one initiative, or Power Up, or whatever goofy name they’re calling it this cycle, the kids have access to all the brilliance that could be found on the internet, and instead they play pool. Somehow the skill required for pool seems lessened when playing with pixilated balls. I lost at least 45 minutes of instructional time in each class today trying to keep them off this silly game. That and some sort of hide and seek with pixilated tanks…

The assignment was to make a comic strip using all the elements of a story (ESL, remember… Pictures to show understanding and then an essay). The story was supposed to be roughly based on Cinderella. They have a program in Edmodo that they can work with… This should have been a fun assignment.

Instead, I walked back and forth from computer to computer turning off games and slowly losing my temper.

After a successful weekend of cleaning and getting my life in order, I had expected a wonderful day, and instead was ready to give up before noon. Way before noon…

So I get it, I do. When a student seems to be a lost cause, I understand the desire to politely convince him to leave. We’re supposed to be catering to the ones who want to learn and help them be successful, not hold the hands of kids who don’t want to even be there. But aren’t we supposed to not give up on these kids?

I can’t decide if I’m more frustrated with my students, or the people who run the school…

Somebody tell me it gets better.

grad school decisions

Decisions about Grad School

I still have every intention of going back to Grad school, but the choice of what to study has left me with a bit of a conundrum. I took several graduate level classes before I began teaching, and was unsatisfied with the subject matter. I wanted to study literature to prove a little theory of mine, and the basic English Lit Master’s program wasn’t cutting it.

See, I’m full of theories. It goes back to being a Gemini, a starter of things that never quite get finished. So I have a lot of theories about a lot of things. And mostly things that have little or no importance to my actual life.

For example, I have this theory about objects in space. If all of life is cyclical, and the doings and machinations of man’s society can be mirrored in the minuscule workings of ants or other insects, why can’t the same be true for planets and solar systems? Now, I know that ants are nothing like humans, but the basic idea of needing order from chaos is a universal thing seen throughout nature. All animals group together to form little colonies or families or somesuch, and by studying groupings of certain species, we can kind of see the social evolution of humanity.

Similarly, I have a theory that you can determine the lifetime of a star by figuring out the lifetime of atoms. Assuming the star is the nucleus and the planets are the particles that orbit the nucleus of an atom, watching how atoms change and eventually die should help determine how solar systems do the same thing. I mean in essence, aren’t they the same thing only in different sizes? I always get tripped up when you add in moons and things, but I think the premise is somewhat valid…

Maybe a better lead in would have been fractals.

grad school decisions

Anyway, the point is I have theories galore that fill the little unused portions of my brain. Sometimes things worth discussing, and sometimes not at all. Continue reading Decisions about Grad School