I can’t say that I am completely lost for words, but I am a little bit amazed–both in a good way and in a shocking sort of way.
Had you asked me even two months ago what I would be thinking at 11:30 at night on September 20, I would have replied that I would be peacefully asleep with all my marking done, dreaming about how wonderful the next day would most certainly be, and resting with the peace of mind knowing that my dreams would come true.
Boy, was I wrong. Now, don’t mistake me. I’m not complaining. I absolutely love teaching, and it truly is wonderful. It’s just a little bit more stressful and complicated than I anticipated (and I thought I planned for the worst-case scenario).
I will start off with the awesome side of the my amazement. I am completely impressed with the students at my school. They are such capable, wonderful young adults. While there are exceptions to every rule, on the whole, the student body is comprised of upstanding citizens. The staff at my school is also absolutely fantastic. They are remarkable educators, facilitators, and human beings. I am so grateful for all the support thus far and the support I know I will receive (and still desperately need) in the future.
My students are also great people. Almost daily (all 12 of the days), at least one student says something that reminds me why I love to teach. I had a student in my Psychology 20 class ask if they could work with another class and swap their research design projects for testing process part of the assignment. She has inspired me to reach out over the next few weeks and months to find other classes outside our school interested in working together. She made me smile, and for that I am grateful.
I am amazed, in a shocking sort of way, however, at the toll teaching takes on one’s body. I was so exhausted after my first week even. I’m getting into a groove, but that also means that I am starting to stay up later and groan a little louder when my alarm goes off in the morning. I can say honestly that I am definitely doing my best work in period one and three. I find that I love teaching morning classes.
I have one class that I am struggling with regarding classroom management. Any hints or secrets would be greatly appreciated. The staff has been so supportive of me, and I feel like my next step will be parent-contact. This class wears me out mentally and physically daily. I know that by the end of the day (which is my biggest class), I am not able to do my best work. I am trying to find a balance and a way to rebound from a tougher class so that I can give all my classes my best effort, and not feel like I’m spent come last period. I’m sure there will be more to come in my later posts reflecting on giving my all, all the time.
I really wanted to segue nicely into my reflections, but it just hasn’t happened, so I’m sort of changing the subject. I came home from school today feeling utterly frustrated. I was tense and annoyed. I didn’t know how to feel or what to tell myself. I am living on my own for very first time. Aside from learning how to cook, I’m also learning how to be alone. I like the peace and quiet, but there are times when I do feel like I need to talk with someone. My roommates, three goldfish, have been excellent therapists. I vented to them when I got home, but I didn’t feel better.
While I was folding laundry with my Sheldon Cooper-inspired/informercial-style laundry folding board, I remembered what I learned from a motivational speaker, Darcy Lang, in my internship. Focus on the 90%. Basically, it just means that really only 10% of stuff going on in your life is bad. The rest is going great! Focus on the good stuff and the bad stuff won’t seem so overwhelming. So, I decided to refocus. I started off with 1 thing that was really bugging me. That was easy. It was a student-issue from the day that has been haunting me all day. I then forced myself to come up with 9 great things from the day. I was really hard at first. It took me about 5 minutes to come up with three answers. After that, they started pouring out. I won’t pretend I listed 634613565 things. I made it to nine. When I got to nine though, that one thing didn’t seem quite so bad. I think I need to do this every day to help keep my perspective on things. It made me realize that I was having a fantastic day up until noon hour. I let a few things bother me, and that’s when my day turned sour. No more sour-turning days for me (at least I hope not).
Well, I better get some sleep. My alarm is going off in way too few hours.