FIRST. I survived! Can I get an "Amen?!"
Last week was a 2-day teaching week, and this week was a 4-day teaching week. I can't say it was a bad week but it sure wasn't a great week. To be perfectly fair, this week was okay. Not by any means terrible, but certainly not walking on clouds awesome. I'm still working out a lot about how this school works and all the things I need to do and have done, and how to do them and get them done is taking me some time. Running in the background is the fact that we (Mick and I) are stressed to the nines in our household. He's not gotten paid in ages, our stuff is trapped in Georgia because we can't afford to get back down there, there's no telling when we'll be able to get it -- we're now running into Fall, where stuff that "could wait" can no longer wait, bills aren't getting paid ... This new teaching gig both alleviates and adds to the stress. There are lots of adjustments, and most of them will work themselves out with time, and we're confident, if freaking out, that the financial stuff will work itself out, too. But when we think too hard, we can't stop thinking and that stinks. Because we don't have an answer today, and so we are stressed. Very, very stressed.
So there's that -- the stress of the job, which is to say, having the/a job at all and working out schedules and bed times and (now separate!) bath times, and dinner and playing and ... you get the idea. But then there's also the stress at the job. People are happy to help, but when? It is absolutely wonderful that we were given so much freedom, but the trade-off is that I have a giant list of things to ask about and take care of, but making my way through that list is slow, at best, and since so much is new to me (new and strange email system, working on a mac instead of a pc, but a mac that's different from my mac at home, an alien-to-me bell schedule, I know these are seriously earth-shattering, huh?!), it's not the kind of list where I can check it all off without help. It's comical really, and I am well aware of the fact that if I had a meeting every day to go over all this stuff, I'd be kicking and screaming about that. The grass is always greener, right?! So I KNOW that these issues are silly and in a few weeks I will wonder why I was ever worried. But sheesh, the getting-back-into-the-groove is kicking my butt! I can't lie!
I am fine with asking for help, but I'm so buried under, it's hard to figure out when to ask and whom to ask. And in my typical "worst case scenario" brain, I jump right to the "when I get fussed at for this" mode, instead of pausing and remembering no one has yet asked me about the ten thousand things I'm worried about! Stupid, huh? You can say it. It's stupid. I'm not getting fussed at. It will be fine. It IS fine. I am great and calming and reassuring when it comes to reminding other people to be calm, and incredibly terrible at reminding myself to be calm. The short version is all my ducks are not in a row and I. Can't. Stand. That.
On the positive, I've got decent classes and only 68 students total (well, give or take -- I have two other classes that get graded, but only on a participation/civic responsibility rubric, so I am not counting that as "teaching grading," if that makes sense). I just can NOT get my brain around this every-other-day schedule. I can't get my brain around it, I can't get my brain around it. I am, so far, planning every day the evening before, and even then I'm not pacing it right. And in the meantime we're losing prep time for meetings and class time for testing and I am trying to keep track not only of the schedule in general, but then the changes to the schedule. It's madness -- or at least, so far it is. I know it will come, but Lord help me, I am not there yet. And it's frustrating for me. INSANELY frustrating for little old Type A, insanely organized, mostly-photographic-memory, me. Oh! And it's only 5 days into the year and so far I've thrown two kids out of class for being disruptive/disrespectful/defiant! That's always fun, too. I shouldn't let it stress me, but it does; I come home angry and frustrated and DREADING the next day to see what awaits me with behavior issues. (Good news: both kids were fine, if a little sullen, the next day.) I wish I were a guy and could just say "who cares" and really mean it. I still go back to my first year of teaching when the kids tried to key my car and one student tried to kill another by triggering her allergies "to see what happens" ... again, I always go to the worst-case scenario.
Anyway. I survived, and that's what counts. And the week, all things considered, was hardly anything extraordinary. It wasn't bad, it wasn't great, it just was. Is that so wrong?! Hopefully I will have some time this weekend to regroup and plan, and this weekend's planning will be a little better than last weekend's planning, and maybe it will come together next week. I am still just only a hair ahead of "by the seat of my pants," and I need to get past that! The nice thing is the weather's been great and the dress code is waaaay more relaxed than anyplace else I've ever worked and so I am totally taking advantage of the fact that flip-flops are cool for work ... that's especially nice because other than knowing "they're in a box," I have no idea where my shoes are! I'm also back to checking out some amazing teacher blogs that I stopped reading when I stopped teaching, and they are, as always, inspiring. (Well, or depressing if you think how far from those folks I am right now, but I prefer to think of them as inspiring!)
In the meantime ...