Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Another day in paradise...

I really suck at this blogging thing.  I'm not even going to do the whole "starting today, I'm going to start writing more!" declaration, because I know it will probably be another month before I post anything again. ;)

I open up Blogger this evening because I am worn out and just feel like there's something in me that is just dying to get out.  (Plus, it is just another way for me to procrastinate and put off doing my homework just a little bit longer.)  I can't focus on anything.  I'm edgy all the time.  I can't relax or sleep (except when it's not time to sleep, of course).  So here I am.  Putting words together.  Hoping whatever is inside of me will just express itself already so that I can move on.

I am so exhausted.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  (Isn't it interesting that spiritual exhaustion is the only one that can be revived by doing more things relating to it?)  Every day this week, I have come home and  have no energy to do anything.  I either zoned out or took a nap for an hour and a half, and then I find anything and everything to do to put off doing work a little bit longer.  And considering how much I have to get done in such little time, that definitely can't be happening.  I'm in complete denial mode.  I feel like I'm a stubborn child who just folds her arms, pouts, and says, "No! I don't wanna!"  I just want to walk away from it all sometimes.  If I don't think about it, it will all just go away and fix itself, right?

I think "overwhelmed" is an understatement.  I have to get some energy if I want to survive the next three and a half weeks and pass my classes and keep my job.  Sometimes I really don't know if I can make it much longer at this job.  It's so wearing, in all aspects of the word.  I love teaching.  And that's why I'm having such a hard time with this job, because I don't get to teach very often.  All I do is discipline and go crazy.  Every single day.  I can't go one class period without having to raise my voice.  I've tried just not letting it get to me (all the talking, disruptions, smacking, defiance, etc.) and just stay cool and calm, but it gets to a point where they are just completely out of control and the only way I can get them in control is to scream so they can all hear me and know I'm serious.  And by the time it's gotten to that point, I'm already severely pissed off, so I end up just screaming a lecture at them for five minutes.  Sigh...  Anyway...I'll move on and stop venting on a tangent.  I love teaching.  But I don't love this.  Don't get me wrong, I've had some good times.  But the bad times far outweigh the good.  Far far outweigh.

So I don't know...I'm not giving up (mainly because I don't have the guts to confront the principal and actually quit, admitting that I failed and just can't handle it).  But it's really really hard.  And I'm not going to lie and say it isn't.  Every day I leave near tears and think, "I'm not so sure I want to do this anymore...".  But it's a job, and if I can survive it, it's really going to have amazing impact on my career in the future.  I know that when thinking big picture, it is totally going to be worth it.  And I know that I don't have to do this forever.  And I know that I don't want to do this forever.  I'm thankful for my experience here and I know I always will be, but I know that I'm not cut out for this for the long run.  So I need to just appreciate and be thankful for the time that I do spend here, and take comfort knowing that I will be led wherever I am meant to go.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"If" by Rudyard Kipling

We have this poem displayed in our bathroom down in Louisiana.  I cannot tell you how much of a comfort it is to me.  I read it every single day while I'm in the bathroom getting ready, and now I have almost the whole thing memorized.  It is my favorite.  It seems like it speaks to me no matter what I am dealing with in my life.  It offers constant encouragement, reassurance, and peace.  It helps me take a deep breath and remember that, like Job, I am ok no matter what happens, and I will always be grateful.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

*Interesting side note, the plaque in our bathroom doesn't have the last line on it.  Hmmm...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All Day Teacher Training = A Welcomed Break

I found out last night that I would be in teacher training all day today which, to be honest, was like the hallelujah chorus to my ears.  The past week has been rough, so a day spent away from my students was a welcomed break.  I felt bad for that sub, though...

The day was surprisingly nice.  The training was informative and helpful, albeit a little generic and boring at times.  And it was nice to get to hang out with some of the other teachers all day.  I'm finally getting to know some people, and I've almost learned everyone's name.  I'd come close to saying that I might just have myself some teacher friends!  ;)

I am thankful to finally start to feel more comfortable at the school.  I'm getting used to the routine and all of the various policies and rules.  I know who everyone is and who I need to talk to for help or advice (and whose advice not to take...).  Two new teachers have been hired on since me (crazy, right?!) - a math and an ELA - so I'm not the "rookie" anymore.  The principals and other teachers are starting to respect and trust me more, as well as the students.  It's a daily struggle, but they are starting to realize that I'm not going anywhere and I mean business.  My classroom is finally all settled (for the most part), and my teaching and lessons are getting into a routine and more organized.  I'm definitely feeling more confident. :)

One a side note, I take two PRAXIS tests this Saturday - English Content and English Pedagogy.  (I take a third in January - Principles of Learning and Teaching 7-12 Grade.)  I have to receive a qualifying score on both in order to get my teaching license and keep my job, so there's just a little bit of pressure. ;)  I feel prepared and ready, though, so hopefully it will go well!  I'll keep you posted!


Oh, and PS - Surprisingly, the sub said the day wasn't too bad.  I had to come up to the room a few times, and they seemed fairly controlled.  I was really taken aback by how the students treated me when the sub was there, though.  They all acted like they LOVED me, super friendly, doing what I asked them to...crazy.  I even had one student, who normally acts as though he utterly loathes me and my class and that smiling or saying anything nice would just shatter his existence, was all concerned first period when he saw a sub because he thought I was leaving. I could tell by his face that he was genuinely concerned.  I was so shocked, I called him out on it.  "What do you care?" I asked in confusion.  "You act as though you completely hate me!"  He just laughed (which I've never heard him do unless he's in the hallway with friends or joining in on the class while they laugh at me as I get angry...) and went, "Nah, Miss Allen, you're cool!"  Sigh...I swear, it feels like I'm in the Twilight Zone sometimes... :)