Sunday, August 26, 2007

They're Ba-ack!

The 28th. Tuesday. THIS Tuesday. The "its in only two days, really one now, Tuesday."

Yes, on Tuesday the kids come back. This past week I've been in "Professional Development" (a fancy euphemism for "boring meetings educators are required to attend in which, rather than paying attention to the droning meeting, they play games at their table such as: How many 5-letter words can you create using only the letters in 'PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT'? in order to avoid the nagging feeling that one could be accomplishing something...dare I say--worthwhile!?!").
But on Tuesday they come back. I am, I hope, ready for another school year--if not lesson plan prepared, at least mentally prepared to do this all over again.

And so, over the course of the past week, I've ruminated about all those things I love and hate about teaching. The Reality Check Side Note: Let's face it--as much as I told myself in college I was going to college and accumulating all this student loan debt so that I could one day wake up each morning and say that I loved my job, the truth is that just like the pain-in-the-arse-office/lumber-mill-its-to-get-me-through-college-job, I usually wake up dreading going to work. Once I'm there, I'm usually semi-happy about it and prefer it to forementioned job. Nonetheless, I wish I could go back to former self and say "stay in college, it is easier here and your future involves paying back the student loans, honey."
Anyway, so I was thinking about what I love and hate about teaching high school and I've come down to my top 5 in each category. Enjoy!

5. Meetings, meetings, and more meetings...meetings to schedule the next meeting.
4. My permanently aching feet.
3. Waking up painfully early.
2. Disciplining and classroom management because sometimes I really think they lack common sense...just a little.
1A. Grading and everything about it: the paperwork, reading the same topic/paper over and over and over again, the "you've earned an A because it wasn't that hard for you whereas you've earned a C even though you've worked your tushie off and made leaps and bounds in your own progress."
1B. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, there was a tie so technically this is's my blog). When they don't reach their potential because they don't see it in themselves or they just plain don't push themselves to their full potential and I see them fall by the wayside (i.e. dropping out, failing, stop attending, transferring to alternative school, etc.) because, ultimately, it is their decision to succeed or fail. Watching this happen again and again really sucks. Fighting it and having it still happen sucks even more.

5. Summer! It is, after all, one nice perk out of very few. Now that it is over, I realize just how much I do love that it. It is the antithesis to the meeting-filled, waking early, aching feet, grading life I'm used to.
4. I have a department full of guaranteed great book recommendations and a promise of a good conversation about the book once I'm finished. Being the book-geek that I am, this really is something I love about my job--just being surrounded by other book -geeks makes me feel less alone in the world.
3. Teenagers really are too funny--whether their personality be smooth and charming or awkward and nearly offensive--they entertain and I enjoy them for the people that they are.
2. The few ego-stroking days I feel like I am doing something worthwhile and contributing something "good" to society.
1. When they "get it" and I think that maybe, just maybe, I played some small part in them "getting it"--nothing is more fantastic or rewarding than watching a skill form or some new piece of knowledge or idea settle into the mind of a young person. Nothing. Think "this class period my life was like an inspirational teacher movie!" (BTW--Teacher Movies: remind me to blog my love/hate relationship with these one day).

And that brings me to the "What About You?" What do you love about your job? What do you hate? Post your comments--I love to hear all about you!


HAD said...

I loved reading what you like and hate about your job. So here are my 5 each:

1. Eating lunch with my friends almost everyday.
2. Getting to know the regular customers.
3. I love counting money and I get to do it over and over everyday.
4. Everyday is different. No two days are alike no matter what.
5. I like to people watch and what better place than the grocery store.

1. My feet hurt everyday when I get off.
2. I do get some mean customers. Some people just like to complain.
3. My hands get dirty fast. Believe your mother when she tells you money is dirty.
4. I hate to be short handed. Not having enough people is really tough.
5. I don't like working Sunday. I try to take them all off but I am required to work at least one a month.

Well there they are I hope you enjoy my top 5.

Jinriksha said...

Here it first comment on your blog dear sister. You've been bugging me enough to do it. :P

As you know I am in a job that is really just a transition for me but that fulfills some important functions in my life. Most importantly it pays the bills while I study and prepare for a new career in a field that I love and find extremely fascinating (Information Technology). For those that don't know I am an assistant manager of a convenience store. Here's my list:

1. Having a real job for the first time in my life (having been in college and graduate school for the rest). This is great for me because I am proving to myself that I have what it takes to succeed in whatever I decide to do and because I am really developing a great work ethic.
2. My co-workers (well most of them that is).
3. The customers (well most of them anyway). It is great to talk to some customers especially the regulars and to get to know them. There are also many interesting characters that come in all the time. Remind me to tell you about the vagrants and their antics sometime.
4. Being the one that my co-workers come to in order to solve problems or to ask questions because they know I will have the answer (or know where to find it). I enjoy being the kind of person that others can rely on when there is a crisis.
5. Moping...for some strange reason I love moping the floor.

1. Cleaning piles of feces out of the urinal or sink or wiped all over the wall.
2. Co-workers who are sometimes extremely lazy and unreliable.
3. Not having a set schedule.
4. Not having a break unless I smoke.
5. Not being able to take a day off if I'm sick unless I can find a co-worker who is kind enough to work for me.

Stine said...

LOVE(in no particular order):

1. Being able to enter someone's personal space and interact with their body and energy.
2. Doing craniosacral therapy, at all.
3. Being able to be completely present when someone has any kind of emotional release or emotional realization about their body.
4. Having someone come back to me and say any of the following: I haven't been in pain since I saw you last, I can feel my fingers again, I can turn my neck, move this or that body part again, I've been taking deeper breaths since I saw you last.
5. The moment someone finally realizes the kinesthetic connection between their mind and their body and is able to: relax their jaw, uncurl their toes, breathe into their abdomen, relax their fingers, hold their head exactly on top of their shoulders, or free their neck.

HATE(in no particular order):

1. Having my elbow in somebody's gluteus muscles, having them be asleep, and having them fart on my face.
2. 2 words - toe jam.
3. accidental testicle/beaver shots
4. Having to stick my fingers in somebody's armpit when I'm sure that said armpit has enough stench to melt my fingers off.
5. Specific skin contraindications such as: scabies, open sored herpes, boils, skin ulcers, or fungus.

Mrs. Bennett said...

Good luck! How was your first day back?