Sunday, December 31, 2006

A look back, a look ahead

Hi, gang, did you miss me? I figured, with the year about to end and getting back to work soon, I'd better wrap my adventures as a "real" teacher, and then do the usual wrap-up/look forward. So, first off, the rest of my time as a proper high school math teacher went well. There were even a couple of days when I'd managed to catch up on things so well that I could go home for a while before heading off to tutor. Speaking of which, when I asked to cut back on the tutoring a bit because of my workload, they were very kind and gave me a few less hours. To be sure, I had to make up for it with a few Saturday hours, and an extra hour the following week — yes, tutoring must go on even when the schools are on break, but only one extra week.

It turned out to not quite be a full week, however. That last day before break started? We had one of the worst windstorms in years sweep through the area the night before. A lot of kids didn't come to tutoring on Thursday, and we even started calling them to not come if they weren't already on the way. It got really bad overnight, and trees fell all over the place, knocking out power and communications lines. Needless to say, school was cancelled for the day. Laura and I were lucky, as we only lost power for two days, and part of a tree in our yard fell on the trunk of my car, crunching it up pretty good. (It's in the shop right now, and I'll probably be driving the rental to work for the first few days of school.) Fortunately, my folks lost power for only a few hours, so by the time we were getting too cold and stir crazy, we were able to go down there and stay with them (and use their internet, thank goodness). Other areas were not so lucky. Just to the east of us was one of the worst affected areas, where they didn't have power for a week, and some of the lines were tangled up so badly with trees and branches that they weren't quite sure what to do. Everything's okay now, however, but crews came down from Canada and from as far as Kansas to help out. Once power came back, our internet was still out for a couple of days later, so Laura found a local library (not our usual branch, as it stayed closed for several more days) with wi-fi, and I went into my tutoring job early on Monday just to use their wi-fi and get caught up. Fortunately, by the time I got home, it was back.

Okay, that's enough of that, right? So how was 2006? I'd like to forget it, thank you very much. Lots of work, to be sure, and it was mostly good, but working two jobs just to stay on top of things sucks, frankly, and I am really getting burned out. But nobody seems to care or can do much about it right now, so I'm stuck with it for a while longer. I'm really unhappy that I had six interviews this summer, but the only offer I got — after three visits to the school, each with a demonstration, and four interviews — was later rescinded because the school couldn't wait for the district to give its okay. Is there some magic word or secret handshake that nobody has mentioned to me? I will have to seriously persue jobs outside of the area and be ready to move, and if that doesn't work out, I don't think I can stay in teaching any longer, not that I know what else I can do. All this comes, of course, at the same time that the governor is making noise about the need for more math and science teachers in this state. Oy...

But that's long term, and I still have the coming week. I already have a job lined up for Thursday, and I just hope that isn't the same day the body shop calls and says, "Pick up your car today or we start charging you extra for storage that your insurance company won't pay."

Good-bye, 2006, and good riddance! Bring on 2007, I doubt it can get much worse! (Please don't let those be prophetic last words...)

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