Saturday, September 20, 2008

Finally, a chance to breathe

Hi, everybody. Yes, I finally have a free, relaxing weekend to catch up on some blogging, a few other things (I finally got a haircut today, for example), and to finally feel settled in. With the exception of a truckload my parents are bringing over tomorrow, all of our stuff is here in our new house now, so all we have to do is figure out what to do with it all.

So, teaching. How's it going, Eric, I can hear you ask. I'll be honest, it's mixed. There are times where I feel I am doing a good job and things are progressing as well as can be expected. That's my rational, logical side talking. There are other times — often in the same day — where my paranoid side is panicking that they're going to fire me any day now. After some of the experiences in my last contracted job (the year of the strike), I'm afraid the paranoid side wins out a lot. Every time the principal or a colleague comes in, things go well and I get good feedback. The principal even gave me one of his "Superb Teaching" notes. But now that the students have been here for a few weeks and that start-of-the-year honeymoon phase is over, I also see the struggles I'm having getting ideas across, conveying my expectations, and how indifferent a lot of the students are to it. How can I help students who don't even want to put in an effort? What can I do for students who are taking a class for a second, or even third, time? This is a good curriculum that's well laid out and doesn't make unreasonable demands on a student's time, so it shouldn't be that hard to do the work. Oh, well, I'll keep plugging along and see if I can make a positive impact. I know I have the support of my colleagues and administration, however, which is something I'm not used to, so I feel pretty sure that at least it's going to work out all right in the end.

Further complicating matters, my room is too small, and too many of the cabinets are still filled with science equipment. I have nowhere to put my own stuff or what I need to teach with, and the students are crammed in a bit. (At least my algebra class no longer has forty students. They found a place for the middle school students.) I've also run out of books, but more students keep coming in as well. This school has a large migrant student population, so I can see that this is going to become a problem soon.

On the lighter side, Homecoming is this coming week, and as one of the junior class advisers, I have a few duties to perform. I have plans for costumes for most of the week, and I get to see the town's Homecoming parade for the first time. Laura and I are also going to the football game, and I'll probably be at the volleyball game as well.

Anything else I need to add? What do you want to know about this new job? Go ahead and ask in the comments. I'll see if I can get a chance to answer them later.

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