Sunday, September 19, 2010

what i've been up to, professional version

Hi there! Yes, I'm here, but just haven't felt like blogging, though I'm sure there is plenty of material to write about.

It's mid-September somehow, and that means we've been married for six weeks. :)

Also, school started. The weird one-day school week was the same as my very first year teaching, which makes sense, because that was seven years ago now. :) I didn't have a permanent job yet, so I was in the ATR and for that first "week" I helped out in a kindergarten class. For the second week I subbed in a Spanish class in a middle school. And I actually tried to teach them Spanish. Which is funny because a) I don't really speak Spanish and b) hello, eighth graders could give a shit about a substitute, especially in the first couple weeks of the year! (I was placed in First Middle School the third week of school, September 27. My principal there told me a few times how lucky I was not to be at that other school. It was a mess; there were four principals that year!)

Anyway, so I had my first day of school not being a teacher.

I did keep busy that day though; I temped downtown. I've been getting a few assignments here and there in offices and school offices in the last week or two. I'm hoping things keep going, because money is finally coming *in* to my bank account instead of leaking out, out, out. It's really stressful not having a regular, dependable paycheck.

I am really enjoying working in new places and doing my best to help get work done. I like feeling useful, and I like mindlessness of filing and things--it is such a difference from being ON every second of the day so that the small people in the room stay under some modicum of control. :) I don't think I'll love it forever; I'm a reasonably smart person and I do want to do a bigger and better job than just a temp for a day or two. But I understand that will take awhile. It's difficult to stay positive and motivated. I know that there's a lot I am capable of doing, but I also know that I'm not very qualified compared to other people my age who have been in 'regular' nonteaching jobs, or at least that it might be tough for an employer to look past so much teaching and/or understand that I can do a lot besides teaching and because of teaching.

There was a bit of time in late August/early September when I was really trolling job boards and sending out resumes. That trickled to a stop once I started getting a few temp calls. Right now, it's such a relief to have something to do (and I love that it's not every day!) and even more, the money. The novelty will wear off soon as I look into the uncertain future without a reliable income for months. Ag.

Oh! I got a steady part-time job on Saturdays--teaching!

It's kind of a strange thing--I was worried about quitting teaching cold turkey and not being around any kids anymore (I miss my kids from last year!). So now I'm still a teacher, but only for one day a week. Much less stressful than five. :) However, it's definitely more stressful than zero! I was really worried about pacing the time (I'm teaching three sections) and what they were expecting of me and the students. But now we've had two sessions and I'm back in the groove a bit. It still takes a bit of time at home to plan and gather materials, and I need to do a little more from now on probably. There are assistants who grade but they might want an answer key, so I need to go all the way through the work myself to prepare that. Not gonna lie, that part I do not like.

Surprisingly, so far I'm liking my older students more. There are only six though (eleven in the younger group), and they're mostly boys. They all seem pretty nice so far, easy-going and eager to learn and laugh a little. I like that. :) The younger ones are much more lively, though nearly all of them are eager to learn and definitely laugh.

This week we were talking about subject-verb agreement and I was reviewing that if there's an 's' on the subject, there's not usually one on the verb, and vice versa. One kid asked how come, or who made that rule. "The president?" she guessed. I smiled and said no, it's from way, way before presidents. I said I have no idea why that's the way it is and I'm not sure how you could go about finding out. "Google!" cried out three students at once.

These kids nowadays. :)


I have been doing other things around home, but I'm going to save that for another post or two! Because I do want to get back into the habit of blogging. I rarely have anything super exciting to write about, but I like working things out in words and having a record of life's little things. :)

So I'll see you again very soon!


NCavillones said...

When we first moved to Western MA, I was looking for part-time jobs or jobs that I could do from home, and I had the same feeling: that I didn't know how to do anything except be a teacher! I know that can't be true but that's where I am right now, a teacher with tons of experience. I guess I'll have time later to figure out how those skills transfer!

Glad to see you blogging again! More, please! said...

after 21 years as a teacher in an inner city school, I am now trying my hand back in business. Stop by my blog to see how it's working out. And keep writing, I want to see how your life away from the classroom works. Of course, working in school offices is not too much different.

libraryhopper said...


"You'll be back": Louann Johnson's NYC high school students predicted in her book, "The Girls in the Back of the Class," She had the teaching bug and they knew it. She had the social (and physical!) skills to control her classroom, having been a U.S. Marine prior to teaching. Great book. Seems like you've got the teaching bug, too.

-Sally A. Friedman

libraryhopper said...

On that last comment, the name should be "LouAnne Johnson," not "Louann Johnson."

I apologize for the error.