One Quarter Down….

     Well it’s now been almost a full Quarter of the school year.  I’ve been avoiding posting anything here for fear of being too negative.  The school year started as they all do – so stressful that speaking is barely possible.  Then it sort of calmed down as I got into a flow.  But I’m exponentially more exhausted this year than I have ever been in the past.  Who would have thought that having 50 minutes less of planning time, teaching a 3rd subject, and not having any help would be so exhausting?  I’ve really had some ups and downs this year.  One day I’m super proud of my 12th graders and pulling my hair out over my 6th graders, and then other days it’s vice versa.  Today I was just disgusted with them both.  I know that teachers are supposed to be these saintly, patient people – but the longer I teach, the less patience I have with what I like to call – Baby Stuff.  When a child tells me that they don’t want to write their notes because, “My finger hurts”, or someone screaming in my face that I am unfair because giving chewing gum demerits is “petty” it just gets my goat.  I was by no means a perfect child.  I got yelled at by my mother, I bombed the occassional test, got a couple of dress code infractions, and got in trouble for insulting a school fundraiser.  Sure – kids will be kids.  But I do NOT understand what has happened to kids having a respect for adults.  I would have NEVER raised my voice at an adult.  EVER.  And I knew that if I was so stupid as to do so – I would be feeling the back of my mother’s hand when I got home that night.  I don’t understand why parents allow their children to be so disrespectful – not just to teachers – but to THEM.  I’ve seen children straight up TELL their parent what will be happening, what they will be doing, and how they will be doing it – and the parent saying, “Ok”.  I had to work for things.  I had to get on the honor roll before I got the new expensive jeans that I wanted.  I had to raise my math grade before I got the new toy, etc. that I was begging for.  I didn’t get to bargain with my mom.  If I broke the rules I was punished – my mom didn’t tell me how the rule was unfair so therefore I’m allowed to break it.  What will happen when these parents teach their children to drive?  “Well I think the rule about not turning left on red is stupid, so go on ahead and do so if you feel like it.  If you get caught feel free to yell at the cop that pulls you over and refuse to pay the ticket”.  Say hello to losing your lisence.

Ugh.  I’m overworked and stressed as Hell.  I haven’t gotten home before 8 in 3 weeks.  I pack 2 meals to take to work on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays.  So I can eat dinner at 4 pm before I leave my first job to get to my second.  I’m really trying my best to juggle it all – but this year I just feel like a totally shitty teacher.  I have no time to accurately plan my lessons, no time to get papers graded & returned with any valuable feedback in a timely fashion, no time to contact parents, no time to get paperwork done, and basically no time to ever do anything.  The only time that I used to guaranteed to work on those things & get them all done was on Friday afternoons after the kids had a half day, but that time has been taken from me too now.  I don’t want to be a shitty teacher.  I’m actually a pretty awesome teacher – but I’m being denied the things that I need to make my teaching be awesome again.  There’s no functional printers, there’s no planning time, there’s no parental support, there’s no money for supplies to do differentiated instruction, there’s just not enough of anything.

I’ve tried everything to try to keep my stress under control.  I’ve become exceedingly depressed at what I consider to be lack-luster job performance.  I’ve grown exceedingly depressed that I still have to work a second job because I got a really crappy raise last year.  I’ve tried working out every morning (but its nearly impossible for me to get up at 4 am more than 2 or 3 days a week to do this before work), I’ve tried meditation, I’ve tried calling my mother, crying to friends, etc.  But the stress just keeps building.  I’m working harder than I ever have in my entire career – and yet feel like i’m failing miserably.  I just want to do what’s best for my students, but the current economic situation and the schedule situation make that impossible.  So in the meantime – I guess everyone has to suffer.

What I really need is a vacation.  Thank goodness I booked my Spring Break trip this past weekend.  Despite not really being able to afford it – I need a break from this city, my job, my life (well I mean my job has become my life in the past 2 months – so I guess I just need a break from my job).  So New York City here I come!  (In like 5 months!)  In the meantime – I’m going to keep playing the lottery, wishing for my days of being an award-winning teacher back, and crying to my boyfriend daily.  Maybe someday soon I won’t be so exhausted that I pass out on him & bore the heck out of him by falling asleep at 7 pm.  The morale in my building is so low it’s horrible.  There’s like a black cloud over the building.  I don’t want to let it affect the kids – I try so hard not to – but when you feel like crap all the time it has to show at least once in a while.  I’m going to the doctor for my yearly physical in about 4 weeks.  I plan to ask for the maximum dosage of the anti-depressants that I was on while I was in college & my house burned down.  Sadly – I’m serious.  Because when the impossible is expected of you everyday – sometimes it leads to drastic measures.  (Side effects may include muscle tremors, constipation, headaches, loss of sex drive, and vomiting)  But at least you don’t mind that you can’t poor or sleep.  My happy place used to laying in bed on Saturday for like 3 hours in the afternoon listening to my beach waves noise machine – now I spend those hours doing paperwork.   Only 16 more days until Veteran’s Day, 25 until Thanksgiving, and 45 until Christmas.  But hey, who’s counting?

Awesome things that students say:

In response to the question, “What does the word peace mean?”  “Peace is when there is only a calm, spiritual feeling in the air.  It basically means there is only good juju in the room.”

In response to the question, “Who is your role model?”  “God is my role model because he never makes mistakes and knows what’s up”

In response to the question, “What are you doing that’s making so much noise?”  “Your mom.”

In refrence to going to the washroom while we are on lockdown, “Why can’t I go?  I have a bathroom problem.  Can I just show my note to whoever is being the problem out there?”

While being handed a homework assignment, “What’s this crap.  This is bullshit.”  “And these are profanity demerits.”

Most hilarious thing ever this month – catching a kid lying and forging with another teacher – and then watching him run from us crying, sliding down the wall like he was in a Lifetime Movie, and crying on the floor – while we just stood there looking foolishly at each other.  Maybe you had to be there to realize that it was hilarious to see a tough little boy run into a corner & throw himself down on the ground freaking out about what really was not that big of a deal in the first place.  First stop, detention – next stop Lifetime movie….

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