The anticipation on so many levels…

12 08 2012

Although I have long considered myself an adult, my self-imposed bed time (of sorts) has gone completely AWOL in the past 3 months. Given the heady days of chaos leading up to summer, the summer holidays with minimal to no agenda whatsoever, and the current developments in my life, the sleep quality and quantity in my life at the moment is unreliable. R is the most recent cause for my lack of good quality sleep, and the inconsistency, as well as the uncertainty, is very trying.

Tomorrow, school starts again for another year. I’m frantically trying to feel mentally prepared, even though I know that I am ready.

Will I ever feel like a “legit” teacher?!

Maybe not. It is, after all, my 8th year of teaching. If it hasn’t happened yet, and I haven’t begun to feel, more consistently, that I am a decent educator, it’s not likely to happen, as they say. But there is hope, because I know that what I’m doing has value, and a purpose. I am here not of my own choice, but because of something greater. That is what I need to cling to. The improvements that I have observed over the years is legitimate proof of my growth as a teacher, so there is that.

Going back to my parents’ place and seeing this sweet face is always encouraging though, even if he is naughty.

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Today, I chose

16 03 2009

Feeling somewhat sick the whole day does not result in a constructive day by any stretch of the imagination. But I still hate it when students ask what I’ve graded, because there is always so much work (preparing, researching, writing amongst the many other things that I do in this stage of my life which, incidentally, makes eternity seem like the “jiffy” we often employ) that needs to be done. It’s sickening how much there is that needs to be done every day, and it really just makes me angry when they imply that I’ve done nothing because I haven’t finished grading one of their assignments. What do you do in a situation like that though? Respond or not? Honesty? Excuses? What?

Note to self: there are bigger issues at play here.

I literally salivate at the thought of resting during Spring Break. People have been asking about my plans, and my response is simple, heartfelt:
Sleep.

Met with my dissertation supervisor this afternoon, and found him to be humorous and very intelligent. Intimidatingly so. His background is in music in film, which sounds very interesting, and he said that the university needs a popular music scholar and I fantasized for a split second. It’s a good thing that I’m scared though as I’ll feel like I’m more accountable. Deadlines have been set: a complete bibliography by April 15, and an outline by May 15. But he was right – I need to sort out exactly what band I’ll be writing about and then going from there. I went and bought every CD I could find that was relevant and perhaps important, then came home to dinner and a slight bout of depression. Such is life.





What do we expect of our young people?

7 05 2008

This morning in the assembly, an announcement was made to the effect that students are not to post videos of themselves in uniform or recorded on the school campus onto video sharing sites such as YouTube and Google Video, and this morning in class, my students were in revolt. “Communists!” they cried. “Fascism!” they shouted. They felt that the school had overstepped its boundaries, and were now trying to stifle their freedom of speech.

Because of how they all seemed to be feeling, we had discussion time. We talked about how they’re feeling about this, ‘this’ being the announcement. Some students were outraged, and accused the school of just caring about its reputation, and not caring about the individual. Others said that it’s easy to just speak, and expect everyone to obey, but if we just blindly acquiesce, then how much better than robots are we? I listened, debated a few things with them, and tried to encourage them to see the other side of the argument. All those skills we learn in the teaching diploma do nothing to prepare you for some of the things you face in the classroom.

As an individual, I believe it is alright to question authority, and it is alright to voice those questions, but only if these questions are actually being asked, rather than shouted or even accused. If all there is is just complaint after complaint, and mindless dissent for the sake of argument, then there is no point to this kind of discussion – one may as well just write them down, and bury them in the ground. All that realistically can be heard is the sound of clashing cymbals, which drowns out anything and everything else. And then I came back to my desk in the staff room and saw this:

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.”
— Robert Anthony

An email I received yesterday made me feel awful – selfish, self-absorbed and everything else that I don’t like to think I am. I felt upset about it for the whole of the day, and even talking about it with someone else didn’t help. I’m talking with the person who wrote it now, and whilst some of the things that are being talked about exactly aren’t really “helping” in the sense of alleviating the burden of guilt with it, but it’s good to feel that knot untangle itself. The person who wrote the email says they need to talk to someone outside the situation, because it was something to do with how they felt afterwards too.

Sometimes, I just don’t get anything. At all. It’s like, the situation can seem so clear, and then get flipped totally on its head, and I never even saw it coming. I wish I were a grown-up.