In about 10 hours, I’m going to be waking up to go to work.
For this month only, I’m going to be teaching Intensives I mentioned this in an earlier blog, but this perhaps needs a bit more clarification. It’s 3 classes of 3 hours each that I teach. I have another 2 hours at work to do prep time. So I spend a bit over 11 hours at work every day until the end of January.
It’s really draining. It really is.
I’m kinda on the good side of the counselors at work. It’s funny how that turned out, because I was getting in trouble not too long ago for various things just about every 2-3 days. Now I have more resposabilities and a more decent salary, plus a bit more bargaining rights when it comes to administrative favors.
That’s all fine and dandy but what I really think was most gratifying about the past 3 months at my job were some of the ‘bad apples’ that I turned around. I used to rant to my cousellor about how great it felt to finally reach a kid who was scoring 20% on vocabulary tests and to be able to bring that up to a 60 or 70… I made a note to myself to not be like some other teachers, who would go as far as calling their kids stupid.
This doesn’t make me special, does it? Perhaps it just means that I’m stubborn, or that I’m stupid. The usual quick method of quelling an uprising in class is to punish the kid. The usual method of dealing with a student with poor grades is to punish and assign more homework.
Where’s the humanity in that? Where’s the customization of the formula?
And so I reiterate my stance on rules: rules aren’t meant to be upheld, they’re meant to be guidlines. They’re meat to make it more time efficient by taking away the need for reevaluation of every little thing. But like any RTS players know, strategy is only half of the game– the other half is the down-and-dirty micromanagement.
I’m a headfirst sort of person so I usually do better at the micro part than the rest. But this is where it’s backfiring– the new January intensive semester has me teaching a whole new set of kids. And for some odd reason, I have more than my fair share of delinquents.
I just find that I have an excessive amount of bad students this month. Is it because the company expects me to work miracles? I mean, sure– I will do my best, and that’s what did turn kids around last semester But even this– this is a bit much! In the last three days of teaching, I’ve discovered the same amount of problem children that it took me a month to discover last semester. This isn’t because I’m looking harder– it’s just that much more obvious.
I have to fight to keep control of my classes. I mean, it really is a marathon– 6 hours of teaching would leave me just a bit tired, but 9 hours? By the 9th, I’m mentally and physically exhausted. Usually, entire classes of kids are just assigned a new teacher to take over the whole group (since that’s administratively easy– since everyone in the class is the same level). But for me, somehow, I’ve got hybrid classes of some of the worst of every class.
It may be more than I can handle. It’s nice that the counselors have this much confidence in me.. but really…
Or maybe I’ve got it all wrong, maybe this is their way of me for breaking so many of their rules.
Shall I try to be positive? I suppose the bright side is that I’ve never felt such a duality between a pressing need to go to class and an infinitely heavy dread of walking into that same class. This is in itself a learning experience. I blog now because I try to get the most out of my short weekend before having to go back in that hole… when I suppose, I should be sleeping.
…it’s only until the end of January, I tell myself…
It feels like I’m on a tightrope. It’s all fine, because I know what I’m doing– I’m a professional. But on the other hand, is it just a matter of time until it just wears me down?