Moving Forwards

With recent days being really tough, I’m getting sick of all of the stress. I’m going on almost 20 days of alternating insomnia and exhaustion with lots of stress, so I’m trying to somehow resolve to get rid of it. This weekend my mounting to-do list is, well, continuing to mount. That said, I’m try to nix a couple important things, like lessons for the next couple of days and presentations for this week’s class. I’m going to try to get rid of distractions, be more methodical, whatever gets the job done.

On Friday, the day of my observation, I balked a really crappy activity into my classroom. One of my colleagues was able to help me shape it better, and it turned out passable. I have a lot of work to do between my two preps and class/club at ASU, but I’m trying to blaze a trail here. I’m going to keep a log, of lots of stuff, and we’ll see how the week looks when I’m done.

Today, I resolve to get more done while being less stressed. Let’s see how I fare with resolutions.

On Needing a Stress Ball

I’m stressed. I’m on approximately day fifteen of being incredibly lost. I thought the last half of Spring Break was a stressful fluke, but oh my goodness. I’ve been an insomniac while simultaneously being completely exhausted. I’ve been seeking shelter from my stresses all of the time. It’s been interesting.

And it’s not one aspect of life that’s stressing me out (like I thought). I’m falling behind or completely out of the game in virtually everything.

The bedroom that was being painted is still incredibly bare. The rooms that need to be cleaned have only been cleaned because of Kim. The groceries… oh, wait. I haven’t gone to the store in forever. My lesson plans continue to not come into fruition until the last minute. I had a terrible walkthrough in my class last week. I came within two seconds of doling out detentions and referrals on Monday. I have an observation on Friday. I apparently need to make and edit a video of myself teaching by Thursday – and we’re tomorrow so I don’t know when that will happen. I procrastinated the AEPA until it was too late and decided to wait until June, and now I’m pretty sure I screwed myself out of a substituting job.

But, when I think about it, things aren’t that much worse. I’ve been on an insanely high stress level for the passed ten months. At what point do I start making up for it all? Between moving to Uganda and planning a wedding, quitting my job and realizing I don’t know what I’ll be doing in two months, I haven’t been able to keep steady. I usually take this kind of thing in stride, but I think the last two weeks are throwing all that stress back at me. I need to find solace somewhere. So I’ll stay optimistic.

Today, I had a short afternoon snack with my wife at the kitchen table. I also chatted with my colleagues at lunch for a few minutes. One of my students and I had a candid conversation that was genuinely uplifting.

Last Thursday I wrote “I wish I could stop and smell the roses” on a piece of paper as a part of an art project. Supposedly that, and two other wishes, came true today.

The Unofficial Teacher

So, it’s unofficially official – it seems.  I’m about to close out my fourth week at my school.

Week 1 – learned close to 200 names (there were only a handful I still couldn’t get by week’s end), and heard about some rumbling drama in which my teacher grappled with parents and administration.  Taught a full day on my second day.

Week 2 – Graded scores of tests for the first time. Taught a little, and went to my first staff meetings.  On Wednesday, my mentor teacher went on administrative leave.  I spent two days winging it as I wrapped up the week. Led a controversial debate on SB1070.  On Friday, I found out my mentor teacher resigned, and I’d stay another week for transition.

Week 3 – Working with a sub to supervise me. Began the lesson planning process.  Managed to put together three study guides, two worksheets, and two group projects for the unit.  Began the grueling task of grading ~220 one page essays.  Numerous conversations with teachers, administrators, university supervisor over my status as student teacher.  Find out I might be able to stay.

Week 4 – Meet the permanent substitute under whom I will be teaching.  Instead of co-teaching and lesson plan-sharing, determine that I will be planning lessons on my own and in full control of the class.  My permanent sub leaves for a family emergency – back to temporary subs.  Engage in meetings with other teachers to ensure that my upcoming units will be sufficient for standards and such.  Try to get into Spirit Week.

And that’s it.  I’ve spent about two hours overall putting together two crack units that should last the next few weeks – but still need to fill those lesson plans with information.  Ideally, putting together some powerpoints and audio supplements by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Classroom Announcement

Today, I stood in front of five different classes of students who I have really gotten to know over the past two weeks. After teaching several lessons on my own and even more alongside my mentor teacher, after dealing with a grading discrepancy and going through a trial by fire, after reviewing the grading process and preparing all 192 of them for how I graded, I told them that I may or may not be there anymore.  I taught today, and I am teaching tomorrow.  Nothing else is up to me. Blahhhhh. I’ll post more when I have more to post.

Student Teacher

So, yesterday I was e-mailing my advisor and was made aware of some sudden changes to my plan for the next year or so.  For the passed year, I’ve been planning on doing my Global Studies internship this summer and coming back to student teach in the fall.  After that, I figured I’d bulldoze a busy semester in the spring with whatever I had left.  But, apparently, student teaching has to be done in the absolute last semester.

So, I will be coming back from my internship to take classes and then student teach in the spring.  I’ve got mixed feelings right now, but I’m hoping that it will turn out to be a good change.  This fall, I’ll be swamped with homework which may stress me out with the whole wedding-planning thing, but maybe I’ll have a more flexible schedule than bell-to-bell work. I might be able to work some in the fall (maybe), which would be nice for sustainability. Oh, and I know more about spring semester standards so I’d probably be better at thinking up lessons.

I guess I should get back to the class I’m in, but that’s the skinny on student teaching.