Friday, July 22, 2011

Good Intentions

I had all the best intentions to keep up with this blog better (and a lot of other things) while I was teaching these last couple of weeks. Instead, when I get home at 6:00 every night it's shower, make dinner, clean up, take a breath, plan for tomorrow, make lunch and coffee for the morning and in bed by 9:30. Yes, I am that young woman who goes to bed so early because I'm that exhausted by the end of the day. And you know what, totally not ashamed of that. These kids wear me out.

This last week was their second week of camp so the newness is completely warn off. Whatever curiosity they had about the program is gone, they know what's coming now. It proved to be just as tough of a week as the first for me though. Maybe I wasn't learning the ropes, but I certainly had a few new incidents happen. I will say that I am lucky to work with wonderful directors who are readily available to help their teachers. Any issue or question that I've had, they've been there to answer and offer great advice.

I also have another mentor, my mom. I come from a long line of teachers. Going back through our family line, I mark the fifth generation of teachers on my mother's side and I'm completely proud of that. Mom was a 7th and 8th grade honors English teacher in one of the top school districts in Dallas when she started teaching. Let me tell you, Mom is good. I'm not just saying that because I'm biased, it's the truth. In any case, I've really been picking her brain about things the last couple of weeks. I'll call her on my way home, ask her questions, tell her a situation, find out if I'm handling things right. It helps having someone to turn to who's been in the trenches. I swear she should right a book, Lessons in Teaching: How to Handle Students. She's got some good tips. Know who she got a lot of them from? Grandma. Forty nine years of teaching first grade. God love her.

This week my kids have been fascinated in cracking my tight lipped answer of my age. They all want to know how old I am and I've gotten guesses from twenty two all the way up thirty. I don't really care to tell them. For one thing, it's not of importance. I was hired based on my experience, a great referral and my interview with the program. It has nothing to do with my age. For another, I really don't want them to know how young I am. Face it, I'm working on a college campus where a dozen other college students, who are young looking like me, and they're running around as staff members and assisting the kids. I really wanted to make sure that these kids saw me as a teacher, not a babysitter.

In any case, I think because I won't tell them, it's become more of an obsession to guess the right age. Twenty seven seems to be the general consensus. I'm not sure whether to be flattered to look so mature or worried I'm not putting on enough moisturizer on my face (Although, my doctor told me today I must not get out in the sun much because my skin looks great. Healthy skin? Yes, please!). I think I've made it worse by not telling them. Oops.

They've got a performance next week and a party on Thursday--or eight parties for me. I can't believe it's almost over. Once it's done, I've got lesson planning to do for my fall classes. The second job hunt continues as I wait patiently to hear about the status of my job applications at other schools. No rest for the weary, but really, I welcome the busy-ness. I've truly missed using my purple pads of legal paper and making lists of all my to-do's. In two short weeks, I've torn through one whole pad. Feeling like my old self is perking up my new self. Speaking of, I best get cracking on some things tonight.

Even after another long week of teaching dance, corralling kids, cheerfully playing "Miss Julie Says," and answering endless questions, I smile when I think of all the sweet things that happened. I got a breakfast bar from one sweet little boy, a crafty heart from another little girl, a dozen hugs, and a whole lot of smiles. All in all I'd say it was a good week.

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