It’s been an inexcusable amount of time since I’ve written on this blog. I would love to say that I haven’t written because I’m too busy, or because living life is just too exciting to write about it. Truth is, things have been relatively crappy of late. This job is immensely hard. I really can’t explain exactly how difficult it is. In the midst of all this difficulty, I discovered an inherent truth about myself: I have an incredibly hard time writing about the difficulties in my own life. When things get hard, I react as if I’m walking in a snowstorm– bundle up, put my head down, and senselessly trudge forward. I recognize that this is unhealthy, but I seem to be doing it anyway. I cannot shake the feeling that no one (save my roomates, who get to hear about my miseries every day) wants to hear about this stuff. That being said, I cannot underestimate the cathartic value of writing about the bad. So, I plan to. But not tonight. It’s been a pretty darn good weekend, and I actually managed to get my brain off of work for awhile. Also, things have actually been looking up lately, and I feel like the storm has settled, if only for a little while. This is not to say it’s not cold, but maybe the swirling snows are not quite as stinging against my skin. So, in the spirit of a settling world, a catalogue of good things from the past few weeks:
1) I’m helping out with the Color Guard at my school. Their coach quit a few weeks ago, so I stepped in to help out for the end of marching season, and will be the head coach for winterguard. It’s a huge time drain, which I absolutely don’t need right now. Still, I LOVE doing this. Color guard is something I’m actually pretty darn good at, and that’s a good feeling. Also, it gave me the opportunity to feel as if I’m actually impacting a student, even if it isn’t in class. One of the girls is a bit shaky on her flag work, and in general doubts herself a lot. Since she messes up a lot, the other girls and coaches get very frustrated with her. She asked me to help her with a transition, so I ran through it with her. I realized that she actually did know the work, she was just convinced she didn’t, so she kept looking at other people and falling behind. I told her exactly this. The next day, her mom found me at the football game and thanked me, saying that her daughter came home confident and happy for the first time this season. It seriously made my week 🙂
2) A student came back to visit me who used to be in my class before a schedule change. He was asking me all about the stuff I’m writing (I have this on a sign in my class) right now. It was cool to realize that my students actually care about this stuff, and it reminded me that I need to spend more time on my writing, if only because Abad thinks I tell “cool stories.”
3) I had a very serious conversation with one of my students lately, which started with his behavior in class and moved to the real problem. He has very little support in life, and just feels so empty. My heart broke for him. After that day, I noticed a huge change in this student. He still acts up, but he listens and he pays attention. At this point, he’s only doing it because he knows I’m on his side now and I will listen to him. I’d love for him to do the work because HE wants to, and because he understands it’s value. Still, this is a HUGE step.
4) Damn, my roomies are cool. You, blog people, can thank Sam for my return to the blog world. Or send him hate mail. Depending on mood.
5) This is the order of events that occurred in my first class friday. I feel the need to document it because it was so miraculous it may never happen again. First we went to the library for new free reading books. We came back and started their 15 minutes of free reading. Usually, at about 2 minutes left they start getting antsy. This time, as the time ran out, no one looked up. I asked quietly, “would you like some more reading time?” Many nods. 15 more quiet, enthralled minutes. Then we journalled, which usually takes 10 minutes. Time runs out, kids are all still quietly writing. Once again, I float them some more time. Then we finished the second section of our book, had a cool discussion, work time on homework, and class was over. BEST. CLASS. EVER. They were so chill and they LIKED reading and writing!!! It was amazing.
Don’t be fooled by the cheery nature of this post. This is still the craziest, most frustrating and demoralizing job that exists, in my opinion. But it is not without sunshine.