I was going to start this post with a title, “Week 2 in Teacher Land”, but then, I thought, maybe it’s week 3…or possibly week 4? The sad truth is I don’t have a calendar handy and I have no idea what the date is!
What do I want to say about being a teacher? Well. First, it’s the funnest job in the world. I am SO GLAD I made this career change. I feel like I’m making an important contribution to the world, rather than just laboring to make money for someone else making stuff that no-one really needs, wants or cares about.
That sound so cynical, and isn’t really fair. I spent many years making software when it was fun, and people did want what we were building. But the last project I did before I decided I was done was figure out how we could add an advertisement to all text messages using the space leftover after the message. Nobody wants ads on their text messages – except advertisers. What a waste of my life to make something so very unwanted.
Back to my new job…. It’s taken me a couple weeks (however many!) to figure out how not to have to spend every night doing prep until after 11 pm. The trick is to have a plan so you know what you’re teaching this week and this month. As I said in a previous entry, I didn’t even know what I was teaching when I arrived for my first day, and it’s taken some time to figure out what I’m doing. But I think I’m mostly there. My goal is to have my next whole units ready to go before I start teaching them. Then all I’ll have to do is worry about marking.
The kids are by far the best part of the job. Most are great. They are hilariously funny – although I don’t think they mean to be! They are also moody and sometimes difficult. I’ve only had one “incident” so far, and I’m pleased with how I handled it, and how I felt afterwards. Even though I was a little shaken up, I didn’t have any lasting bad feelings about the student or the incident. I think all the corporate nonsense I endured during my previous life has left me with a pretty thick skin.
I’ve taken on a couple responsibilities in addition to my teaching. As the English Teacher (I’m the only one teaching English full time. All other English classes are being taught by teachers who teach one English in addition to whatever else they teach), I was asked to take on the after-school literacy program. That’s an hour one night per week, so it isn’t too onerous. As well, the principal thinks I’m a good candidate for administration (becoming a principal) given my previous experience and has made some mentoring available. I have no idea whatsoever what direction my education career is going to go. Right now, I’m focused on doing a good job in the classroom and I’m finding that plenty interesting and challenging enough. But I don’t want to turn down now an opportunity I may want later, so I accepted her offer and joined the leadership program. For this year, all I am doing is helping out with the Parent Council, which is only 5 meetings this year and attending the monthly leadership program meetings. As time goes on, I’ll decide whether I want to build a resume filled with school, community and board level activities that might lead to an administration job. I’m not too keen at the moment, but I know myself, and I do get bored of the same job day in day out so I want to keep my options open.
I just checked the calendar and it’s the end of week three. It feels like three days have passed rather than three weeks!