And I'm now five days into my seventh year of teaching.
It was a hard week. I think I'm out of practice teaching 9th graders, after a year off. I'd forgotten just how much direction they need. I'd forgotten how an inch turns into a mile without even noticing it. I also don't really think it's just about the 9th graders. I'm not yet in midseason form. Throwing us into a five day week the first week of the year is tough.
But I'll get there. The four day week next week will help. But my schedule this week was amongst the busiest I've remembered. My average day looked like this: wake up at 5am. Go to the gym. Get to school at 7:45. Stay at school until around 7, grading and creating lesson plans. Then, I usually have another activity, whether it's class, waiting tables, or, my favorite, passing out from exhaustion. I'm not feeling that healthy, which is pissing me off. My foot pain is sometimes barely noticeable, and, at other times, it burns with every step. Such a simple thing to expect to be pain free - taking a step - and I'm not able to get it. Yeah, it just makes me mad. I'm also fighting off a cold, but that's not that big of a deal.
The strain I was feeling with my 9th grade team - two good friends, both huge personalities, both dramatic divas to which I'm generally the soothing tonic buffer - erupted on Friday into a shouting match centered around what kind of a test to give our students on Tuesday. The shouting wasn't between the divas, who occasionally are at each others' throats, but, rather, involving mild-mannered me. As a colleague stated, there was some Jerry Springer shit going on in room 227 in 3rd period yesterday. We aired it out, though, and it felt good afterwards. It's good to feel like I'm in it with others just as passionate as I am. I wish it was a little more drama-free, though. Afterwards, we went out for Happy Hour(s) and all is well. It was a long week for everyone, not just me. I seriously don't remember ever working this hard so soon.
My kids seem fine, though. My class sizes are ranging from 33-36, and several students were added to my classes on Friday. My load will, once again, be in the 160-170 range, though I haven't made a final count since the kids were added yesterday. I already have a least favorite class and a favorite class. I don't much like my room arrangement and probably will change it in a day or so.
With two graduate courses, this is probably going to be my toughest semester ever. I attended my 7-9:40 course on Wednesday, and I was so tired by the end of the day that I couldn't make it to the gym in the morning. However, I actually have some friends now in the program, and several of them are in the class. That could make things easier. Still, I have sent an email off to my advisor for some, well, advice. I'm supposed to finish my MAT in the spring, and if I drop on of my classes, I'll have to spill into the summer. I wouldn't mind that, but, last semester, Towson did not offer any of the classes I needed in the summer. If I don't finish my MAT by the summer, all of my transfer credits will expire, which is why I have a time limit.
One of the bigger issues is that I just can't afford to put the money upfront for the classes right now. I need to put the money upfront to get reimbursed, but just don't have $3000 lying in my seat cushions at this point in the school year. If I don't pay by October, I think I might get dropped permanently.
My phone is turned off and I'm going to chill tonight. I worked all day at the restaurant (busy day in Fells Point, and I made $115), and have a little bit of grading to do before I do some reading and hit the sack.
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