In many ways, coaching baseball is more challenging than teaching English - I meticulously plan 2.5-hour practices every day, while charged with fostering some sort of "team" feeling among the players. I am under scrutiny and have to win some games. In other ways, it's much easier - the learners are motivated, I can cut them if they don't follow along, and it's active and fun. I'm always fascinated this time of year with how much work it is to do well, and how rewarding that work is, and how much I should bring the same attitude to teaching in my own classroom. Remember last year, when I was wondering about the whole coaching thing? I think that was just a product of coaching the same great group of kids for four years. I had used up my tricks. I think the same would be true if I had to teach the same group of kids for four years - things inevitably get stale, I'm sure. But this past ten days have reminded me that coaching takes real work and research to do well, and I'm not sure how people with families are able to do it. Heck, it's hard to grade papers even, though I am maintaining good lessons every day (right now, things are going great with the 9th graders, as we're writing our first real essay, and the 11th graders are in the middle of presentations).
I worked 82 hours this week: 14 hours a day on Mon-Thurs, another 10 on Friday, then 16 combined in two shifts at the restaurant this weekend. I'm exhausted. This entry started out as a whiny entry, one about the man who left me a $7 tip on a $72 bill this evening, how his bitchy wife wouldn't even look at me on their way out, about how the table made me so mad that I wrote down the guy's name from his credit card so I could google it, and how I considered writing him up on Bitter Waitress. But I didn't. He was a jerk, jerks happen, and I did quite well for myself tonight otherwise. I spent way too much money yesterday - 30 pairs of fancy baseball socks for the baseball team, a plane ticket to Florida, a coaching DVD on coaching catchers, my Verizon phone bill - and tonight's tips pretty much covered it all (well, not the plane ticket. About half of it, though.) So, life is good. As long as I get some sleep tonight.
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