First week

2012/09/01

One week down! This has been without a doubt the most overwhelming and difficult week of my life. Yet I am smiling at the end of it and that is a wonderful thing. I knew teaching would be hard but it really is something that defies words. The only experience to compare it to is parenthood - people can talk and talk and talk about the transformation but until you experience it you just can't understand. It is a job like no other.

Other than the chronic stress and criminal level of overworkedness, it has been most difficult watching the toll on my family. They are truly on my team but it is excruciating telling Sylvie that I'll be late for the dinner date I promised because I simply can't get away or that traffic is at a standstill. Or not being able to invest fully and revel in Tessa's triumphs as she navigates middle school. Tough stuff. I know it will get smoother and that's really the only thing pulling me through.

Without getting too political or irate when I'm fresh out of the gate, the amount of work truly is obscene. I consider myself above average when it comes to problem solving and designing systems to get stuff done, but there is simply no way to get it all done in day. My few planning periods are eaten up by meetings leaving me to do a gigantic amount of prep on my own scant time. This is a truly broken system. The personal economics of the job are in my opinion perverse if we really want the best and the brightest to teach the future generation. But for now I just have to set all of that aside and make my peace with it. As best as an opinionated girl such as myself can do anyway :-)

I am despite all of that immensely happy. I love being with the kids and I've had a great week in the classroom with a few small exceptions. I have tons to learn about my craft, but its rewards are already apparent. I am looking forward to finding my feet and becoming equal to the challenge. Everyone talks about how the first year, the first semester, the first month is so brutal. So I it can only get better as I go along.


3 comments:

Melody said...

Amber, you're my idol. It sucks that being in the classroom requires so many sacrifices, of time, energy, and money, but you're going to have a massive influence on a whole bunch of teenagers. You rock.

Carli said...

You can do it! I'm sure you are a fantastic teacher and they are so lucky to have you!

Denise said...

Girl, you are preaching to the choir here--which is why I'm still not sure if I will go back to the classroom. It truly is an unfair amount of work (really impossible). My best years of teaching were truly my part-time years. Those were the only ones I truly felt on top of my teaching and that I had a balance at home. Unfortunately, it's hard to live on those smaller paychecks. I think the most effective way to teach would be to have a teacher's aide assigned to each teacher or a teacher for the classroom and a teacher for the grading. It is literally too much work for one person to accomplish and have any sort of life outside of the classroom. I digress...and am not helping you find your place of calmness I'm sure. :-) The moments of teaching IN the classroom are why we keep going back. To influence the life of even one child is so unbelievably fulfilling. If you had more time, I would say you should document your experience in a book, but that is laughable right now I'm sure! Thinking of you! Hang in there! There will be moments of reward you can't even imagine yet! So proud of you!

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