I’m Still Alive!

Twrite right….I have not fallen off the face of this earth and I still have a job. I have had a lot on my plate in the past few weeks. My grandfather, whom I love very much, is in the last stages of dementia it seems. He has stopped eating regularly and is unable to walk anymore. This man has been living with dementia for the past 14 years, beaten prostate cancer, and was a business and real estate mogul when he was able to be. He was the strongest, smartest man I ever knew. It’s hard to watch the ones you love suffer as we all get older and older. I have been thinking about that a lot lately. 

This brings me to something interesting I have noticed about teaching high school. These kids think that they are adults. They’re not. As I start to remember more vividly what it was like for me in high school 14 years ago, I can recall thinking the exact same thing. I thought I was so mature. I thought my problems were so much worse than everyone else’s. My students are faced with significant challenges that make my high school woes seem tiny in comparison. Some of my students are instantly becoming adults because of the severity of their problems. When I had a problem in high school, I was able to still go home and ask my mother for help. My dad was always there for me too. In fact, I had lots of friends and family to help me overcome my challenges. Some of my students do not have this luxury. They have me , though. I listen to them when it seems that no one else will. 

 

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The Week from…well…you know…

Thank goodness we had an awesome performance assembly today to wash away the pain from this past week. It was a nice end to a horrible week. The senior dancers performed, guitar players played their original songs, and one student was a human beat box plus he jammed on a harmonica. Pretty great stuff. It is so wonderful that my students go to a performing arts school where they can let their creativity be an outlet for their emotions. I don’t know what some of them would do otherwise. I went home crying twice this week, feeling terrible for the problems that my students have been having lately. These kids’ stories would make anyone cry…and they’re only in high school! 

Just Another Day in High School…

I am slowly starting to decorate my classroom and organize it. Yes, I know I have been there for the better part of a month. What can I say? I’ve just been so busy! I feel like most of my day is spent on PowerSchool looking up my students’ grades and printing out progress reports.

Something that a lot of our teachers have been doing is creating websites for each class that they teach. This is wonderful! If you teach high school, I strongly suggest doing this. Schoology and Weebly are two sites that our teachers have been using. If one of my resource room students are missing work and cannot locate worksheets that have been handed out in class, we are able to log on and print out what they need. These sites are great resources for resource room teachers, parents, and the students. Most of the teachers also post class notes on their websites. 

The Dreaded Yearbook Photo

I loathe having yearbook pictures taken. It’s that dreaded time of year for me. Tonight I straightened my hair, scrubbed my face, whitened my teeth, selected a trendy yet sophisticated outfit, and took a Xanax. If I still looked the same way I did when I was in high school, this day would be welcomed. Oh well. 

You’re Hired!

I applied for about 30 teaching jobs over the summer, and I was lucky to get such a good response. I actually got to choose between 2 positions! That’s almost unheard of where I’m from. I could go back and tell all about the preparation for the interviews, what I wore, what they asked, what I said, but let’s face it….all interviewers are different. I will tell you this: make sure you bring a portfolio and are ready to interview with at least 3 people in the room. Be confident and you will come across that way.

I am still hoping that I made the right decision about the position I chose to accept. I have a background in elementary education, but I am now at a performing arts high school. It has been two full weeks filled with paperwork and memorizing names and faces. I have had to become friends with algebra and chemistry again. Oh, how I have missed those linear equations and balancing equations. These subjects are just as difficult as they we’re when I was in high school and now I am supposed to teach others how to stay afloat in these classes?

My Pinterest boards are filling up quickly with tutorials and ideas. I hope that someday I have time to actually use them, especially the classroom decoration ideas. The other teachers at this school have such cool classrooms. They are painted and full of art and creativity. I have nothing. I don’t have a creative bone in my body when it comes to decorating, painting, drawing, etc.

I know what you’re thinking: what is she doing at a performing arts high school? What does she have to offer? These are good questions. I have wondered the same things.