Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rough Road

Student teaching is kicking my ass. It is some what comforting to know that I am not the only one who is running ragged, staying up late working on lesson plans, and going crazy trying to keep up with the work. It's hard enough being the new guy, and harder when you are being watched by the professionals, and looked at as less than a professional by the students. To say that I am worn out would be a gross understatement.

I found out where my second placement will be, but for the sake of privacy and security reasons, I will not post the name of the district. Unfortunately my next placement is also in the High School setting... which really pisses me off. Because I am currently teaching Global I (9th grade) in addition to US History (11th grade), that counts as a "middle school" placement. So, I will now be teaching Honors US History, and Participation in Government. I SUCK at Government and Politics (I admit I am utterly useless in Social Studies after grade 11), so I will have yet another placement where I am teaching one class in which I have to teach myself the material before I can teach it to the kids. At least I will have SOME prior knowledge. If I was stuck with Economics.. I'd stroke.

As I said, I'm pissed I will be at a high school again. This means I will not have practical experience teaching in a middle school setting. For some reason, I really feel drawn to middle school, and feel that might be where I am meant to be. Maybe... maybe not. I was hoping student teaching would shed light on it. It's not that I think it is easier.. it's not.. especially from the stories I hear from other teachers. When I always imagined being a teacher, it was in middle school, where I was most happy. Oh well.

My parents have been a huge help and source of support during this busy and crazy time. There are nights I want to break down and cry because I am so overwhelmed. I come home, legs hurting and feeling as if they will buckle, and my head feeling like it is going to explode. They have been so wonderful, and so supportive... I am immensely thankful for having them here. In fact, for the first time in YEARS... as I was on my way out the door this morning to leave for school, I told my father I loved him.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Good times

After a very very VERY long week, this weekend has been quite refreshing. I have some lesson plans to work on, but I'm trying to forget about school for a while and just relax a bit. Since the kids will be out all week because of Regents exams, I can focus more on making lessons during school time.

Yesterday I went over to Anne and Vince's to celebrate his (Vince's) 80th birthday. Most of their extended family was there, including their family from out of town. They are a great bunch of people, and we all had a great night together. I really enjoyed hanging out with Anne's son and daughter in law, Mike and Sue. Sue is a 4th grade teacher, so we were having fun swapping stories, and I appreciated the pep talk she gave me about the wonderful world of teaching.

Anne seems to be feeling better, and doing better.. especially now that she is getting gel injections for the knee that has been giving her trouble. She and Vince were in great spirits yesterday, and well all had a blast.. How can you not have a good time when there is wine and ice cream cake involved??

Today I am heading over to Bobby's house for dinner with him, Jason, and our buddy Dan. Again, it will be a wonderful treat to hang out with my close friends. I really feel as if I don't see anyone anymore.. nor have time to do so.. so this weekend is a great boost for me mental health. :-)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm still alive...

I haven't had much free time, or energy to spare to write here. Student teaching keeps me pretty busy. So far so good, but it is the most work I've done, and for NO pay. We all have to earn our stripes don't we?

I can't say enough about my co-operating teacher. She is WONDERFUL, and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to work with her, and learn from her.

Ok.. back to my school work. Just wanted to let you all know I'm still alive. Is it February break yet????

Sunday, January 6, 2008

How about a hug?

Every now and then I wonder how I would have done if I went to school to be a therapist. I have always enjoyed talking with people, both at work and in my personal life they seem very comfortable coming to me with their problems.. and thankfully, I have some close friends whom I can go to with mine.

It fascinates me how much our minds, hearts, and moods are effected by the world around us. Smells, memories, conversations, our diets, even the amount of sunlight that touches our skin affects our mood and metal outlook. I have known for quite a number of years that I suffer from clinical depression, as it runs in both sides of my family.. and thank God for modern medicine, it can be controlled rather well. Unfortunately, seasonal depression takes its toll on me.. and as always, January is a rough month.

The stress of the holidays, going back to school, a new course load and new expectations, allergies and sickness, lack of a partner, and even the lack of sunshine all seem to help make January a miserable month for me. Sleeping at night is difficult, and when I finally do fall asleep, my dreams become nightmares... playing on my fears of failure and being alone. I wake up more exhausted and stressed than when I laid my head on the pillow.

Once I adjust to the new schedule and develop more confidence in my teaching abilities, I will slowly pull out of this slump. The lack of a partner.. well, that can't be helped. I have met some interesting and kind guys over the past few months, even this past week. While they are each good men, the connection just doesn't seem to be there.. I'm an odd one, and finding someone that is compatible enough.. well, that's not always easy. The whole "dating" thing can get rather messy anyway. I've had my heart broken more than once before, so I am now overly cautious about guarding my own heart, and trying to protect others from the same fate.

Well.. I feel a wee bit better to have vented... not a whole lot, but a bit.

First Post of 2008

Spent New Year's Eve at my co-worker Sean's home. He lives in the middle of the GHETTO, just off Bailey St in Buffalo. I kept making sure my doors were locked as I drove there. Nice house, bad location. He has two American Bull dogs (I think that's what they were), Shorty and Charlie. They are SO cute, and both think they are lap dogs. I had so much fun playing with them, and didn't mind having a 75 pound pup in my lap most of the evening. It beat the hell out of watching the football game the other guys were watching.

I start back to school and student teaching full time tomorrow. This "vacation" went by way too fast.. I keep thinking I have more work to do from last semester. There are days it seems to be going by way too fast, while other days, time seems to be standing still. This week will be a long one since I will be at school from 7:30 to at LEAST 3pm each day (plus my evening seminary and working), but at least I am not officially teaching yet. My co-operating teacher is finishing up her unit this week, and I jump in with meso-America on Monday of next week. I'm already looking forward to spring break in February. Ha Ha!

So let's see what 2008 has in store for us shall we?