Current/Recent Reading List

12 September 2006

Sometimes I Feel... I've been tiiiiiii-ed (pause) to the whippin' post!

All apologies to the Allman Brothers, or to the undercompensated blues musician who may have written that song.

Into the third week of my fifth year of teaching, you would think (I would have thought) that things would be nice and settled down, and my comfort level would be at an all-time high. Certainly I'm much better at planning classes and at managing them than ever before. I demand respect better than before, though I'm still working on being the good kind of "mean". I tell myself things ought to be clicking on all cylinders by now.

But the truth is I'm still a little antsy, and I'm still feeling butterflies about situations that haven't bothered me so much the last couple of years. Today I had to give (yet another) talk to my honors class about expectations, and about the poor grades I was seeing so far. And I was just plain nervous - even though I know these kids. I've never been one to relish a confrontation until I get good and mad, and frankly, there wasn't one today - no one argued with me, perhaps because I called some parents yesterday. What was I fearful of? I'll have to ponder it.

Everything just feels a little weird this week, that's all I know, and it doesn't help that we've had meeting upon meeting for the last several days, that I'm being drafted to help lead some kind of in-house writing workshop for all the high schools, that I have to schedule an observation for next week, or that I'm trying to get this year's Shakespeare Club events planned and off the ground before schedules fill up for all the kids.

By the way, here is one of those sweet intangibles of teaching: you call a mom or dad to let them know Johnny is being an ass in class and flunking after two weeks, and the response you get is, "I really appreciate you letting me know. Rest assured, this will be addressed tonight." And it's said in that tone that, back in the day, you thought meant instant death when you heard it from your parents. Yes, this still happens, believe it or not.

That is sweet.

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