I must apologize for my recent lack of blogging. As it happens, I have been quite busy leaving my job to be an unemployed student, something I have not had the privilege of enjoying since 2001.
My days last week were filled by listening to voice mails of last-minute requests from my boss and then performing whatever task that she didn’t want to have to do herself or that she wanted to put off at least another month. Not that I can blame her. If it was so great, I never would have left.
On Monday I began my first week of student teaching. The kids are fantastic – caring, nurturing and very well-mannered. They also represent a huge diversity in ability levels. There is one little boy, cute as can be, who is testing at high-school level with logic problems. There are also 10 children who receive Title 1 services, 2 who receive special education services, 1 who gets speech therapy, 2 who have mentors and 2 who have high school “buddies” to help them. Of course there is some crossover among these kids, but not nearly as much as anybody would love to see. All in all, it is a very diverse group.
Here are some of the things I have been told so far this week:
“Older people make me nervous.” (“Am I an older person?”) “Um…yeah…I think you’re about…39.”
“You smell nice…(child leans uncomfortably close to me, her face right into my neck)…I think it’s your hair.”
“It’s okay Ms. H…I drop things all the time too.”
“My sister has a boyfriend. My mom says that she better quit seeing him or she’s going to go to prison.”
So far, I have been to a staff meeting and teacher mentoring meeting and tomorrow I will attend a Title 1 meeting with my CT (Cooperating Teacher), the principal and the Title 1 teacher. When I asked my CT where the meeting would be, she told me it would be in the P’s office. This made me instantly nervous because I have only ever been to the P’s office twice before: once in HS because he wanted to know how to say my last name at graduation, and once in 4th grade because I had the audacity to laugh during silent lunch hour in the cafeteria.
This was by Mrs. Stratton, of whom I distinctly remember my mom saying, when learning that she had been a kindergarten teacher, that she must have taught kindergarten at a military academy. She was ornery as hell and used to make us eat lunch silently in the gym. I actually ran into her last week at the salon after treating myself to a facial. She looked the same, almost 20 years later, which gives you some indication of how frumpy she was back then (think: the grandmother from Flowers in the Attic).
The next 14 weeks promise to be filled with memorable moments (i.e. our upcoming field trip to the nursing home) and I will share when I can. At the moment, I am becoming very, very busy with school, but I love every minute of it. I hope my feelings won’t fade as my workload becomes greater. For now, I am struck by the poignancy of a quote a I heard a long time ago. I have no idea to whom it should be attributed: “Do what you love, and never work another day in your life.”
Also, my apologies for missing Blog for Choice Day. I didn't have time to put together anything as well thought-out as last year's piece. Some of y0u may remember last year's piece, and my 15 minutes of fame when it got picked up by a few national blogs and bigger city newspapers. I suppose I had nowhere to go but down, and so I didn't even try this year, given my tight schedule. Maybe next year...