Sunday, April 22, 2007

Today's Musings

I have been a very introspective mood today. I have seen and experienced a few things over the last few days that have made me look at things in a different light. For example, I LOVE Splitcoast. I probably spend way to much time over there and there's one thread that I look forward to every week. I enjoy the favorites thread that is posted every Sunday. I have noticed lately that I'm seeing the same names over and over again. I don't begrudge them at all- every single one of those stampers are amazing stampers and I have learned so much from their techniques and creations. However, I'm not the type of person who goes to specific galleries every week. I am more of the type that looks for a stamp set I want to use or I go to the home page and look through today's additions. That usually means that my favorites are ones that I like regardless of the creator (does that make sense?). Again- I'm not knocking anyone's choices/decisions- I try to post on the thread myself and include my faves. Another thing is commenting when it goes into your faves. I do not put a card in my faves if I have not commented on it (I used to put in my faves even without commenting). That's really changed for me- if I like something well enough to put it in my favorites then I need to let the creator know that and know why. You never know what kind of day a person is having and to read that encouraging word could change their outlook. Maybe they are having a horrible stamping day and just not getting things done the way they want to and a comment on another card may be the boost they need.

My other line of thinking for soul searching relates to my job. I truly love teaching- I know that I am doing what God has called me to do. Sometimes though I wish I could walk away from it and go work in a job that I don't bring stuff home with me. I used to work part time at Target and I still brought stuff home with me from that job but it was customer's attitudes, co-worker stuff (and of course goodies-haha). However, with teaching I bring so much more home. I bring home my students' problems- I teach Kindergarten in the inner city and the lives some of them live- yikes! I bring home my co-workers' stuff (so many are so over it that they are ready to walk out). I bring home work to do (lesson plans, papers to grade, paperwork to prepare, etc). In fact, this is what brought up my musings. I'm supposed to be working on lesson plans and sometimes I just get tired of spending my weekends working on lesson plans (which for us is crazy because our lessons are all scripted). I have to make myself take time for me and when I spend my Saturdays doing that- well, then I get behind and have no motivation for this on Sunday. All I want to do is play because I am tired of spending at least 3 out of 4 weekends "working". I have what has been referred to as the worst behaved Kindergarten class and it's not just with me- I know part of it is the way I respond to things so I have been working really hard to watch how I respond but when they act this way in all areas of the school and I have Kindergarteners sent home before school even starts for the day- well, what can I do? There's only so much that I can do as a teacher- somewhere along the line "my" parents and my kids are going to have take some responsibility. I have four that will not be attending our field trip with us on Friday. 4 out of 16. If I can't trust them in the classroom then I can't trust them in the wide open space of the zoo. I know part of this has to do with the fact that it's almost May and school is almost over but I have been feeling this way for about 2 months now. I start to wonder if I am really making a difference. Am I really making an impact? I teach in a Magnet School and have requested the magnet class next year. If I don't get it I'm going to seriously look at a transfer because I'm tired of parents who don't care- who don't take any interest in their child whatsoever. Who see me as a babysitter and not a teacher. Out of 16 children I have about 4 or 5 whose parents are ACTIVELY involved in their children's education. About 4 or 5 who are somewhat involved and about 6-8 who have no involvement at all. I know that not all classes are "perfect"- I know that there will always be someone who doesn't care but the odds are good that it would be the opposite of where it is now. I had parent conferences the other day and out of 16 I had 5 show up on that day and 1 the next morning. So, parents- any advice for a teacher struggling? Teachers- any advice for a fellow teacher?

I know this long and if you have stuck with me this far- thanks! I truly appreciate your readership! Now, I'm off to actually go work on lesson plans (I have to go to small group in about 30 minutes). I'll post a few things this week of some cards I have made.


Dawn Mercedes said...

I totally know how you feel. I used to be a teacher before I was a mother. Now I'm a mother.

It's really sad to see kids who do not learn/perform well...and know that partly, if their parents were involved, things would be different.

Just think of those summer can make it!

Rochelle W said...

Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you. Smile and have a great day!

Rochelle W said...

I forgot to tell you that my daughter(12) has put dibbs on the micky mouse notebook and the post it notes. She said she will take the notebook as is or I can alter it for her. Sparty pants she is. LOL I should make her alter it then she can have it. LOL

Kelly A. Battles said...

I'm a former 8th grade LA teacher. I taught for 5 years in a "nice" area with "good" kids and "involved" parents. Let me tell you, sometimes having involved parents is not so nice. :)

I also taught Haitian students of all ages (teenagers through 40s) for 2 years in Port-au-Prince. (That was probably the MOST rewarding job -- I was a missionary.)

There's no doubt, teaching is a very emotionally, physically, and spiritually draining job. But remember this: No matter what class you teach next year, YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!!

When I look back at my time teaching, the kids I remember most were the kids whose parents were NOT involved and who seemed to "need" me the most. I miss those kids and feel like they're my children. I can honestly say that I enjoyed teaching the "standard" or "low-level" students much more than the advanced. Really. Why? I saw MUCH more progress from them than from the higher level students. There's just nothing better than seeing the face of a teenager light up because she finally wrote a great essay!

My advice is to hang in there. If you get the magnet class, great, if not, I wouldn't necessarily transfer. God has a purpose for you no matter what!

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