Saturday, August 1, 2009
Waking Up is Hard to Do
This week has been a tough one. It was the first week back at work after our short summer break. No kids. Just faculty and staff. We worked hard preparing to give the kids the best kick off to a new year that we can.
Seeing the class schedules for the first time is always traumatic. My school has increased by well over 200 kids since I first arrived there 7 years ago. That means lots more classes to teach and lots less time to prepare for each one. The first schedule that came out this week had me teaching five classes of one hour each, back to back on Mondays. No bathroom breaks. No lunch breaks. No time to set up supplies between classes. On the days that I had Art Club, that would mean six and a half hours with no down time at all. Other days were not much better. I know that schedules go through many incarnations, with the first one being the worst one, but this set me on a stressful path for the rest of the week.
All I could concentrate on for the rest of the week was how I was going to be so tired teaching a schedule like this, that I would be the grouchiest teacher ever. Don't get me wrong. I adore kids. I can't imagine a more perfect job for me than this, but come on!!! Everyone needs a little down time. Or at least a chance to go to the bathroom now and then. There was not one night this past week that I didn't wake up for a few hours in the middle of the night. Once I woke up, my brain would wake up and start tormenting me about how miserable a teacher I would be this year.
My administrators are reasonable and kind people. They tweaked the schedule multiple times to try and help me out. It is a tiny bit better at this point. They promised to work on it this coming week to give me more time to prepare, plan, and, well, pee, but with limited resources and limited time there is not a lot they can do. I'm trying to be optimistic about the whole thing, but I think that one way or the other, this is going to be a tough, tough year.
As my art teacher friends are getting jazzed about implementing new ideas in their classrooms, I'm trying to figure out how to survive in mine.
scherenschnitte 5" x 7"