Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Faking it until I make it

That dream sequence where I am standing in my underwear in front of everyone was repeated ten times yesterday. I know everyone is dying to hear how my first day went, and feeling like I was in front of the class in my underwear pretty much summed it up. Dramatics and self mutilation was all I could think of last night, that and feverish planning so I would presumably have it all together today.

The first class was homeroom which was the poorly planned (not by me) process of distributing paperwork to an insanely large class. If I didn't look like I had no idea what I was doing, the teacher whose classroom I was in (again, I float) made sure to announce to everyone that this was my first day as a teacher. Bye, bye dignity. Bye, bye chances of respect. Hello, half of those kids being in my English classes and the other half knowing people and quickly telling them I was brand new. (insert razor blade into my thigh here)

The thing is that we usually have block scheduling of four classes a day (I have one off period a day) and homeroom once a week. However, yesterday we had the distict pleasure of having homeroom at both the beginning and end of the day sandwiching in all eight classes. It would seem a 20 minute class would make it easy to blow through the period before the kids got a glimpse at the a-1 moron that would be teaching them, but 5th period was an hour-and-a-half to accomodate lunch, so I was stuck with a class that I had 10-15 minutes of stuff prepared for. The kids were a fun batch, but my training has stuck in my head that any downtime these kids get, especially in the very beginning, sets a tone for the year and so I was left with the knowledge that I had effed myself for the entire year. (make another cut in my thigh here). And don't worry, I even managed to look like a moron for the 20 minute classes too (small cut here).

I am sure that yesterday was hardly a blip on the kids' radar and most of the reason that I am super aware of everything is that these are extremely gifted kids who have pretty high expectations. Seth Cohen's that all know that they know more than me. (small cut here). Did I mention that there was pretty much no AC in the mother loving building?!? (that's the part where I cut my thigh from side to side and then make snow angels in the boiling blood).

My thinking all day yesterday was to just make it though it because this would be the worst day of my career because it was the first and I would never feel as lost and as inadequate as I felt that day. And it is true, today was better and involved no self mutilation urges. I went in unflustered and acted like I had a plan (and I had one) and I dove straight into class discussions. Granted, I still have miles to go, but I was able to get the kids to participate in class discussion sometimes with minimal participation on my part and even got them to read some journals out loud. I was so impressed with what I heard and it stirred up that feeling that made me want to teach in the first place. Still, I can hardly wait til vacation time!

Also, Dylan just started his third week back in day care and he still screams like they are putting needles in his eyes when I put him down there. I can usually still here him screaming when I am getting back in my car, which is a great feeling since his classroom is in the back of the school. He even cries when he sees me come to pick him up, like by coming back I have poured salt in the wound created by leaving him in the first place. I am assured that he is fine the rest of the day, but gee whiz!! The school also makes him wear closed toe shoes at all times and despite going and getting him fitted for shoes, I have been all over town returning shoes and switching sizes. After sending back much more expensive shoes, I ended up with the only two shoes that even fit - a $5 pair of Vans sneakers and a $5 pair of Skechers. The Vans are in the pic below, I think he looks very cool and we got quite the deal. He is big on trying to shake everyone's hand right now, hence the outreaching hand...

IMG_8078

8 comments:

Kache said...

You made me sick to my stomach just thinking about standing up in front of a class. But like you said your worst day is behind you. I'm sure your students will appreciate you in no time.

Cool shoes dude

Heather said...

you are so brave, and I have never doubted how hard teachers work. I'm so Proud of you!!! I can't wait to hear all about it!

Heather said...

and I miss Dill Pickle bad! Need a fix!

Rita said...

Wow, Brandy! Your first few days sound horrible but you have a great attitude and I know your year is just going to get better and better.

Susan said...

It's just gonna get better from here on....you made it thru the worst!

Jason said...

We all float down here...

Lisa said...

You're absolutely right, the first day is always the worst and you'll never have face it again. By next week, you'll be an old pro at being a teacher!

KJ said...

I'm sorry, but I'm ROFL about your first day. You sure know how to put a positive spin on it! ;) Glad you made it thru with hopefully, only minimal scarring!