Thursday, July 28, 2016

Summer School

On behalf of all the summer school teachers out there, I'm happy accept the supreme honor of being a summer school  survivor.

Being a  survivor didn't come easily.  I started the three weeks off in a complete state of shock, stunned by the long, six-hour days, which I spent with the same students, hour after grueling hour.  Each morning, my stomach sank the moment I pulled into the parking lot of the school, knowing I was in for a rough day.

And boy, were the days rough.  Being that summer school was free this year, my class was packed to the brim with 28 freshman who had failed ninth grade English for one reason or another.  Those reasons were soon apparent.  There was the skipper.  The lazy smart kid.  The kid who has no motivation whatsoever.  The kid who would rather play soccer on his phone, who sat next to the kid who would rather read than do anything else.  The kid with a massive chip on his shoulder, the kid who thinks teachers are stupid, the kid who lives with his grandparents because his parents are God-knows-where, and the kid who comes in high every day after smoking up with his gang. Let's not forget the kid who is low and needs a lot of extra attention, the kid with the most severe case of ADHD on the planet, the kid who who scares me, and the kid so quiet that he probably slipped in and out of class each day unnoticed.  I had every one of these kids in my class.  Every one.  All by myself for the first two weeks.

Of the 30 students on my roster, two never showed up.  Eight dropped out before the two weeks were over.  One came every day except the last day, when the final project was due, and failed.  To say I will never understand most of them is a gross understatement.

I couldn't have survived summer school, however, without the incredible support of my co-worker Danielle, who shared her lesson plans with me to make the work-load more bearable, and of my friend Margot, who co-taught with me after she was done with her assignment and helped me laugh when I wanted to explode or cry.  I'd also like to thank my husband, kids, and parents, who put up with my whining and crying the whole time, because I know it was annoying.

And lastly, I'd like to thank my summer school students for making me appreciate all the grading and planning that goes into teaching my junior AP Language and Composition students.  I'll never take them for granted again.

Beth - 1
Summer School - KO

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Adulting is Hard

Being an adult is hard.  Really hard.  Like so hard that I don't have the heart to tell my senior students that it's hard.  They'll figure it out eventually, and then the joke is on them.

You know how it goes, right?  You have to make an adult decision, you do a bunch of research to make sure you're making the right decision, and then you follow through with the decision.  And then you realize you made the wrong decision.  Pretty textbook.

I did this recently.  I was feeling pretty adult about my major decision, until I found a piece of information that slipped my attention during the "research" phase.  Then I did the adult thing by breaking down, sobbing to my husband that I'd made the wrong choice, and begging him to help me back out of it.  You know.  Adult.

The worst part is that sometimes backing out of adult decisions is expensive.  This one sure was.

Anyhoo, this brings me back to my main point, which is that being an adult is really hard.  And not fun.  And stressful.  But it does make you realize that making it through adulthood is okay as long as you have awesome people to support you.  My family has been incredibly supportive of my major adult blunder, assuring me that everyone makes mistakes.  Maybe they do, and maybe they don't, but I know I feel less crappy because of the people who love me.

So I may not be moving out of my parent's house as soon as I thought, but I know I've learned from this mistake, and I suppose that's an important part of adulting, too.

Also, wine helps.  And beer.

Just saying.

Beth - 0
Adulting - 0
Learning Experience - 1