Friday, April 15, 2011

The Show Goes On

All right, already/the show goes on/all night til the morning/we dreamed so long/anybody ever wonder/when they would see the sun go/just remember when you come up/the show goes on... ---Lupe Fiasco, "The Show Goes On"

This entire week, I have been on my own. Thankfully, I have a sub license, so I'm getting paid to do what I've been doing all semester! At first it was weird, running the show on my own. But eventually I came around and it's been nice to have full autonomy. It's a nice preview for when I have my own classroom. There have been moments throughout the semester where I've been flailing, and my CT has let it happen. During those moments, I couldn't help but wonder WHY he was letting me struggle. Afterword, he would always say, "There's not going to be a CT to save you when you're on your own." Looking back, I am eternally grateful for those moments. The show must go on...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Playing Ketchup

Who of you by worrying can add a single moment to your lifespan? ---Matthew 6:27

That quote really spoke to me and compelled me to make a blog post after nearly a month of silence. It was not intentional silence, dear reader. Rather, it was a contemplative silence, I assure you.

One thing that student teaching has taught me (not only about myself, but generally, as a life lesson) is that I worry too much. Granted, I have forced a pretty full plate upon myself, doing things that weren't entirely necessary, but at the same time, I used to stress myself out to the point of shaking and crying if I didn't have something completely prepared down to the minute. I've learned that the classroom takes its own natural course, and there's nothing I can do to stop the inevitable.

Today I had my mid-term evaluation with my CT and supervisor. I was pretty shocked with their marks, apparently I do not give myself enough credit, as my evaluation of myself was significantly lower than theirs. One criticism they had for me was that I always judge my performance based on my "worst" days. They warned me that if I continue to do this, I will be burnt out in three years, definitely something I don't want to happen. So now, I am attempting to make a conscious effort to evaluate my strenghts rather than my weaknesses. Wish me luck, as this is an attempt to reverse a habit nearly 22 years in the making.

In other news, I'm loving my new group of Holocaust Lit. This is a group that I wish I had for MORE than 90 minutes a day, because I constantly have to say, "sorry guys, we need to keep going if you ever want to get to the Holocaust." Currently, we are studying Darfur. It's amazing how many of these kids had no idea it is such an issue. It's probably the only genocide that has occurred in their conscious lifetime, as Rwanda was occurring as they were being born. I love our daily conversations. :)

I was fortunate to keep most of the kids from Term 3 in American Lit. There are still challenges with many of them, but to see the progress I have made with them is really rewarding. And... we get to start Term 4 with a biographical criticism unit on one of my favorite authors EVER... Sherman Alexie. I jumped all over that unit, and so far I think the kids are really enjoying it.

Reading Ideas is a new group of kids-smaller class, with a mass ball of energy. I could do a lot of activities with last term's kids that I definitely can't do with this group, but I'm learning how to structure, so it's a great experience.

On top of all that, I leave for New York City and Washington, D.C. the day after tomorrow! I'll gain chaperoning experience AND I get to meet Elie Wiesel. Oh, AND newly added to that list is Jim Loewen, author of LIes My Teacher Told Me. I will be approaching him with my ridiculously annotated copy and sheepishly asking him to sign my copy as I explain to him how he changed my life. I suppose it would be like what meeting a rock star is like for normal people.

Well, I won't take up any more of your time, dear reader. I have job applications to finish, lesson and sub plans to write, laundry to do, and packing! I suppose I take from my CT the art of balancing multiple things at once. It's been a full semester, but worth every moment!