Sunday, January 18, 2009

How To Make Seven Months Disappear

I finished my coursework at the University of North Texas in May 2008. I was running out of time to get a job. My housing was about to be pulled out from under me. I couldn't see a better option locally. I figured that if I was going to move out of the house I had lived in for eight years, I might as well really move.
I took a job in central Florida teaching art in middle school....again.
I figured that I'd done it in Texas, why not do it again in Florida until I get something else going. The school had a great art classroom that was well stocked. The previous teacher had been let go due to a lack of classroom management.
I thought....hey, I've taught college students, preschoolers and I even taught teachers when I worked at that museum, I can get that classroom managed.
I was only somewhat correct. I've managed the classroom, but I have no life outside of my job. I leave my house at 7:30 for the commute, arrive by 8:15, kids pour in at 9:00. I teach seven classes, 45 minutes each. I have a 30 minute lunch connected to my one conference period. That's one hour fifteen minutes in theory. I never get that time, though. I have to walk the 3rd period kids to the cafeteria (that's 5-10 minutes from my building fighting foot traffic) and I have to pick up my 5th period kids (another 5-10 minutes gone). I made a new year resolution to leave by 5:30 every day. I've already violated that five times because I got hung up making parent phone calls. I have to exhaust every in classroom/parent contact method in discipline before the office will even touch the kid. The kids want to go to in-school-suspension because they don't have to complete classwork there. The girl who said she'd shoot me in the back got 4 days of out-of-school suspension. Her friend screamed in my face a few weeks later that she hated me. She got one day of ISS. I work with some pretty crazy kids. I am happy when I get home by 6:00 p.m.
At least my colleagues are good people. Having conversations with adults for those 30 minutes of lunch is probably the only reason I haven't quit. Oh yeah, and my son loves the music program there. He gets to play cello and upright bass. Except that his amazing band teacher, a young woman only 25 years old, had to quit the first week after school was back in session this January due to health concerns. Her doctor told her the job was far too stressful for her. Sounds like a smart doctor, huh?

So that's how to make seven months disappear.

It's not that magical, really.