Thursday, July 22, 2010

Classroom #4

Yesterday, I received the keys to the 4th classroom I'll be in in 4 years.  I know some people don't count student teaching as a year of teaching, but I do because for a large portion of the year, I co-taught.  I had an amazing master teacher who made sure I was well prepared to take on my own classroom.  Anyway, I digress.
    I know my principal is awesome.  I've known that for 3 years, but it doesn't make me any happier about teaching middle school.  What IS awesome, though, is that this will be the first year I only have two preps.  I could have hugged my principal when I found out I only had two preps.  I hope this means that I'll finally catch a break this year.
    On a different note, our league had their first fundraiser today and I think it was pretty successful!

I fell pretty hard at practice today, but got major air on a jump right before falling!  However, I hit my head against the ground and have been more or less fine for the last 3 hours, but suddenly don't feel so great.  I don't think I hit it hard enough to get a concussion, but I did hit it hard enough to give myself a good headache.   Thank God I have a day to rest before the next practice.  I <3 Derby :) 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Making decisions

It's no secret that I'm less than thrilled about the thought of teaching middle school again.  Perhaps it is in part due to the fact that I taught all intervention classes last year and had probably the worst middle-school teaching experience.  Anyway, I was checking the vacancy list and saw that there was an English position open at the continuation high school.  I considered asking for a voluntary transfer because I figured I would know a large part of the kids already as I had them in in high school two years ago.  Then, I ran into one of my former students who had to do a quarter at the continuation school his senior year to make up some credits from freshman year and he pretty much scared me out of it.  He reminded me of a valid point--"Take all of the worst kids from all of the high schools and put them in one school."  It's sad, but true.  I mean, not all of them are "bad" kids--and really, the "bad" kids often become my favorite and I don't know why.  Perhaps it's more rewarding to see a light-bulb turn on in a kid who has never had any confidence in his/herself or has never had anyone who has had confidence in them.  Anyway, I'm getting off-track. 
   He told me some horror stories about what goes on at the campus that made me think perhaps middle school was the lesser of the two evils.  He literally told me, "You'll get eaten alive."  Gulp.  I don't know anyone who teaches there, so I don't have anyone to ask.  I suppose I'll stick to middle school.  I really need to get out of this district.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Roller derby is effin up my feet

 I have always thought feet were really gross.  Most people don't really take care of their feet and pamper them the way they should.  But think about it: your feet probably work harder than any of your other body parts.  They support all of your weight (and most of us don't distribute our weight in the way we should--so our feet must work extra hard) and if you have a job that requires you to stand a lot, as I do (hello being on your feet about 8-10 hours a day), that is some serious support being given.  I've always made it a point to take care of my feet.  I pumice them regularly and rub lotion in them to make them soft and release the tension.  Now, my feet are nowhere near perfect.  I have permanent callouses because I don't distribute my weight evenly.  However, now that I'm doing roller derby (and skating damn near every day--and not leisurely skating, actively skating--sweating and huffing and puffing) and my feet need TLC more than ever, I feel like it's a lost cause.  I have new callouses, and my blisters have blisters.  I am coming to terms with the fact that I will have really gnarly feet and it's just the price I'll pay to participate in this truly rad sport.  And if all that I end up with is gnarly feet--I'm getting off REALLY easy.  Check this out.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Already slippin...

I really had good intentions with this blog.  I was hoping to blog once a day.  That hasn't happened yet.  Oh well.  I hope you all had a great 4th of July.  I went to a pool party at my friend's house.  It wasn't as epic as his party last year, but it was still pretty fun.  Luckily, the sun was out.  It was breezy, so it was just BARELY pool party weather, but I think everyone spent some time in the pool, and that's what's important.  We don't have many opportunities for pool time in our fog-covered peninsula.

Lately I've been skating a lot and worrying about money.  I live in one of the most expensive areas in California, but work for one of the lowest-paying districts in California (makes sense, no?).  Even though I have a career, I still live paycheck to paycheck and really have nothing in my savings account.  Some of it is my fault--credit cards are the devils, and other expenses are just...unavoidable--student loans, medical bills (I was taken to the hospital via ambulance at the beginning of June and my bill was over $2,000).  I hate living paycheck to paycheck.  I got paid  a week ago and already, I have less than $200 until July 30th!!!!  All of my bills are paid, thank God, but I'll be eating a lot of pasta for the next couple of weeks.  Can't wait to go visit my parents and brothers on Sunday.

Okay, I'm not going to complain anymore.  One of my goals this year is to be more positive.  So, on that note, I'll say that I'm really excited that tonight Jolicious and I are going to go skate with Rogue (she used to coach Santa Cruz and she's an AMAZING skater.  I know we'll learn a lot from her).

Here's a quick "hello" from me to you! (I was waving and the webcam freaked out)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday morning musings

It's 11:52 on Saturday morning and I'm still in bed. :)  Because I can be.  I don't have any obligations until practice this evening.  I hope to God that the rink is not nearly as hot today as it was last night, or there is a good chance that some people may puke.

I realized today that I haven't said much about teaching since starting this blog, despite its title.  The main reason for that is that I am currently on summer break, so there isn't much to say.  Once August hits, there will be no stopping the onslaught of complaints, musings, and bragging that I do, I'm sure.

I will leave you with a little bit about my teaching background (I'm not sure if background is the right word.  Situation? Hmm...) This year will be my 4th year teaching (if you count student teaching, which I do--because my master teacher is someone I'd known and worked with for a couple of years before I started student teaching, so she kinda threw me into it and let me do my thing.  Plus, she was gone A LOT due to being in charge of putting together the accreditation binders as the school was brand new and going through accreditation.  That was more information than you needed).  Anyway, like I said, this will be my 4th year teaching and the 4th school I've been at.  There were no English positions at the school I student taught at, so when interviewing for my first teaching job, I was offered a position at one of the other high schools in the area--the "ghetto" school.  I'm sure I'll post on this more later, but just know that I was really sad and depressed about having to teach there at first and ended up absolutely falling in love with the school and students--not that both weren't without their (extreme) difficulties.  Then, they cut the budget (surprise, surprise) and I was transferred to a middle school--the lowest performing one in the district.  10 times more "ghetto" than the high school I just left.  Talk about a challenging year (this was just this last school year)! Now, our district and many of its schools had been in Performance Improvement for many years and the state had intervened (yay, California).  The schools who made the Worst Schools in CA list (both the middle school and high school made the list, in addition to two others) had to take some action as mandated by the state.  The middle school I was teaching at was closing and merging with another middle school to create a new, bigger, restructured middle school.

What did that mean? Oh, only that I was going to be transferred AGAIN--along with all of the other teachers in my middle school, 50% of the teachers in the other middle school, and 50% of the teachers at the high school.  In sum, over 100 teachers were being shuffled around the district in order to meet these state requirements.  I was actually stoked about the transfer.  Last year was one of the most stressful years of my life and I had no desire to teach middle school ever again.  I was almost certain I'd be back at my beloved high school.  After all, the kids loved me, the assistant principals loved me, the staff loved me.  Case closed.  Right?

Not exactly.  They brought in a new principal halfway through the year (who is rad.  The last principal was the devil) and then got rid of the two assistant principals at the end of the year--there goes my foot in the door.  Then they brought in a new assistant principal from within the district who doesn't know me.  So, it all cams down to who you know in the end, and I didn't know her.

I waited and waited for the district to call me with a placement.  I accepted the fact that I may not be at my beloved high school, but would have settled for either of the others.  Some of my colleagues had been placed in May.  We were up against the end of June and I hadn't heard a peep.  Finally, I got the call and they offered me two middle schools.  I chose the lesser of the two evils (hopefully.  We'll see) and so I'm stuck teaching middle school once again. :(