True stories from a u.s. public school

Last year a coworker of mine had to report on an instance of child abuse he learned about at school.  Allegedly a little girl was being sexually abused by her brother and father (or maybe it was step brother and step father).  She was removed from the home as well as the brother.  She recently moved back home.  I’m not sure about her brother.  Sad.

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Anxiety or depression

This morning is tough.  It always strikes hardest in the morning.  I could just burst out into tears right now.  It’s taking a tremendous amount of effort just to get my classroom set up for the day.  My thoughts keep wandering to future worries but I keep bringing them back.  Just do what you have to do to get through today.  Worry about tomorrow things tomorrow.  Cross those bridges when you get to them.  The challenges are those future tasks that take present day planning.  It’s hard not to worry about them when there are necessary steps that have to take place today.

The music my boss is playing reminds me of my dad.  Dire Straits.  It’s making me sad.  I wonder why?  My dad is fine, healthy and happy.  I love him very much.

Such dread.  Such fear.  For no reason.

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Social anxiety

I’m getting better. It doesn’t help that I was high when the new people showed up; the people I’ve never met before. But I remembered my mediations: “May all beings be filled with joy and peace…” I felt other urges surfacing, old patterns of socializing like being competitive, asserting dominance over the conversation in order to become the alpha female. But I recognized those feelings and just let them go. Women don’t need that. We need more adhesiveness. People in general need more adhesiveness.

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Stupid Doctor

He was kind of attractive too.  Maybe that’s what made it so awkward.  Usually I’m so chill at my annual pap smear; very business like. After all, it’s a routine “procedure.”  As soon as he said, “We don’t need unions in this country anymore,” I felt the figurative barrier spring up through the ground between us, separating the two economic classes like the Berlin wall.  That’s easy for you to say with your six figure salary and the respect of the nation behind you.  However, for us public workers trying to better humanity through education, we’re constantly fighting for what we need to do our jobs effectively, while the rest of society feels they could do it just as well or even better.  Anyone who has not been a teacher could never understand what it means, or what it takes, to be teacher.

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Cranky again.  Maybe if I write down my frustrations I’ll feel better.  Worked last time.  They always seem so trivial once I write them down.

We had a two hour delay today.  And my field trip was postponed until tomorrow.  The students have to fill out a whole different permission slip now since the date has changed.  Why isn’t my printer printing?  Anyhow, my fear is that many students will forget the new permission slip, since they were only given two days notice, and a whole slew of them will have to stay here at the school.  I guess the real headache factors in when you think about parents wanting their money back, if their kid doesn’t go.  I hope I don’t get put in charge of that.

Oh good lord my smartboard projector crashed again.  I might as well not even have it.  It boggles my mind how in this country we allow professional sports to have the latest state of the art technologies for analyzing and reanalyzing players and teams, yet schools are often stocked with faulty or no technology.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely thankful to have a school computer and smartboard, but sometimes it seems like more of hassle because of their constant faultiness. 

At least we were able to get a school reach phone call out to the parents about the field trip being rescheduled.

I miss mind numbing jobs.  The kind where you can shut your brain off and just get ‘er done.  With teaching I have to plan out every second of every day – even the moments when I’m not actually with students.  Palmer and I were just saying yesterday about how so much of teaching is NOT teaching.  Seems like I do more not-teaching than teaching, whether it be policing, mediating, collaborating with parents/coworkers, or just the mountain loads of paperwork that nobody tells you about in college.  Even just figuring out how a school district works is exhausting!  There’s a chain of command, a different form for everything, and a different person assigned for every aspect of the functioning of a district.

I need more coffee.

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Those Taco Bell commercials with the spanish pop songs are ingenious.  English speaking Americans will recognize the music from pop culture, spanish speaking Americans will understand the lyrics and may recognize the music as well.  “Es a mi a quien estas buscando!”  Too funny.

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The post anti-depressant world is a scary place.  Every day is a challenge.  Every day takes courage.  Everything makes me cry.  It feels like the world as I know it was built on lies.  Indigenous people wiped out of the land I live on.  Prosperity built upon the exploitation of the natural and human resources of other countries.  Everything feels so overwhelming.  

I have to get up early tomorrow; I mean, I have to go in early.  It’s a Day 3, which begins with 4th grade band.  It takes me a half hour (at least) to set up- but that’s not factored into my planning and prep time.  Hence going in a half an hour early. And by early I really mean earliER.  I already get to work a half an hour before I get paid every single day.  Anyways.  After I set up I have to instrument hunt in all the 4th and 5th grade classrooms to see if any students left  their instruments at school over the weekend.  It’s one of the only ways I can ensure they take them home to practice, and even that’s not guarantee.  That’s not factored in to planning/prep time either.  Again, hence the earlier.

Teaching is so hard.  I don’t know what it is.  It could just be my position- the fact that I’m virtually running 3 different programs in the time alloted for 1.  Well, maybe it’s just two programs since elementary general music and chorus are usually lumped into one position, while band is usually it’s own separate position.  Yet I do it ALL.  Then again, all teaching positions are hard.  Especially elementary positions, in my opinion.  It requires so much energy to have twenty-something children in your charge for hours at a time.  It’s not like you can just excuse yourself to use the restroom if you need to.  And they EACH require your attention individually, how do you divide it up with so many in the room?  You constantly have to be thinking about what the other students should be doing, even if you’re working with one or a few directly.

So hard.  After a while I run out of steam.  I just want alone time, where I’m only in charge of myself.  I’m burnt out and out of patience.  I wish summer vacation was chopped into smaller segments and inter-dispersed throughout the school year.  Not only would each break be refreshing and rejuvenating for teachers and students alike, it would help with the retention of acquired knowledge throughout the school year instead of trying to re-teach the previous year each fall.

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