Well, we're wrapping up the first quarter of the school year (I just gave my quarterly exams today), and to date, I've successfully managed to make just about every rookie mistake there is (too nice, too inconsistent, too overwhelmed by the dizzying array of kids and complexities and problems and craziness and procedures and all the bijillion things you're somehow supposed to know how to deal with and do with next-to-no training). But for what it's worth, I'm usually pretty good at learning from my mistakes, and I'm starting to feel like I'm at least getting a bit-of-a-sort-of-a-clue of how to make this whole complicated thing work.
I've never done anything so hard in my life. I get up at four in the morning to prepare for the day.* In the evening, not long after I get my own kids to bed, I zonk out, too stupid and tired to do or say much of anything else. Some days are okay. Some are just simply miserable. (Here and there, a few are rather lovely.)
But as hard as it's been, and as much as, sometimes, it's just completely sucked, I love the work and I love the kids. (They're so so funny.) And I'm very much looking forward to starting the next quarter, getting some things right that I got wrong the first time around, hitting a bit more of a stride, getting into something like a groove, and incrementally increasing the good-to-crappy-day ratio.**
Onward and upward.***
* Farmer's hours. That must be a genetic legacy of my Virginia farm-stock heritage.
** Also, due to various logistical shenanigans, my teaching schedule will significantly improve. I'll switch from teaching three grade levels (tough for any teacher, really tough for a rookie) to just two: fifth and sixth. And my rowdiest class is being split in half, going from nearly thirty wild sixth graders to two classes of much more manageable proportions.
*** This phrase has ended quite a few of my recent posts. I happened to notice the other day that it also concluded the very first Slimbolala post ever. I think I'll stick with it.