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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 

Days 96 & 97 & 98: Greatest challenge yet...

Well, so far in these 98 school days, I've improvised classes, quickly read a chapter to then explain it in all its details (read time: 10 minutes, class time: 90 minutes), I decided to introduce Project Management as something they need to learn and even have each class working on a monster project of building a city and in a couple of weeks, these kids will be dissecting hearts, eyes and frogs, all under my supervision... Class time is one thing - I've also had to learn the hard way that grading is a monster that takes over your life - whatever of it is left once all of my own kids are in bed - and that many hours can be wasted - oops! - SPENT - correcting and assigning grades and trying not to be judgemental.

This is the executive summary of my life in the past 98 days. However, none of it compares in importance with the fact that one of the girls I teach has been diagnosed with depression and is currently in dire need of support.

As soon as I found out, I contacted the mother to let her know that I was available to help in any way she could think of. I've gotten closer to the student by offering a couple of rides home and trying to explain to her, without it looking like I was explaining anything, that this is not her fault, that her feelings are real and that they will change to let the sun shine into her life again.

Because she missed a few weeks of school, I was able to "tutor" her at lunch time this week so that she can catch up with the 2 subjects I teach and hopefully feel more at ease next week when she starts attending all of her classes regularly again.

It seems that the whole picture has changed now - one minute I am trying to get my stuff together not to look like a fool in front of these kids, and now, all that seems foolish itself. A young girl's life has been turned inside out by demons in her head, and nothing feels more important than helping her chase them away.

The other teachers don't seem to worry about it - I suppose with time, when you teach for years and years, you see this often and you have to cut the cord and let things happen the way they were meant to happen.

I'm still green and unable to look the other way. Perhaps another hint that I'm not made for a job that can yank at your heart and soul at any moment...

I really enjoyed reading over some of your posts. Yes, teaching is hard. I always wanted to be a teacher but "daddy" paid for college in the beginning and wanted me to go for something that paid more. I started out for law and worked as a paralegal for a long time. I started teaching 7 years ago and most of the time I don't regret my decision. It's hard, and until you actual do it you don't realize what teachers go through. I keep saying any state rep or national senator or house of rep. who wants to shadow me for a week is welcome to it. That would give them a new "take" on things. I plan to link to you as soon as I can.

I'm glad you don't look the other way. True teachers like you make a difference and are memorable.

Well done, Lolita. You're making a difference. Some teachers would have simply washed their hands of the situation. Keep us posted.

You sound like a good teacher. And it doesn't matter how long you have been teaching, great teachers never look the other way.

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I am finally starting on my path of becoming a high school English teacher and I've found your posts to be so inspiring. It's funny how a person can focus so much on the trivial aspects of everyday life when there is usually something much bigger going on around them. I sincerely hope that you continue on in you teaching journey; you really seem to care about your students. I believe that is one of the most important attributes a teacher should have. A kind heart and a passion for children and your subject will get you far in this career. While reading your articles, I was able to walk into the mind (and the classroom) of a teacher and start to get a feel for what is coming. Thank you for putting your time and energy into this blog and I hope to continue on reading your saga of your 180 days as a teacher.

I have enjoyed reading the blogs so far. I am currently earning a degree in special education and I have heard so many people say: "Are you sure you want to do that, I hear the burn out rate is high" .Honestly I don't want to believe that, I know it will be hard but I like a challenge. One of my favorite quotesis from the movie The League of Their Own. Tom Hanks states: Hard,Its suppose to be hard if it wasn't hard everyone would do it" I love this quote and I really thing it pertains to teaching in many ways.

Teaching is best part of life.. Its a hard and glad to work..

stutalk

I think the school system needs a teacher who still has a reachable heart and soul!

It is indeed a great resource to obtain information on this subject. Keep posting. Thanks.
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  • I'm Lolita
  • From Canada
  • Challenges... don't we all love a good challenge? University, married life, a mortgage, kids, keeping my sanity while we cruise through life at 100 MPH... why not try my hand at teaching for a year. After all, a school year is only 180 days - anyone should be able to survive 180 days, right? Well, I'm about to find out - follow my journey and enjoy my trials and tribulations as I embark in this 180 day rollercoaster ride of teenage hormones and drama, spiked with discipline, homework, exams and surprises I'm sure...
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