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Conversation w/ Myself: Things I Can't Control

Friday, September 06, 2013

It's a beautiful morning - the temperature has that slightly crisp fall air that will burn off around noon and the sun is just creeping over the homes around me without a cloud in sight. I should be enjoying this from the vast windows that surround the YMCA pool, but failed to rise early enough. Today is my only day off until November and my body decided it didn't want to wake to an alarm clock (I don't blame it).

When I don't wake to an alarm that sets me on an immediate and previously planned trajectory, I tend to doubt or reason myself out of things that need to be done. It's like an extreme version of procrastination although there's no productivity ever. It's what I'm doing now; though right now I do have another purpose. I should mention if you're looking for an inspirational blog to open your morning this won't be it. I understand if you move on.

Today I will:
1.) Enjoy and savor breakfast.
2.) Enjoy 60 minutes of cardio - elliptical and stairs.
3.) Go to school and set up my classroom.
4.) Return home by 2pm because being at work for a full day on your day off is absurd.

Writing it down makes it feel permanent, which is the substitute for my alarm, auto-pilot response. That means these things will get done and soon. I'm actually enjoying breakfast while I type because eating within the first 30 minutes of waking up helps me start on the nutritionally sound path.

Now for what's bothering me. I received a phone call yesterday indicating I have a co-taught class this year. It isn't my usual co-teacher and the kids arrive Monday. The feeling of prepared and equipped has just fled my body. This co-teacher doesn't really gel with me; she's the doting, control freak type that needs every minute planned for the week the week before. I don't dote - that's for sure - I'm a control freak and I don't plan every minute because then I'll only be frustrated when it doesn't work out. Not to mention she hasn't actually communicated that we are working together; a friend saw the schedule and told me off-hand. So as of now I'm not supposed to know; I assume the great reveal is supposed to be Monday when the students arrive.

ISSUE: Schedule change the day before class

Now, I understand that should students need another adult to aid in any accommodations to enable their learning it is not only by law, but common sense. And I will get to know this co-teacher and be friendly and supportive because it isn't her choice to suddenly join me and she probably isn't thrilled with seeing my smug mug every morning either. Onto the second layer of this mental freak out. I have a student teacher, who I assured two days ago that there wasn't a co-teacher and so he has accepted the responsibilities of this class. This isn't the issue.

ISSUE: 3 adults and 31 teenage students makes a very claustrophobic classroom
CAN I CONTROL THIS? No - but I can communicate the concern to my supervisor
AM I RESPONSIBLE/AT FAULT? No. I can only express my concern

I have already. The thought of 31 teenagers and 3 adults in my tiny room makes me claustrophobic just thinking about it. One of the reasons I'm going in today is to search for more desks because there isn't enough room currently for everyone to sit down. This brings me to my third layer of this issue. I have 146 students total this school year and a student teacher. That's time consuming - like really time consuming. Now because of ONE student poorly placed by a guidance counselor I have taken on an additional responsibility: weekly planning and accommodating with a co-teacher for ONE student. From where I stand this could easily be rectified by moving this student into the already co-taught section of the course that have people who planned together all summer.

ISSUE: Administrative oversight (or so it seems)

And I know it's not my fault. We play the cards were dealt. I'm just concerned that has an English teacher with 3 honors classes, an accelerated class, and an AP class as well as a student-teacher, I'm already stretched thin. Will this addition further stretch me? Or can I roll with the punches? I will roll with the punches and I will turn this into a positive outcome I just need some time to adjust to it, which I clearly haven't done yet. This is me adjusting. I'm taking a deep breathe, evaluating perspective, and telling myself:

I'm not entirely convinced just yet, but I am processing this. I'm still feeling paralyzed mentally and motivationally, which is why I think a good solid workout is just how I need to start my day. It will be a good day, a positive day, and a beautiful day whether my work "issues" are smoothed out or not.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sounds like you are doing an excellent job of controlling your reactions to the 'just letting you know'. We can hope that it was a mis-read or an error and will be corrected to everyone's satisfaction. Good Luck.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Audra
    1632 days ago
    It sounds like your principal isn't very good! Who would change the schedule like that the day before students arrive? emoticon There's got to be a story there somewhere! Your school is starting very late. My daughter's HS started August 14th, which in my opinion is absolutely ridiculous! I love the way you are changing your thinking regarding whether things are under your control or not. That is a really weak area for me. I am definitely a "control freak" as well, although I prefer to think of it as someone who cares so much about teaching kids well. I have worked in a situation with a teacher I did not like (at all) and who was very incompetent. It is a really difficult situation to be in when you are coteaching with someone you don't gel with. I hope things work out for you. Try as best you can to take care of yourself. emoticon
    1632 days ago
    It is always disconcerting to have a curve ball thrown in at the last minute. You are working through the issues in a logical and methodical manner. Kudos to you!

    1632 days ago
    wow that is a lot to think about and work out....even if you weren't a control freak!! :)

    I was a para for a couple of years and I can only imagine what you are dealing with!!

    1632 days ago
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