Sunday, September 21, 2014

The "Perks" of Teaching??

Don't get me wrong.  I'm a teacher, and I do really enjoy my job.  Most of the time.  This year it's been more difficult to get up into an enthusiastic state of mind.  We have an insane schedule which is working against kids, teachers, and learning.  Add on top of that some new responsibilities added to an already too-full plate, and morale isn't very high.

And then there are the myriad small frustrations that are just part and parcel of a teacher's life.  These are a few that I experienced just this week.

  • A dysfunctional copy machine.  I tried to run off 30 double-sided copies of an assignment.  It should have taken all of 5 minutes, if that.  Instead it took 30 minutes.  Of course that was morning I purposely came in half an hour early so I could get some project-grading done.  Needless to say I spent that half hour photocopying instead of grading.
  • A website crucial to my reading class was down for unscheduled maintenance.  Had there been prior notice?  Of course not.  On to Plan B.  
  •  I needed to reschedule the lab visit for the reading class who couldn't get to the website,  and can't get time in the computer lab until the end of next week.  That totally bollixes my unit.
  • A piece of technology I was asked to purchase out of my very limited supply budget can't be installed because another piece of technology hasn't been updated.  I could have used the $99 to purchase other items I wanted for the kids.
  • Students who are totally unprepared for class ---- no pencils, no paper, no homework.  It's not that they can't bring these things, it's that they "forget."  (I've checked to be sure it's not financial!)  And because our supply budgets are so limited, I don't have a surplus of paper and pencils to give away.  In our school, paper and pencils are part of the school supplies we ask parents to buy for their kids.
  • Meetings that take up all my planning time.  This past week, I didn't have one free planning period available to actually plan.  Thus I tried to compensate by arriving at school between 6:15-6:30 am, and leaving between 4:15-4:45.  My "contracted" hours are 7:15-2:45.  Not that any teacher worth his or her salt works just contracted hours! There's no way you can be competent if you don't work beyond them.
I'm not trying to be a kvetch.  I'm just trying to share a bit of what actually goes on besides trying to guide student learning and manage their (sometimes ridiculous!) behavior.  I know EVERY job has its particular frustrations. And I certainly wouldn't put up with them unless I genuinely liked my job.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Small Things Make Me Happy

Maybe it's my age (60!!).  But small things are just tickling my fancy nowadays.

Here's one of them:

I installed the iron/ironing board hangar all by myself!  I even used wall anchors.  And it only took me 15 minutes!  (Yes, I have an "antique" ironing board. It's longer than the ones you find in stores today, and it's wider too.  Plus it's heavy.  I've had it 37 years, and it was old when I got it.  I think it belonged to my mother-in-law's sister.  The rubber cushion on the foot was missing when I inherited it.)  At least now it won't fall over when I brush past it!

Here's another very similar thing that makes me happy.  And I also installed the broom rack myself.  This took me an hour and half though!

Now I'm thinking of tackling some robe hooks for the bathroom!