Thursday, August 19, 2004

Lessons Learned: Don't cook bacon while wearing a tank top. Ouch!
Don't take negative teachers seriously. It just brings you down before the school year starts, and who needs that?
Don't ask your computer engineer fiance how much he makes. Just accept the fact that he makes more than you due to society's skewed priorities.

OK-where to begin. Since talking to you, Tim and I went camping in the Panamint Mtns of Death Valley and hiked up Telescope Peak. It was great! We went from sea level to 8100' elevation, spent the night then hiked a 7 mi trail up another 3ooo' for some beautiful views and scenery. The hike up took us 6 hrs. It's amazing how slowly you operate in those conditions.

Next we went car camping in Oregon, spending 3 days in the Portland area. It was unusually hot for that time of year, but still very green and beautiful. Portland is one of the places we are thinking of buying a house.

Now, I have spent a couple of days at school getting ready for the new year. Don't tell my sister, but I am not getting paid for those days. Yes, there will be 3 inservice days next week before the first day of school, but we'll be in meetings, etc. and won't really have any time to set up our rooms. Since the custodial staff did their annual deep cleaning in each room, I had to rearrange the desks into my comfortable flight path and I moved my extra teacher desk (that does move) next to my real teacher desk (that doesn't move), creating a "No-go Zone," which I hope will keep my personal and professional belongings a bit more out of reach.

I've had lunch with some of my teacher friends, and a few of them just brought me down. I don't know; maybe it's because I'm still new and teaching (or, rather, being employed) is novel and I am still idealistic, even at my age, but I want to look at the positives...wait...I know there are positives somewhere....

...Oh, yeah, like molding and shaping young minds...seeing the lightbulb go on over their heads...watching a struggling student succeed on a project/test...turning them on to science!...working with a group of people who believe in what they do.... That sort of stuff. Not focus on the fact that this year's 8th graders scored very poorly on the state standards test, or that we won't have enough rooms for everyone until October, or the fact that we have a new principal, or that we don't know what we are teaching yet and school starts week after next, or that I may not have enough books again this year.... OK, maybe I should concern myself about these things but I don't want to harp on them. I did discover something I never would have believed of myself; I don't know how to utilize my bulletin board space. I used to laugh at articles I'd see about bulletin boards, thinking they told elementary school teachers how to make a theme or change the borders, but I'm now inclined to see the wisdom of their ways. I humbly apologize.

Am feeling better. I started to write because I was upset. About what I've already listed, but also because I asked Tim what his salary was and was shocked. How could he be making so much more money than myself? I have just as much education as he does, at comparable schools (ie: one of the best undergrad for marine science, one of the best credential programs in the state) and am doing a job that is just as important as his if not more so, but he is earning about 20-25K more than me. That just isn't fair. Well, next year half of it will be legally mine. hee..hee..hee (wicked giggle). But, seriously, that was the last straw. I just wanted to enjoy being a teacher, but I can't bury my head in the sand. I just have to learn to let it all roll off my back.

Tomorrow I'm going in to put up my posters. I found triplicates of my posters, so I'm going to post the spanking new stuff and put bright purple paper on my walls. So, there!

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