Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Back to Reality. Oh, There Goes Gravity...

Today for me is the first official day of school. I went back on Monday but as the saying goes "one works or one meets" and we've had a lot of meetings. This video gives you an idea, though it's a parody, and set in the US, and seems to be takes place in their version of a primary school.

After a summer devoted to personal growth, walks with friends and unhealthy levels of internet usage, reality didn't so much bite as make an open-mawed lunge for my jugular. School is a fast place with lots going on. I'm surrounded by people all day long, and constantly having to make split-second decisions on what to say or how to approach issues. That's just the teachers; today the students return and I'll be meeting plenty of new faces.
I'm nervous, but in an effort to bolster my confidence, have made a list of things I have learned in the past twelve months.

-I am enough. Even if I don't get it right all the time, I do a good job. My resolution for the year is to hold back from comparing myself to my colleagues and instead consolidate my own position and teaching practice. Just because I'm not a Viking, it doesn't mean I have to be a Victim.
-It's okay to strive for happiness and it's the everyday actions that count. It mightn't be as straightforward as Rihanna implies in her awful song, but at least I can decide to try to be happy. Things like tidying up before going to bed so that I always come down to a clean kitchen and cold Diet Coke in the fridge have really helped. I'm going to apply the same principles in work. Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey.
-I'm not the only one. I don't just mean this in a general everybody-struggles kind of way (though that is true and I'd do well to remember it) but in particular in relation to being a childless, Yaris-driving spinster. I am  lucky enough to have some wonderful friends at work, but they are married down to the last one and almost all have two or more children. I can feel a bit "different" and not different better. Joining Gateway Women has helped me there as I've come to know that there are many articulate, capable women who've somehow managed to find themselves in a similar situation.

I give out about my job but it has its good days. My favourite thing to teach is Shakespeare and my biggest disappointment this year is not getting a Higher Level English fifth year class, as they're doing "Othello", which is one of my favourites.  It'll be hard to listen to the others discussing how they're approaching it but I'll have to put in my virtual ear-plugs. There are worse things. I came across this video the other day and answered the questions as it went along. What was the conclusion? The job I should be doing is........English teacher.

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