Wednesday, September 16, 2009

All work, all the time.

I kind of feel that way, especially working days like this, when I leave the house at 7:50 and don't come home until 9:30. And when I'm not at work I'm thinking about work! Which means this whole teaching/working with kids thing is pretty serious. I want to give a good, solid rundown of the school I'm working at and the after school program I help with twice a week...I'd like to recount what I'm doing with my kids and what I'm getting out of all this (which is a fucking lot, let me tell you!) but I'm just too tired. But as I drove home today after dropping off two of my kids, I thought, this is the best kind of tired. I'm learning so much and my brain feels so full its busting all its seams. It's challenging for sure. Even though I've only been working at Humbodlt for a few days, it is already painfully clear how messed up No Child Left Behind is. I look around the high school I work at and feel frustrated with the "teach to the test" mentality forced on teachers, and the lack of fun, meaningful work the students get. Then again, it makes me invent crazy lesson plans and classroom activities in my head. The ideas seemed to spill out of me today as I wrote them down after school. God, it's so bizarre. I swing back and forth so much in just a day. Even after feeling so charged and elated, tonight I also felt the first pangs of rejection when I realized one of the two kids I had so much fun playing and joking with on Monday was acting kinda frosty towards me. I pondered and fretted about it the whole way home, wondering if I had tried to be too friendly too fast, or said something weird on the drive home. And then back again...on the other side of the pendulum I had a nice, quiet tutoring session with a Hmong High school student who made me smile inwardly as we tried to figure out the square root of 11 and talked about being shy in class. Kids are such peculiar creatures. But they make me bend my mind in directions it doesn't usually go. Maybe that's why I'm so physically and mentally drained...I can feel excited and challenged and contemplative and playful all in one day, and all those spins and circles keep me thinking and stretching my brain in ten different directions. So yes, I'm tired. But I feel really 'on', like someone plugged me into a socket. It's really is the best kind of tired. And sometimes I even find myself thinking: I could get used to this.

Has it really only been three days?

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