Friday was an “interesting” day. There was a meeting first thing in the morning (during our half an hour tutorial period) for all of the seniors going on the senior trip. Since I have apparently become the person in charge of that whole benighted outing, I had to be there to pass out itineraries and say, “Yes, There will be a curfew. No, I am not kidding.” It was such a busy morning, making copies and shepherding my first period down to the auditorium, that I didn’t even notice that DH was back until we were in the auditorium and I saw him standing there at the back.
Yep, that’s right, DH was back. I was burning up with curiosity, but I didn’t get a chance to talk to him until much later in the day. He was extremely non-committal about whether or not he was back for good. “We’ll see.” He said, and, “Well, that depends.” I was surprised to find myself almost angry at him. Depends? Depends on what? Is he just going to keep yo-yo-ing in and out, leaving his second period more unmanageable each time? That class is an EOC (state tested) class and those kids need it to graduate. Now, I don’t just love those students or anything and I’d rather not have them on my plate, but if it’s going to happen, I’d rather it happen sooner than later, so that I have a least a prayer of building something with them and getting some them through the test.
I really do feel for DH though, can you imagine storming out of a class saying, “I quit!” cleaning out the room (he even took his trashcan!) calling in sick for two days and them coming back and trying to regain some semblance of control over a class? I can’t. How will he ever get them to listen to him again? He told me on Friday, “I didn’t try to teach much today. I just had them in the book doing work. They can handle that.”
The problem with teaching at a school like this is that over time it can drain you, and make you feel very fatalistic. It is hard to fight that. DH is a good teacher. He was, anyway. I remember my first year how upset and confused I used to get over some of the things that happened at my school and some of the nonsensical decisions that were made. I just couldn’t understand; it seemed so counterproductive. My second year I felt like I was able to settle a little and take things more in stride. I laughed things off more and didn’t let the absurdities get to me as much. This year things are really bothering me again, and I’m not sure why.
I have often said that teaching at [my school] is like teaching in dog years. For every one year you teach, you gain several years of experience and of burnout, instead of just one. By now, as a three year teacher, I am starting to feel like some grizzled veteran. I want to print my self up a shirt that says, “Oh yeah, I was in the shit.” I feel like I’ve survived some kind of war.
I’m not really sure where this entry is going. I meant to write about how extremely annoying my first period was in the senior meeting and how I marched them all down the hall and bitched them out in front of our Vice Principal, but maybe I’ll save that for another day. For now, I think I’ll go bake some apple fritters and wrap myself in Saturday.