Your Memory Is A Monster

Completely anonymous, letting the guilty live free and the interested live happily.

Looking forward to: August 7, 2009

1. Making jokes that are hilarious to me & so lame to my 10th graders.
2. Having 10th graders.
3. Being done with HR paperwork.
4. Decorating my classroom. I’m so into office supplies.
5. Learning cool new slang, using it, and ruining it for my students.
6. My students’ jokes. It will be tough, though, to cease laughing at my students’ use of “That’s What She Said.”
7. Talking about books.
8. Extra-curricular events.

I’m starting to see that I am really revealing myself to be a huge nerd. What’s worse is that I’m pretty alright with that.

The truth is, I am silently freaking out. About paperwork, about when I will have time to do what, about being ready for the first day, about other teachers liking me, about standardized test prep… and about my students’ attitudes.

There are moments, like today, when I was getting the books I’ll be teaching, that I am so excited I almost actually squeal.

There are moments when I am terrified of something happening and not knowing what to do.

There are moments when I panic about getting things done, doing them right, and everything actually coming together.

There are moments when I am so ready to be here, in this new apartment, with this new job.

There are moments when I feel the wave of regret of leaving where I left, who I left, the job I left, the students and former students I left.

Will it be better or worse? Did I just fuck something up?

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Teenage devils. February 6, 2009

Should I be bothered that I am a better teacher than the people teaching me to teach?

Should I be bothered that the state requires me to learn how to teach, even though I’ve been teaching for 4 years?

Should I be bothered that, in order to sustain and fulfill my life, I’ve accrued $70k in debt?

To be honest, I am most bothered by the fact that I don’t even know how to get a job once I’m done learning to do a job I’ve been doing. Maybe, somehow, these classes will make me a better teacher. But how are they going to help me get a job?

One of the FAQs on the Ed department’s Teacher Certification program website is “Will the department help me find a job?” The answer is simply “No.”

Perhaps I should have a different department, eh?

Though my MA will earn me only a little more a year (when I do, eventually, find a job), I don’t think it was a wasted effort, or even wasted money. I think that those three years, that that writing, those experiences were intrinsically valuable. I don’t know that I would have named a price so high, but I would never say I’m not glad I did what I did.

I did wish this process was easier, though.

I want to teach English to high school students. I am ready to sell my soul to the teenage devil. I am ready to lay down my life for standardized tests. And I am willing to do it all for less money than I could make doing little more than checking my Facebook as an office worker. So why isn’t someone making it easier?

There is an abundance of well-educated, under-employed people in this county, this state, this city, this effin’ neighborhood, even. Why aren’t we being snatched up, courted, wooed and escorted into jobs that need filling, that change lives, that meet important needs?

Why do I have to fight to do the right thing?

I am still going to do it, and I won’t complain (more than this). But what about all the equally qualified folks who are up for the job but not this strenuous process?