SOL: Back in the saddle …

Today was the first day of my morning GED class.  My night class starts next week.  As always, I was nervous about getting started (and I’ll be just as nervous about starting class next week).  There were a couple of rough edges, but I think we got off the blocks well enough.

I’ve been both looking forward to and dreading today.  Surely I’ve established by now just how much I love teaching.  Really, truly love it.  And yet the dread.  I’ve missed my students, but I’ve sorely appreciated not being stretched as thin as I was last term: keeping my program going after the loss of more than half our funding, seeing a promised grant which could have saved us get cut by 80%, taking on the morning GED class when I already didn’t feel that I had enough time to do my job, working nearly every weekend from the end of August through the end of November, and on and on.  I got through December, but really only barely.  I was so depleted by the time I left for my mom’s on Christmas Eve, it’s down to divine intervention that I got there at all. 

My class may have gotten off to a good start this morning, but my own start is another thing all together.  I had imagined spending the two weeks between terms sifting through the fire hazard of my office, organizing all my classwork and doing some serious long-range lesson-planning for the new cycle … to say nothing of focusing on all the Program Director stuff I need to tend.  Not so much.  And, just to keep things ‘spicy,’ I added a couple of meetings that went so poorly I can’t articulate how angry and sad I felt when they ended.  Which all brought me to today, only the first day of class, and yet I’m already flying by the seat of my pants.  Not exactly my best foot forward.

To end on a more rose-colored note … It was great to see my students, to hear how their vacations were, to start to get to know the new additions to our group, to laugh together.  And as class ended O___, one of the women who taught these students last year, came with a big pizza lunch to say a quick hello before heading back to grad school in Massachusetts.  A really excellent mid-day treat.  And then to go into my office and find an email from D___, the other woman who taught my students last year and who has since moved to Guatemala.  And then to come home and find not one, but TWO lovely and loving voicemail messages from my dear, dear, dear Mexican sister-friend, telling me that she is going to be in New York next month!  Yeah, that was exactly what I needed to end this day feeling good.

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6 thoughts on “SOL: Back in the saddle …

  1. I’m so glad to know there are teachers like you in the world.

    Now, I keep reading “SOL” as “s**t out of luck”, and I know that can’t be right, lol! What does “SOL” really stand for?

  2. Thanks, Molly. I do remember … it just gets papered over sometimes by the piles and piles of work on my desk!

    Ruth, you made me laugh out loud just now! SOL stands for Slice of Life, going back to a writing activity started over at Two Writing Teachers. The SOL-a-day challenge from last March was distilled down to a SOL-a-week habit. Sometimes (like yesterday, maybe) I think your interpretation is just right!

  3. Lisa

    What a hard day! But what a good ending. I hate flying by the seat of my pants in the classroom, but sometimes it just happens…like when all the magnets in the school have been de-magnetized and my whole science unit for the week now won’t fly, or like when the lovely IT guys set my Smartboard up 1/2way and I can’t use it for any lessons. That’s why they pay us the big bucks, right? ;p

  4. I’m with you! Flying by the seat of your pants. I’ve been there often. Isn’t it a lovely image?
    And yes, the bottom line is the magic of a room filled with kids and what happens as a community in that moment in time. That’s worth it all. That’s what I miss but you can’t that room of excitement without “the rest”.
    Bonnie

  5. Happy New Year, Stacie! Your year begins with challenges, your day ends with affirmations!

    What are your plans for Inauguration Day? I’d love to know how you are going to bear witness to this.

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