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The Good of the Job

Posted 11-20-2011 at 06:25 AM by nzkiwi

I received an email this morning that included a section with several teachers responses to the question, "Why do you love to teach?"

It seemed to come at a very opportune time. During the past couple weeks I've been asked several times about why I stay in a job that I seem to complain so much about. And honestly their questions have made me do a lot of thinking about teaching....because, yes, there are many days where I do vent....but, at the same time, there are so many rewards too.

So why do I love to teach?

Every day is different. There's no boring routine to my job! Every day there's new things happening, new topics being explored, and there are new challenges to face. In fact, in ten years of teaching, I doubt there's ever been two days exactly the same.

I have the opportunity to watch kids grow. There's nothing better than seeing a student suddenly make a connection, grasp a new concept, or learn...

Curses on cold germs!

Posted 11-14-2011 at 07:35 PM by nzkiwi

So I complete a wonderful weekend, and actually take some time off from schoolwork, figuring I'll get everything done somehow this week and then....I wake up this morning with definite signs of a cold germ!

I hate not feeling well, and especially hate it when I have work that I want to do. I've had a huge pile awaiting me tonight and haven't touched a bit of it. I have this goal to get everything done for this week, next and the following one *all* this week. I want to leave for Thanksgiving break and know that I don't have to touch or worry about schoolwork until I get back. But this little bug that I've picked up was not part of the plan!

I'm still functioning -- went to school today and am planning on teaching tomorrow too -- but definitely am hoping this germ whomever (student or otherwise) gave me will pass by soon. *fingers crossed*

Thinking and Sinking...

Posted 11-07-2011 at 07:17 PM by nzkiwi

It is not a new realization. I have had similar thoughts many times before. But nonetheless: "Wow, how quickly can my mood & stress level change!"

Last night I was sitting here feeling completely at peace. It had been a great weekend. I had two days of no students ahead of me, so everything was feeling like by Wednesday morning I could actually be caught up and ahead on stuff. BUT fast forward 24 hours and bring me to tonight and none of those peaceful feelings still exist!

My mistake tonight was going upstairs to my work room. Honesty ever since I switched schools, not a whole lot of work gets done in there. It's become more of a storage area than a work area. When I had to clear out my old classroom (from 8 years of teaching) everything had to get carted home and my work room was where most of it got stuck. Then last year, getting hired at my new school only a couple days before the kids arrived, it mainly was only the bare necessities...

Wonderful Weekends :)

Posted 11-06-2011 at 06:32 PM by nzkiwi

Ah, I love weekends! And this one has been so particularly nice!

Due staff development tomorrow and a teacher workday on Tuesday, I don't have students, so therefore this weekend has been completely free of school worries/work/stress/etc. I had the opportunity to go out biking for awhile yesterday, catch up on some other tasks last night, and then went out hiking today. It's been wonderful!

I honestly wish every weekend could be like this. I have loved not having pressure on me to get everything ready for Monday classes or feeling pressed to grade every paper because, of course, I have two more days to get all that done. This weekend has just been for fun and relaxation, and I've loved every minute of it!

I know, sadly, it will be quite awhile before another such one comes. Christmas, I think? And then a wait until Spring Break? And then a wait until summer? It's times like this when sometimes I wish I wasn't a teacher who cared...


Posted 11-05-2011 at 05:40 PM by nzkiwi

I'm trying my luck with NaBloPoMo again this year. That stands for "National Blog Posting Month" for those who might be wondering what that odd combination of letters stand for. The challenge is to write one blog post every day in November. I started but failed miserably at the challenge last year. The year before that I successfully completed it. What will this year bring? I don't yet know.

For me I guess it's the easy version of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which I love the concept of as well, but just simply don't have time to attempt this year. In many ways that makes me sad. In past years, NaNoWriMo has been a wonderful writing motivator for my students. I've been blown away by the shear amount of words that some of my past classes have written. But due to multiple factors, this year my students don't even know about it and when I stop to think about that, I get sad. With our class schedule (e.g. limited minutes) and the intense test...

Musings of a Lazy Teacher

Posted 11-03-2011 at 05:11 PM by nzkiwi

Tonight I have been lazy.

I *should* be grading papers, or writing up student goals, or getting countless other things done that make my to do list longer than I even want to think about, but I'm not. Ever since I got home from work this afternoon, I have been lazy. I checked email, relaxed on the couch and watched part of a movie, and now am in the midst of writing.

I have a tendency to be hard on myself for taking such lazy afternoons. With my school bag loaded with things that need done, my mind has continually been shouting, "Get to work!" but my motivation just isn't listening. I try telling myself that it's a good thing, but it's so easy to slip back to the feeling that I should be using my time more productively.

It's a tough thing being a teacher. My work hours state I'm on the job from 7:45 to 2:45 each day, but of course, in actuality there is no time clock which I can punch out on. Whether it is simply my concern...

Last night of vacation...

Posted 08-05-2011 at 11:52 PM by nzkiwi

It's my last night of vacation. Okay, not technically (still have 8 days left before we teachers officially return), but symbolically it's my last night.

I've spent the past five days up here in Fairbanks, Alaska. I fly home tomorrow. With the pile of work that awaits me there (haven't touched a single thing school wise this summer...and well, the start of school is just around the corner!), I know my vacation is over after this.

I'm sad to leave for multiple reasons. One: I love Alaska. If anything, it's 11:15 p.m and only just now is darkness starting its approach. Not to mention, the cool temps (sooo much better than the upper 90s I left at home). And maybe, best of all, it has also been a good spot to clear my head.

With the massive to-do lists and clutter that awaits me at home, I'm beginning to realize I get overwhelmed there. I shut down. I don't want to do anything, and of course, that only compounds the problem.

Dusting off the cobwebs; Hoping to find motivation

Posted 07-25-2011 at 08:48 AM by nzkiwi

I'm feeling totally unmotivated to begin working on any sort of schoolwork, so instead I find myself this afternoon browsing PT and then remembering my blog. Looking back on it, I of course notice it hasn't been updated in almost a year. I guess it shows how busy last year was! I never did feel like my feet were ever completely under me. I think I successfully avoided crashing, but don't think I ever really achieved flight either.

This coming school year brings another change not quite as big as the last (I am staying at the same school), but one I find myself nonetheless still nervous about. For the first time since I've been teaching with reading & writing workshops, I'll actually be teaching full time language arts. That means 4 classes a day + 25(or likely more) kids each = over 100+ students to somehow attempt to keep track of. I'm excited by the prospect of being able to focus on the one part of teaching that I've really grown to love...

Flying or crashing? Well, I don't know...

Posted 09-13-2010 at 04:05 PM by nzkiwi

So have I flown or crashed?? Well honestly, I think the verdict is still out. Almost 3 weeks into the school year, I still don't feel like my feet are underneath me at all. Every day I deal with the feeling that everything is going to come crashing down, but somehow the day ends and I'm still aloft (if just barely).

Overall, I like my new school so far. It's much bigger and there's still days when the number of kids in the hallways just overwhelms me, but overall it's not that much different than the school I left. So far, probably the biggest two changes/challenges I'm trying to get used to are the class sizes & class lengths. My smallest group is 27, and the other three classes are 28 respectively. I'm teaching 3 science classes and 1 language arts each day and each period is an hour long. For science that seems to work well, but for language arts I'm struggling. I dream of having my 90 minute block back (which I've been used to for the past 4 years)! ...

On the verge of an adventure

Posted 08-22-2010 at 02:37 PM by nzkiwi

Well, tonight I sit on the edge of a cliff. Hopefully tomorrow I'll fly, and not crash somewhere miserably.

Tomorrow morning I head to my new school for the first time (well, since the interview), see my classroom for the very first time, and about a half hour or so afterwards, get to meet my students too! 6th grade orientation is happening, and the principal has assured me everything is taken care of and all I basically have to do is be a body in the room, but it's certainly going to be interesting. I mean, I've never greeted my students in a strange room, feeling completely unprepared before.

From talking with the principal, it sounds like everyone is going to be very supportive and helpful, and I'm convinced I'll get through this week (one way or the other). Tomorrow, after orientation, I'll go and officially sign my contract, have the rest of the day and Tuesday to set up things in my room & look at the curriculum for the first time, and...

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