Thursday, September 15, 2011

the update

 I am slowly figuring out what it means to be a teacher.  this has been such a roller coaster ride.  I always knew jr. high was a difficult time but I didn't realize how that affects the jr. high teacher.  one day a kid will be my best friend and the next day the same kid is cussing me out.  I am frustrated with the discipline issues but am loving the teaching.  it feels good to be doing what I am trained to do.  I feel like I am making a difference in this world but I can't help but constantly think about those students who aren't quite reachable.  the kid that's cussing me out all the time needs me to be there just as much as anyone, if not more.  I find myself thinking about those kids day and night, in the store, in bed, at church, and during my 998 prayers that I offer over the course of a school day.  

On the same note, I really feel that I identify well with the student demographics.  I realize that I teach school in one of the poorest counties in the state and country.  I just learned that one of my students lives in a house made out of plywood and lacks a door.  I realize that many of my students come to school by means of a school bus picking them up in the middle of nowhere on the side of a dusty road.  Their commute can be up to 2 hours.  Today I realized that as I described the requirements for our current writing assignment, a process essay, that most students were having a hard time identifying with the example topics I gave.  I was talking about writing a paper on topics like how to straighten your hair, how to wrap a Christmas present, how to make scrambled eggs, and other normal American processes.  When I looked over the topics that students had come up with they were not from my world, but from theirs.  For example, how to butcher a sheep, how to make turquoise jewelry, how to saddle a horse, and how to make frybread.  It was a nice reminder of how much I love, love, love where I am from  and how unique this teaching situation truly is.  

  I am in a denial stage about our new life.   Let's be honest, if I am not thinking about the problem kids in my class, than I am most definitely thinking about New Zealand.  My mind constantly wanders back to my ridiculously wonderful life of working for the church, running on the beach daily, and living in a genuinely exotic and modern place.  When things are tough here it is easy to compare to other life stages.  This is a new chapter for us and there are some roadblocks  that have really tested us since we arrived.  However, in the past 2 weeks our world has brightened in many ways.  Jason has begun work and I have learned to establish a routine at work so that I do not neglect the most important part of my life.  

I still feel like we are in a weird in-between world of becoming established and starting a family.  We haven't put our roots down yet and seem to be the only people on earth who do not have children.  We don't fit in with single people our age and we don't fit in with the kid toting couples either.  I will be honest, it feels so good to not have kids.  

All in all, we haven't quite settled into all of these changes.  It will come. Just like it did in New Zealand. 



Janae said...

I've been having so much fun reading your blog.

It is so hard to accurately assess background knowledge of students, and to differentiate accordingly. SO many different situations...

I wrote this a few months ago. Maybe it'll be helpful at some difficult point?

Bryn said...

I was trying to explain to someone the other day what it's like to teach in Winslow, and I wish I'd had your blog. You said it exactly the way it is.
I have to tell you, I'm absolutely fine with not having kids right now too :) It's around the corner but I'm enjoying the path before we get there!