Monday, February 25, 2008

being a work-a-holic is not for the weak of immune system

Once again, it is Monday night and I find myself sitting at a table across from unapologetic at Rue de la Course. It is way more productive than being in my house these days, as my house tends to be entirely too comfortable and sucks all motivation out of me. Considering how far behind I am (still) on my workload, spending a couple nights a week at the coffee shop until midnight is good for me. Considering how little sleep I'm getting on account of it, this time spent is bad for my health. Since life in New Orleans right now is bad for my health, it was decidedly good for my health to escape to Destin for the weekend with friends.

Of course, I got nothing done. (Unless you consider procuring a mild sunburn and building a sand fortress on the beach to be productive.) But the sun and the company temporarily cured one hell of a nasty cold, which has crept back up on me since we got back to town last night (probably because I don't have my lovely derby wife around to make me shoot Emergen-Cs and eat properly).

Tonight I am supposed to be updating the gradebook (3-half-weeks behind!), writing tomorrow's lesson plan, and working on my Teacher Work Sample for school. Oh, and filling out potential retention forms. And putting together make-up work for students. And tearing my eyes out. Trying to chip away a little at a time without stressing out about everything too much. Since I wasted the past two weekends on having way too much fun with my friends, this next weekend needs to be about getting work done (and maybe just having a moderate amount of fun with my friends).

The kids - what can I say about the kids? I get the feeling that my relationship with my students is generally on an upswing. Even on a sucky day, I feel calmer, better able to ride out the flash hormonal shifts and abuse. It's much easier to leave the kids at school. I bring the work home but not so much the children anymore, and that is good for my overall sanity. It's way too emotionally draining to bring all their problems home with me all the time. That said, I am noticing that my kids are sharing more little tidbits out of their lives. I'm hearing more, they are less secretive around me and I think overall that is a good thing. My teacher "with-itness" is improving. I can catch the shenanigans most of the time before it gets out of hand and I can often get what I want with a well-place glare or a raised eyebrow in individual cases.

Relationships with my most difficult students are mostly looking up these days but I find that the mood changes as soon as everyone gets comfortable. A was a model student today after last week's blowout and reconciliation. D's classroom behavior has seen a dramatic turn for the better the past week and he's expressed to me what appears to be his most genuine desire thus far to make good and try to learn something. I realize that this will last only so long as nothing really horrific happens at home for him, but I'll take it while I've got it. I guess what I'm getting at is that I've become more tolerant and more attuned to what triggers my students' episodes. Still haven't figured out what the hell to do about Blackbird. She was supposed to be up for suspension after some crazy tantrums in my room last week but it got lost in the paperwork. Next time I will insist. Her parents need to be faced with the seriousness of their daughter's troubles. At this point, I do not get the impression that they truly understand what kinds of fucked up is going on in her head right now. (But hey, that's just my uninformed opinion on the matter.) I don't understand it, either, but I know that it is a serious problem in my classroom that isn't doing her or anyone else any good.

In other news, my anonymity is about to be non-existent. Because I'm using derby to get the word out about my school and when all the details are ready, I will post them here.

For now, though, back to the gradebook.

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