teaching

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Shifting

In a rare moment of calm within the last few weeks, I had a sudden, gut-level sense that things were about to shift. I didn’t know what it would look like or what would be involved. I didn’t totally trust it, as I was in the midst of weeks-long anxiety. Things have been crazy. 
It has been a long few weeks. A couple of months, really. 
And on the other side, I’ve decided to give myself permission to do things I want to do because I want to do them. Not because they’re a good back up plan for an English and Spanish major. Not because they’re difficult or noble or an option. I don’t have to do everything I’m capable of doing. I don’t have to prove to be a hard worker to myself, to my parents, to a nonexistent audience I fear is hiding under my bed or in my closet. I don’t have to do all the things.
I don’t have to overwhelm myself, filling my time until people notice how productive I am. This has only yielded multiple unhealthy results.
It’s taken me a full year and a half, maybe more, to get here.
Right now, I have some breathing time, and an offer, a promise, of a tangible shift only a few weeks away. My gut was right.
How else to celebrate but a productive trip to the library on a soggy late afternoon?
This is how I plan to spend my time over the holiday. Five glorious days to sleep, be with family and friends, read because I want to, and be thankful for what’s to come.

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A Day Off: Projected Intentions

Posting here has been scarce, for good reason. I’m in my last semester of a post-bacc teaching certification program at a local university. That means I’m student teaching. So far it has been frustrating, exciting, exhausting, frustrating, time consuming, and fun. But above all, time consuming and exhausting. I’m convinced it’s harder to do as a post-bacc student, if only because I now have more of a life to manage than I did as an undergrad. It’s left me with little time to post new content.

But tomorrow is Rosh Hashanah! And that means, at least in this area, that I don’t have school tomorrow! Back home, we never had off for any Jewish holidays. Instead, we had off for the first two days of deer season. It’s still weird to me to have to go back to school or work the Monday after Thanksgiving.
So, instead of going to school, I plan to
  • check out the selection of children’s lit in Spanish at Barnes and Noble
  • wander around Terrain, looking at things I have no intention of buying, awaiting inspiration and enjoying beauty
  • go to yoga (it’s been way, way, way too long)
  • write a spectacular lesson plan for Friday (I’m getting observed by my university supervisor)
  • stock up on canned pumpkin (I think there’s another shortage this year?)
  • bake something with pumpkin
  • read

I really don’t want it to seem like a to-do list. It will be much more free-form than that. But these are things I’d enjoy doing if I had the time.

And tomorrow I do. Thank you, Rosh Hashanah. Thank you, suburban school district. Though come Thanksgiving, I’d be wishing I could trade Rosh Hashanah for deer season vacation days.
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I want to be a teacher, but I don’t want to quit the internet

Stories like this terrify me. Shouldn’t teachers be practitioners of their content? Shouldn’t an English teacher be expected to write and publish? A professor is. Is the purpose of high school to teach content and practice, or morals? Can’t we have both?

These stories make me wonder if teaching is worth the scrutiny. Sometimes I am a little jealous of people who don’t have to worry about every little word they put online. I worry that anything creative thing I pursue will have to be completely covert. Granted, writing erotica isn’t on my list of creative things I’d like to try, and I believe the internet is a wildly inappropriate venue for complaining about one’s students, but still. Teachers are held to an impossibly high moral standard. I’d like to be able to blog without being scared of the Ghost of Blogging Past knocking on my door years from now, getting me fired from a potential teaching job. It’s something I think of quite often, and possibly one of the reasons this blog is rather neglected. What can I put here? What should I avoid? Professors in the education department say I should be avoiding everything. Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, all of it. I’d really love to figure out to do this — how to do it well, without giving a potential employer grounds for firing me someday.

I even went so far as to change the URL. I’m thinking about taking all images of my face off of here as well.

Thoughts? Recommendations?
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Things are different now

The last few months have been strange, busy.

Chad and I are living in West Chester now.

I am starting grad coursework toward a PA teaching certificate, and looking for a job or private tutoring/freelance gigs. I had a pretty encouraging interview today for a private tutoring job . . . I don’t know if it will work out, but I think it may have potential to turn into something a bit different than the task I interviewed for . . .

Maybe in the meantime I will write or finally learn to play mandolin. Maybe I will get back to a friend about a story he sent me a while ago.

Maybe I will hang out in a coffee shop and read Spanish poetry. I miss Webster’s a lot. There doesn’t seem to be an equivalent here.

Does anyone know anything about West Chester? Any further suggestions?