Thursday, March 13, 2014

Me Day

Last semester, whenever midterms and finals rolled around, I would head into school on the 1st/2nd period testing day, just to get stuff done. This time around...I stayed home.

I had no contractual obligation to be there today. My duties, as assigned, are to teach 3rd period, and to keep my grades and lessons sorted, etc. No one cares if I choose, on a day that 3rd period doesn't meet, to stay at home and work on lesson plans in my pajamas, with a cat by my feet. Actually, I think most people at my school would do this if they could. So here I am, in my pajamas, working on a few things that need doing. I checked my email, etc.

But the best part of this little blip in my normal routine was that I got to go for a five-mile run this morning. It's a glorious day out--sunny, clear, cool-but-not-cold--absolutely one of those early spring days that leaves you feeling happy to be alive. My run went very well. I'm new to this whole five-mile deal, but I conserved when I needed to and let the energetic bursts happen from time to time, too. No pain, just even breathing and a lot of sweat. My heart rate was up, but not frantic. I feel marvelous. I'll sleep like a log tonight.

The last few weeks have been hectic, and perhaps a little stressful. It's a combination of factors, including the endless loop of piano lessons, a recent attack by an unhappy choir parent and the associated stress of knowing that the way I'm planning our upcoming tour--itself a source of stress--is not satisfactory to her or her daughter. There's been trying to recruit to grow my program, keeping up with lesson plans, and the inevitable teenage drama--mostly not directed my way, but it is quite disruptive to a happy choir rehearsal when one person speaks up and another person rolls their eyes so hard you can hear it.

And I'll tell you what: It's the girls. I only have five boys and while one requires a little more patience than the others, my guys are mostly, "Let's just sing, then" while the girls have opinions on everything. And I love my kids--all of them--but if some of the girl-drama doesn't stop soon, I'm going to have to hold peace talks. As it is, I do my best to remind them that we're in this together, that you don't have to love the person next to you--or even like them very much--but you do have to work together to row the damned boat if you don't want to sink. Most days are great, but this week, I had one in which two girls ended up in tears (one for no apparent reason, and she didn't feel like talking with me about it, and she was fine the next day).

Oh, high school.

I love it, I really do. I loathed teaching at DV, but I was young, immature, and not ready for it. Now, I feel like I can handle this--most of the time. I had one moment this week where I sat alone in my office, sniffling miserably and wondering what I could do better. (The answer: nothing. These are teenagers with all their associated learning curves and hormones and societal pressures. I just have to keep being a solid, understanding adult in their lives who doesn't take bullshit.)

So a day like today, a "Me Day," if you will, are particularly welcomed. I've gotten a few things done and I'm ready to face a two-hour midterm with them tomorrow.

I've got this. I really do.

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