Monday, October 28, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

Since I went back to work a little over a month ago, I have been making the most of every single moment the best I can.  That means more work, but less blogging.  I have off today, but I go back Tuesday through Friday for my last week of teaching these classes.

I've learned a lot about myself in the time that I've been back teaching.  The first week was fantastic.  I enjoyed every minute of it.  Then came the first test.  The average was 75%.  For most teachers, that's considered a decent score.  For me, I agonized over those students who came in under that number.  Some of these kids didn't pay attention, didn't ask questions, didn't come to see me, didn't do their homework, and didn't do the chapter review.  But I still stressed out hard core that they failed, even if they didn't seem to worry about it at all.  I worry about how much of the grade was my fault.  I think it's the judgment calls that are the hardest.  I continually check and double check my steps - was I fair with grading?  Did I take off a point or half a point for small math errors?  What’s a small error?  Should I allow them to turn things in late if they have a good reason?  How do I know they're not lying to me about their excuses?

I think I've decided that I'd love to teach if there were no grades.  That's essentially tutoring, which I do now.  But my night job is very stressful for two reasons.  One, there's no evening family time.  *B* and I split shift parent, which means he gets home, kiss hello/goodbye, and I go off to work.  We don't even get to eat dinner together.  Since he leaves early in the morning for work, we don’t get breakfast together, either.  Essentially, on days I work, we have no family meals whatsoever.  Reason number two, my boss is a very nice woman, but she has difficulty running a business.  She messes up kids' schedules all the time, she forgot to take taxes out of my paycheck all year last year, and I didn't know that until I got my W-2 because she would never give me pay stubs no matter how often I asked.  She’s also very demanding of my time despite what I need.  If I say that I can only work two days a week, she still pushes for a third (or fourth) day.  And I’m stuck deciding between my job and my family.  If I choose my family, I have to make that case over and over again every time she asks me to put in more time.  While I like the work, it provokes a lot of anxiety on my part.

The hardest part was that Miss F had a very bad experience with daycare for the first two weeks.  She got three major head injuries in three days from climbing and tipping chairs into the center's brick walls.  While I know that kids get hurt,  the center did nothing to fix the problem after the first time, or even the second.  I had other concerns as well, so I looked them up on our state's child care licensing database.  They had six major, unresolved infractions.  These ranged from being understaffed and overcrowded to being in a building with major code violations including no running water in the bathrooms.  We pulled her out immediately and found a very nice woman who runs a small home daycare down the road.  I have been much less worried since she's switched, but I still miss her.

I’ve decided that I’ll be going back in January to cover a friend’s maternity leave.  We can save a lot of money up for the next baby.  I'm not pregnant, but we've been thinking a lot lately that our family feels like we're missing someone.  I've been offered my old job back full time next year, but I won’t go back to teaching full time if *B* gets a job that can support all of us.  He graduates in December, and I’ve agreed to move anywhere in the country if he can find a job.  His degree is in Environmental Biology, and there aren’t many related jobs in our area.

So that's all of the work-related news that's been going on lately.  I've got quite a few posts lined up on the home-related goings on to be posted shortly.

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