I mailed out 8 resumes this afternoon. That’s about a third of the number I intend to send out, but I ran out of nice cover letter paper, so I ran with what I had.
I’m girding my self esteem for the reality that it’s likely I’ll hear back from precisely none of them. There’s a back room in my mind that’s busy turning over alternative work for the fall if I don’t get hired in a school.
One of my old blog posts has been getting some attention lately, and the recent comments have got me thinking – again – about who bears what responsibility in the process of education.
The last comment I left was, essentially, this:
I reject the idea that we have to entertain our students, though I think that a lot of them come to our classes expecting to be entertained. I embrace the idea of challenging students, though they have to be willing to meet the challenge, and I think that may be where a lot of the disconnect is happening. How do we change attitudes about what the kids see as “work” to get them to understand that there is excitement and energy to be found in those places where aptitude and challenge meet? How do we give the kids what we know they need in a way that engages and motivates them?
I’m still not sure, but I won’t give up looking.
I may be employed by the end of the week. Stay tuned…
It went well!
I loved being back in front of the classroom again, even if it was only for an hour (and first thing in the morning… and focusing on a topic that most kids find dull as dishwater…).
I got a lot of good information out, a bunch of kids actually interacted with me of their own accord, and I think some of them even enjoyed it. The dean who sat in on the class seemed pleased, and I’m hoping that means something.
I got a chance to meet with the woman teaching English there now (let’s call her Rivka). I was told that she feels like she’s in way over her head when it comes to writing and grammar instruction, and the impression I got from her was that that that characterization was not far off the mark. I told her that I’d been asked by Dr. Wong to help, but that I had absolutely NO intention of “muscling in” on her class. She asked me to muscle in; she seemed relieved to have some back-up when it comes to the composition studies part of her teaching, and I think that we’ll work really well together.
I’ve been asked to come back on the Wednesday after next (we’re all on break this coming week) to work with the English class. I’ve emailed Rivka with some ideas of where to pick up where she last left off, and I’m expecting to spend at least one day during the vacation putting together a couple of weeks’ worth of lesson plans to get the kids moving toward some solid writing and grammar exercises.
I haven’t actually been offered a job… yet. I really do think that’s coming, though.
I promised my Poetry Out Loud kid that I’d go to his competition today. I was all set to drive damned near all the way across the state (according to google maps, it’s a 184 mile round-trip) with Punk (who, by the way, placed a very impressive third in her first POL competition on Friday, behind two very articulate seniors!).
I woke this morning to snow, however, that completely squashed all my plans. The roads were bad going to the health club this morning for yoga class, and they were even worse coming back (a trip that should take me about ten minutes took me nearly 20), so I texted my boy with my apologies.
I’m not sure he fully appreciates how disappointed I am to not have been there to see him place second.
I’m learning more about what really happened to me at CHS. I’m neither pleased nor surprised.
A student emailed me today to express his frustration and disappointment.
A little back story; I mentored a Poetry Out Loud team every year I was at CHS, and every year, this kid jumped in with both feet. He was good – expressive and excited, dedicated to really understanding the poems he chose and to reciting them in ways that opened them up to his audience. He consistently won the school competition and was a strong contender in the regionals, and every year, he got better. He could have gone a step farther this year – maybe even made it past states into nationals.
He’s not going to find out, though, because the teacher who was supposed to take POL over didn’t bother to register back in November, despite the student’s repeated requests. It should be noted here that the teacher in question is also a poet himself.
So I found out today that there is no Poetry Out Loud this year. I still need to verify it with Mr. Poet, but I don’t think he registered before November 1st. Right now I’m pissed and sad at the same time. I am just so upset. I reminded him five times. I’m just so angry. Also I am not even angry at Mr. Poet; I am pissed that I have to miss out on my senior year of fucking Poetry Out Loud! I could have made it to States this year. I could have made it.
Yes, you could have, Sweetie, and I’m so, so sorry.
I’m alternately heartbroken and furious. I wanted so much better for those kids.
**EDITED TO INCLUDE:
I could NOT let this stand, so I sent an email to my contact at the Humanities Council and begged to know if there were an alternate route my babies could take to compete in Poetry Out Loud this year… and there IS! There’s a public library on the far west side of the state that participates as an independent group – I imagine they take in homeschoolers, too – and anyone from CHS who wants to participate can join that group! It’s a nearly three hour drive to the library to make the meetings, but I put out the word that I’d help out anyone who needs transportation (I have driven that route myself many times because I’m a fellow at the Holocaust Studies center at the university in that town). No word yet on whether anyone needs me to drive them, but my disappointed student isn’t so disappointed anymore!
I’m brewing a post about this. Stay tuned….