I’ve almost finished my first week back at work (it’ll be nearly two weeks when this goes up because of the delay I build into my posts), and I’m definitely feeling the wear.
I’ve gone from rolling out of bed whenever I feel like it between 7:30 and 8:00 every day to getting up at 6:00 a.m. when my alarm clock goes off. I can’t hit the snooze button, and I don’t dare hesitate to get up because I’m always afraid I’ll fall back asleep and end up being late. An hour later, I’m out the door with my lunch and any papers that I brought home to work on the previous night.
The staff at my school doesn’t have to report until 7:45, but I like to arrive around 7:20 just so I have some time to do any last minute prep in the morning before the kids get off their buses at 8:00 a.m. Even though today was only the second day with students, I already felt like I was running behind on having everything done that I wanted to get done (this is a pervasive feeling that I think every teacher just always has buzzing in their mental background).
So I was making preparations this morning for the million and one things that I’m always thinking it would be nice to get done while I really only had time to get one thing really done when one of my coworkers gathered us all up for a quick meeting. Last night one of our former resource officers passed away. We talked briefly about what to do, and then it was time to unload the buses, so that was it for conversation about that topic. I went back to my room and continued with my work, getting ready to receive the kids.
Because it was the second day of school I felt it would be an appropriate time to turn the screws and make everyone write a journal about their summer vacations. That’s all I had planned for the day (the real work begins next week) with the rest of the time intended just to be unstructured re-acclimation to the school routine. I talked with some of my students from last year, and we shared a few laughs. I’m getting to know my new students slowly, and so far I think I like the set of kids we have this year.
The morning passed quickly enough with the students working and me playing catch up on those million leftover things until it got to lunchtime, and I had a moment to sit and not work while eating my food and making sure that my class didn’t say or do anything too far out for typical teenagers. We’re on duty even while we’re eating, which isn’t really as bad as you’d think; I generally enjoy sitting with my students and listening to them talk about all the horror movies they’re currently obsessing over.
After lunch I get my planning period, which translates to the one hour everyday where I’m guaranteed to have something that needs to be done right away. In addition to teaching, I troubleshoot technical issues for the rest of the staff and determine what issues need to be passed along to our tech support guys for more in-depth attention. It’s a minor extra duty, but it keeps me moving. After I made sure everything was taken care of today, I still had a good forty minutes to myself, which I of course spent getting one more thing done and out of the way. Only 999,999 to go.
Then I had one last class for the day, which went about as smoothly as the morning classes. Getting the students out the door and on the buses is always a fun activity because you have to balance between letting them unwind and keeping them from creating utter chaos. I usually end up just barring the door to my classroom so no one escapes (until the appointed time that they are supposed to leave). It’s usually a relatively pleasant part of the day.
After all the kids are gone, I either get back to doing my 999,999 things or I go to a meeting that usually lasts until we get to leave at 3:45 (today was a meeting).
So I finished the day with two things done and the realization that I’d received news about one of my old coworkers dying first thing this morning, and I hadn’t taken any time to stop and process it.
So I’m stopping for a little bit tonight.
I didn’t know this officer very well, but we were always friendly when we’d pass each other going about our business. He did a great job handling a crisis for us last year when a student broke the thermostat in my room. I always thought he was a good guy, and even though he stopped working at the school about midway through last year, it’s sad to think that he won’t be around again.
I don’t really have much else to say besides that. It was just a busy day, pretty much like every day at work, except today there was some sad, unusual news. So I’m taking a moment to stop and acknowledge that.