The first “official” week back at school (mean the students were in attendance), was so strange for me. It was quiet. I didn’t have 25 small humans around me constantly needing something every moment of every day. I did a bunch of paperwork and made a bunch of phone calls and took a bunch webinars for test administrations. It was so odd. And though I’m grateful, because less hectic = less stress at the moment and less stress = better for the baby I’m trying to successfully grow, part of me was sad. I felt misplaced. I felt like I was supposed to be doing something, being somewhere, but I wasn’t.
Having lunch duty with the seventh graders was the most difficult part of my day. I only have them for half an hour, but they’re just so self-centered. Entitled. I know that partly that’s their age. But I feel like, for better or worse, we need to teach them not only academics but how to be good human beings. Because, at least for my school, most of them don’t really get that character education at home. And I feel like if we send them out into the world knowing Pythagorean Theorem, but being awful people, we’ve failed them in a way. I’m trying to figure out, in my small slice of time with them, how to get through to them (while also making sure they know damn well I will not be taking their shit — they don’t like this about me already, haha).
I’m looking forward to tomorrow, because I get to start pulling the kindergarten students to screen them for ESL services if need be. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been excited to test anyone before. I’m just very excited to when I’ll finally be able to pull small groups and work directly with the students again, and the screenings are the first step towards that.
Also, I’m finding that most people don’t actually understand how much work goes into being an ESL instructor. When I was describing to a coworker everything I had to do before I could even think about beginning the screenings, and then what would need to take place after, etc. she got this astonished look on her face and said, “Oh. So, you’re actually, like, really busy?” Which makes me chuckle, because it’s the same as how most people don’t actually understand what hard work goes into teaching Pre-K or Kindergarten. It’s amazing, really.