from a public HS teacher (Gov't, Religion, Soc. Issues), who is eclectic (Dem-leaning) politically and Quaker (& open) on everything else. Hope you enjoy what you find here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

The last gasp of winter last night 

As we had a winter strom blow through the DC area -- here in Arlington it was m erely rain, and even to our North, the ground was so warm it is doubtful except perhaps in the mountains that there was any accumulation at all.

The warm weather creates problems for us in school. The kids become far "bouncier" and more difficult to keep focused on thier academics when in class, and behaving properly when in the halls. Perhaps it is just that I am becoming too old for this. I find myself near exhausted at the end of each day. It has little to do with the direct tasks of teaching, except for the occasional clasroom management problem. I do have one class, my 6th period, which is exceedingly difficult to get settled and keep on task. And the one academic problem is that the Religion class is not going well. It is partly the reulsts of the class being too small - that has meant that we have not been able to afford the bus to do the field trips. But it also maginifies the effect any one student has on the lcass, and in this case my one Catholic student's negativity has had an unfortunate impact.

I am finding that I having increasing difficulty in motivating myself to get on with each day's daily tasks. I no longer look forward to having students arrive in my classroom. That means I am not as effective a teacher as I have been. And in this profession, any loss of effectiveness is truly a reason to question one's continuance in the classroom. The problem is, of course, that after 10 years away from the work world, I really have no option to return -- I will shortly be 58, m y non-teaching skills have probably significantly atrophied, and I don't even hae an appropriate business wardrobe into which I can fit.

The real loss has been that I seem to be going through many of the motions of life. I am consistently fighting a sinus infection, I do not sleep in more than 2-3 hour stretches, the shoulder that was injured 18 months ago still bothers me, because I am at least 20 pounds overweight my knees often ache as I do stairs ... in short, I am getting old far faster than I ever expected.

Perhaps the fact that our homelife and marriage are not a place of repose and restoration for either of us contributes to all of this. Or perhpas the problems that we each carry around, unaddressed, detract from the homelife. I cannot determine.

I do know that I am so drained that I have little energy to post to this blog, or to participate in any meaningful way in political blogging. Right now I just want to get through the school year and collapse. I have no firm plans as yet for the summer.

And despite my lethargy, I must now motivate myself to get going for another day at school.

And I doubt anyone will ever read these words.

FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME OFFLINE at kber@earthlink.net Comments, suggestions and even rude remarks are welcomed! Preface any messages with "teacherken" so I know they are not spam.
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