I think this is the longest I've gone without posting in a long time, and this is definitely one of those times that silence speaks louder than a post.
I'm on my third day of school, and also the Monday of my first full week. I've been working 12-14 hour days every single day, except for Saturday. I spent hours getting my classroom ready, and now I'm spending hours on lesson plans. Like I told my (also new) coworker Sarah, we have one full-time job teaching school and another full-time job preparing to teach school.
I honestly come home at night and collapse. Sadly, I am also in school myself, so that collapse has to be overcome and I have to pull out my laptop and textbook and get to work on Geography. In a couple weeks it'll be education classes on teaching middle childhood and middle childhood curriculum. (Those classes certainly can't come soon enough!)
The thing is -- teaching is HARD. I mean, I always knew teachers worked hard, and I have never been one of those people that think teachers get off work at 3:00 and get summers off. In my experience that is so not true. Maybe if you've been teaching 20 years it has a bit of truth, but even then every class is different and technology is always changing. I know that I, personally, get to school around 7 a.m. and usually leave around 6 p.m. Yesterday (Sunday) I worked from about 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. just preparing lessons. And then there's all that other stuff like how you set up a grade book, how you grade things, how you assign points to things the kids do, how you work the online grade book system, how you communicate with parents, where you go for fire drill, what the locker policy is, and, of course, the all-important issue of discipline and manners. That's especially important in a Catholic school, since that is a big reason why parents send their kids to our school.
I am blessed to have an outstanding principal as well as great co-teachers, especially my middle school co-teacher Sarah. I could honestly not get through the day without Sarah, and I think I talk to her more often right now that I talk to anyone else in my life! Along with our other classes, Sarah teaches the all-important subject of math, and I teach the all-important subject of Language Arts, so those things add an extra level of pressure.
Let me tell you something -- teaching takes everything you have. EV-ER-Y-THING. It takes every last thing you have and then you realize it's only 6th period and you have two more periods to go and somewhere you have to find the inner strength and energy to be everything the kids need for another couple of hours. It's emotionally exhausting, physically exhausting and spiritually exhausting as well. I don't know about other grades, but I know middle school is tough because those kids are all way too cool for school for the most part, you know? You honestly do not know how lame and hokey you are until you teach middle school. :) It's about the least cool job there is.
So those are my ramblings on teaching after the first couple of days of being a teacher. I appreciate even more now all the things the wonderful teachers I had over the years did for me. Dude, if you know a teacher, buy that person a coffee, seriously. Or maybe some Airborne. :)