The new school year has begun. My wife and my son underwent surgery two weeks apart and in between the surgical events we all got a stomach flu that turned into a chest cold, and now we’re all on the healing side of things.
I got back into my classroom today, spending the day figuring out who was actually in my class, and scheduling the first round of school meetings. I had a hard time due to inability to focus, bouts of weakness, and other side effects of being on the sick/healing side of things, but I felt that the loss of another day would put me overwhelmingly behind and I don’t have anyone who can assist or back me up at work. Add to that the frequent, necessary interruptions for information exchanges, and it has been quite a draining day.
Meanwhile, my teaching assistants rearranged my room and began decorating, turning my learning lab into a warm and fun learning adventure. I’m taking notes and grateful for their talents.
I have been role playing the lesson plans for the first week. There’s no one in the audience but allows me to analyse for awkward breaks, preplan songs…reflect.
This year I am setting clear boundaries and enforcing them. The implied and implicit understanding that I should spend entire weekends, and late nights in my classroom to accomplish what they ask me to is gross. I don’t want to participate in that any more. It seems I am not alone. I am seeing e-mails returned to administration asking about additional compensation for compliance. And courteous, but short replies. It makes me hopeful for dedicating to this career after all.