It seems I only pop in to write when I'm at my wit's end, these days, these months. Too much to do and not enough time to do it in.
All that is still true. On the plus side of things: DD's Shakespeare performance was terrific, and both kids played well in their holiday recital last weekend. My professor liked the first half of my paper very much, so that means I only have about 8 pages or so to write, and I have another whole week to do that, along with putting together my presentation. The new Christmas tree is so different from the old one that it still surprises me, but it is really beautiful, and DD Christmas'd up the whole house again, which is just lovely.
On the working-on-it side of things, DS2's inadequate school skills and general dodginess landed him in trouble for the last time, so now his computer's downstairs in the family room and I grill him about everything coming due and stay on him about doing it. I managed to avoid having the same failed expectations conversation for twenty-first time by simply deciding not to have it. I gave him a 2-week shot at managing his own affairs, and he didn't. Whether he can't or just won't is immaterial. If he wants to stay at his current school, he has to do the work. There is no point in keeping him there if he's not even going to try. He doesn't want to switch schools, though. He admitted his own school "could be good if only...' if only what? "...if I tried." We'll see.
Today's personal drama started yesterday after school, when I got drafted to attend a meeting. Then this morning I had to report the directives from that meeting to my peers. All of that's OK except our admin hasn't been her usual positive self lately, and after being harangued not to be "lazy," (we all were group-chastised) I knew I had to tread carefully. And I thought I did! But I didn't, and there's no point recounting the dialog, because that's not the point.
Here's what happened: with about 30 minutes left in my prep hour, I realized I needed literally 2 pages of one version of my midterm exam because there was a problem with the copies. So I went up to the office and made my two copies, and then got called into the admin's office. I really did not want to talk to her because I was confused by the discussion at the morning meeting and still thinking about everything and trying to figure out what exactly we are supposed to be doing now and how that works with our mission, which we generally adhere to pretty well. So I tried to say, could we do this later? But I was told no, and then things got very weird.
There was the back-and-forth about the meeting stuff, and I just flat out disagree with her judgment - I did not see the point of raising a junior high specific question in a meeting that had already run over an hour, when I was literally the only person at the table who was interested in the answer. We kept talking past each other, but it got to the point where I expressed how overwhelmed I am following the death of my mother. Of course, tears at this point, not sobbing, just leaking eyes and not wanting to talk anymore, but having, of course, to talk more. I say, quite clearly that nearly 200 students is overwhelming, and that's when it got bizarre. My admin said, If you want 30 students in a class, find another school.
It's still echoing around in my head now, more than 13 hours later.
Well. At the time, I was shocked but I stood up and said, "I will," and turned to go. She called me back and wouldn't let me go, and told me what a great teacher I am, blah blah blah.
All of this was just so upsetting. She kept me 10 minutes past the bell -- my students were waiting out in the hall because I had locked my door before I left my room -- my midterm exams were all laid out, getting ready for tomorrow, and I didn't want anyone walking in and finding them.
I'm finally released from this trying encounter and of course still very upset, when I'm told to have a great day, and I respond with, "Oh...." I had just been crying and talking about how overwhelmed I feel, and now I have to go back to my students and I'm told I will have a great day and I have to choose my attitude blah blah blah.
I am a professional. I got my shit together on the walk back to my classroom and not one student had any idea I had just been crying in the principal's office and basically told to find another job. And I got through the rest of the day, too, somehow. My co-workers are as flummoxed about this morning's meeting as I was, and of course wanted to know where I was when I was so late for third period class.
What a mess! I don't think it's a good idea to make a decision when you're under a lot of stress, and I am under a tremendous amount of stress right now. But I think applying at another school or two isn't the worst idea in the world. I don't know if my feelings will change but for some time I have been thinking that teaching 190-something students is too many, even if I'm not in grad school. I don't want to teach that many students, and if I have to go to another school to achieve that, that's what I'm going to have to do.