Hallways are an interesting place

Hallways are an interesting place. They are the liaison between the various spaces that we occupy. We travel through them unwittingly, trusting that the door we are looking for is just a little bit further down. They’re strange to be in when they’re empty and frustrating when full. In hallways, we share glances and sidestep each other. Each hallway has its own flow, a fine balance between slow and fast happening synchronously.

Continue reading “Hallways are an interesting place”

Every(body) Student Just Wants to be Seen

One thing that really gets me right pissed is insolence. When teaching, students who willfully ignore me drive me up the fucking wall. They love it; I can only imagine how amusing I look when I get angry.

Another thing that really gets me is when students start to believe that they are stupid. It happens more often than we realize, and it’s rare that students will open up about it. The other day, some students I was working with opened up to me about it. Continue reading “Every(body) Student Just Wants to be Seen”

Life is So Cra Right Now

I’m not entirely sure of how to spell “cra”, as in “cra-zy”, but there it is.

Tonight, for the first time in four weeks, I have some time for myself. I decided to cancel all of my evening tutoring sessions for this week, in order to give myself some time to get things done and get in touch with myself again. That I decided to blog, opening up my thoughts to the internet, is uncanny.

Last Friday, I lost my phone. This meant that I missed a brunch, birthday party, and a few other things that I had to do. I’ve yet to reach out to the necessary people and explain what happened, offering my sincerest apologies for not getting in touch and for falling asleep by 21:30 every night. I think I have tomorrow afternoon off, and I’ve already started making a list.

Teaching is really hard. It’s so hard. By the end of each day, my trapezius is tense and my shoulders start curling in toward my chest. Stress. My feet smell worse than an abandoned slaughter-house, and the moisture in my shoes and between my toes is palpable. On my feet all day. I haven’t the time to shave in the morning, or stop at Starbucks for a coffee. I’m tired. I spend my evenings marking and lesson planning, while trying to appease a lonesome and seemingly tireless cat. The day doesn’t end. My lunches consist of pita bread, hummus, pre-cut vegetables, and ready-made soups. I’m not eating properly. I opened the unfinished bottle of wine last Thursday. It’s oxidized.

I’m not even sure of what to write about. So much of my day flies by so quickly that I barely have enough time to make a note about it on my clipboard. I have so many bloody emails, phone calls, and text messages to respond to. I haven’t turned the ringer on my phone on in nearly three weeks. I check it in the morning while I’m riding the elevator down to my car, and then again before I plug it in, still 94% charged, before I go to bed. I mostly just unlock it so that the notifications disappear from the lock screen.

I wasn’t prepared for this. This busyness. This constant mulling over the future of students. This constant change in challenges to face and resolve. This never-ending desire to go for a quiet, unrushed pee and finally have the chance to sit down during the day.

Never before have I wished for an MFD (multi-function device) of my own. I want to be able to print and photocopy when the need arises, not in anticipation of a lesson that I may not get to.

I also want some real quiet; I want to be able to listen and hear nothing. Is this the sort of pleasure that one finds in a hyperbaric chamber?

I could also, probably, use a good lay.

Looking for a Good Time? Call Me

The last two months of my life have been absolutely nuts. I mean, it’s just been crazy. But, it has all rounded out fantastically.

I started my second teaching practicum placement six weeks ago. A few weeks before then, I met a girl down in Toronto. Two weeks into the placement, I had an interview with the Toronto District School Board. Sometime in there, I accepted a teaching position in the UK. This past Saturday was my thirty-first birthday. The girl decided it wasn’t worth the effort, and the waiting, a couple of weeks ago. Continue reading “Looking for a Good Time? Call Me”

Tomorrow’s Visualisation Exercise

Holy busy, Batman!

Sweet mother of all things human, I’m busy. Even taking the ten minutes to write this post feels like I’m cheating on my commitment to learning how to teach students.

Did you know that I have every minute of every school day mapped out for the next three weeks?

Anyway, tomorrow at 9:30 am EST I will be conducting a visualisation exercise with the students to introduce the science unit on space. I wrote it up, so I thought I’d share it with you, after having left you so lonely for so very long.

Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0f/Worker_ant_carrying_leaf.jpg
Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0f/Worker_ant_carrying_leaf.jpg

Here it is:

Imagine that you are an ant. You wake up in the morning, and stretch out your six legs. First the three on the left, and then the three on the right. You fall over a little bit, because you’re still pretty tired. You’ve got a big day ahead of you.

You grab some breakfast, a nice fresh bit of leaf that you found yesterday while you were out. It’s a bit dry, from having been in the anthill overnight, but it’s still refreshing. You are starting to feel better about the day ahead of you.

You wish the Queen Ant good morning when she walks by, and she smiles at you. You finish up your breakfast, brush your mandibles, and put one shoe on each foot. Then, you begin the climb out of the anthill, following your buddies.

Once you reach the top of the anthill, the sun beats down on you, and it’s warmth feels nice on your back. You are ready for the march ahead.

You’ve reached your destination for today, after a 100-meter long march. It’s a large, green, leafy plant that you’ve only ever seen from a distance. You notice that one of your shoes has come untied, so you lace it up before climbing the stem.

You keep climbing, and climbing. You’re getting pretty tired, and you look down to see how high you’ve climbed. You’re almost 30 cm in high! You can’t remember the last time that you’ve been so high. Only five more centimeters to go.

You’re there! You’re on the strongest branch, with the most leaves on the entire plant! You march confidently out to a leaf that is glistening in the sun. You know that that is what you’re going to take home with you tonight.

You walk, carefully, out onto the leaf. It’s shaking a bit, and your feet are feeling unsteady beneath you. You start cutting the leaf free from the branch. It’s pretty hard work, but, then, the best leaves always are tough to cut away.

You’ve almost cut the leaf away, when suddenly, from out of nowhere, a gust of wind comes rushing by! Woosh! You close your eyes out of fear.

When you open your eyes, you look around and realize that you’re floating, high, really high, above the ground. You peak over the edge of the leaf, and see the world below from a bird-eye view.

Don’t you wish that I were your teacher?

Tomorrow Is the First Day of School

I start teachers college tomorrow. I’ve been waiting for tomorrow for about six months now, and it’s finally come. I wasn’t feeling at all nervous, until about 15 minutes ago. It’s after 11pm right now, and my first class starts at 8:30 tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow will hopefully mark the beginning of more than just teachers college. Continue reading “Tomorrow Is the First Day of School”