Tuesday, January 30, 2007

first day

Today is the first day of the new job. I suppose I shouldn't be so nervous about a part-time, temporary job, but I am. I'm nervous for a variety of reasons. First, some history: I taught in a public high school in a semi-rural area for three years. I had a hard time; I was only teaching two sections of physics, which is what I went to school for, and three sections of 9th-grade earth science, which I found interesting but I hadn't had a class in earth science since I was in 8th grade. And as a new teacher, I had some fairly tough students. Again, this was a semi-rural area so it's not like there were gangs, or weapons, or things of that nature, but I'm a pretty small, quiet, laid-back sort of person, and I just didn't fare well with 300lb 16-year-olds who tell me they are just in school because their parents won't let them drop out. They quite frankly didn't give a shit about weather patterns, or oceans, or rocks. I have great admiration for those teachers who can inspire even the toughest kids, get into their lives, and show them things about themselves they didn't know were there. I just am not a teacher like that. I have things to offer - my physics classes were really fun and dynamic and the kids came back after taking college physics to show me their exams with A's on them, but I wasn't suited for what I was doing. The last year was especially tough. I was trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, Little Brother was having difficulty with being in preschool all day, and nobody was really happy. So I left. I took a year and a half off, and I got to be there for my boys when they got out of school, especially Little Brother, who was then in a half-day kindergarten. Also, I was pregnant within one month after I wasn't working. I am a believer in the physical effects of stress!

So now Baby Sister is nearly ten months old, the boys are both in school all day, and this position to teach two physics classes a day at Fancy Private School for the remainder of this year, covering somebody else's maternity leave, kind of falls out of the sky. And it's too perfect to not take it, even though I'm not sure if I want to go back to work yet. After I left the other job, I actually wasn't sure I was suited to being a teacher at all. I always said my ideal position would be to be able to teach just what I went to school for, to kids who want to be there. And so - poof - here it is! It sort of feels like a do-over on a teaching career, a possible gateway into doing this in a way that I can feel like I'm really connecting with kids and teaching them something. Of course, there's also the feeling of if I can't do it this way, I really can't do this at all. So that's one reason it makes me nervous.

There's also the issue of leaving Baby Sister with somebody who isn't me or J. That's not a big worry, because she is going to be with Old Friend, whom I've known forever, who has a son Magic Boy that is just six weeks older than Baby Sister, and that we pretty much see every day anyway. I know she's in great and familiar hands. So that helps . . . a little.

Last but not least on the list of ways I am making myself crazy, I keep wondering how the hell I managed to get hired for this job in the first place. I peeked at the faculty bios on the internet, and there were a lot of Ivy League school listed there. Many of the alumni end up at Ivy League schools, there's an Ivy League school across the street, for pete's sake. I have a pretty good idea that if not for the shortage of science teachers they wouldn't have hired a 20-something with less than five years experience and a degree from a state college. (I'm not slamming state colleges here, I swear, I had a wonderful college experience.) I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed. Is there a such thing as slightly overwhelmed?

Anyway, that's enough about that. I feel I should include some knitting in this post, and there has been some knitting. I did finish the second flame hat by the weekend, actually just in time for the boys to go ice fishing with J and Old Friend's husband DM. They had a great time and a snowball fight that lasted hours. They also caught one fish, which they threw back, but that seemed kind of secondary. In other knitting news, I ended up frogging the calorimetry headband. Not because there was anything wrong with it, but because I chopped off most of my hair and it looks kind of odd without a ponytail coming out the back. I'm using the yarn for a more traditional hat. I'm pretty sure the knitting will slow down a bit now, but that's okay.