i’ve been writing a few little paragraphs here and there, but nothing worth posting. the new school year and the new (positive) feeling of the pressure of time have been keeping me very busy, as have our mid-service conference, preparing to take the gre, working on essays for various applications, and lots of delicious reading. i’ve spent a fair amount of time preparing a few packages, letters, and post cards to send home, too, though i haven’t been able to get to the post office. here’s to this week.
my new students are fun though adjusting to the change has been tricky. the students are adapting to me and i’m still getting over the sadness of seeing last year’s kids move on. unfortunately, i haven’t even met all of my new students: we’re building two new classrooms and while we wait the 10th grade students i’m supposed to teach have been distributed amongst the other 10th grade classes, which i don’t teach. but my other sections are 11th graders, whom i’ve met and teach for all their English hours. getting to know them is nice. there’s an additional challenge of trying to read the kids and identify who may have special needs; there’s no real system of support for kids with special needs, at least in more rural areas of the country. as much as i disagree with some of the ways students with special needs are served in our country, a poor system is better than nothing, and the situation here seems a shame (from my perspective).
but there are positives. so far, everything about this new school year is easier than last year. it seems simple enough that year two would be easier, but it’s impossible to imagine accurately just how profound the difference is. i’ve been describing to some of the volunteers who experienced their first year of teaching last year that i feel just as green as if i hadn’t had any experience teaching in the states, especially in a formal setting; though i had a decent grasp on basics, co-teaching a new subject to an unfamiliar demographic was just as difficult as my first year. now, i’ve got more language, more good jokes to please indonesian teens, lesson plans to reflect on and adjust, and lots more motivation because i know what to expect. that’s the biggest difference—i feel so much more in control because i now have the foresight to understand that there’s little i can control beyond myself.
and then there are those good things on the horizon: workshops for teachers, textbook collaborations, English camps, a big leadership summit. feeling the pressure of nine months is a good way to focus rambunctious energies.
thusly i plod, loving and supporting the students and trying to stay patient with everyone else (including myself). please send me a little positivity so i can find the time and dedication to keep updating this for you.
happy independence day, august 17