Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Semester Review

Reflection on the past semester is daunting. We’re not just talking about a career change, but a change in job, city, state, friends, coffee shops, roads, running trails…As things in the classroom have taken their time falling into pace and place, so too has just about every other aspect of my life. I find that at any moment a reflection on my work is more broadly a reflection on the coherence of my days both in and away from school. How was second block? Did I hold the handstand at yoga class? How was the cafeteria? It was great not to eat PBJ again. I painted. Carlos smiled and said, "Hola" in the hall - he does use his brain! I am growing happier, more rooted in Jackson, which I think roots me in my classroom as well. My kids utter Spanish; they couldn't three or four months ago. I'm ready for Winter Break, but I don't regret my day job at all. And hell, when all is said and done, I haven't been eaten alive yet.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

From June to December

It’s sort of funny to read my summer blogs and realize how nervous/excited I was about teaching, how I dissected my video performance, the general fluttering of butterflies in my tummy. It appears that I had built the profession up in my mind as some great, frightening, highly complicated performance in front of an implacable audience that was surely going to devour me with their razor sharp teeth. This is all funny to me now because, four and a half months later, teaching Spanish One is my daily routine. Although the lessons and assignments change from day to day in content and design, and although someone is always dropping a surprise at my feet, there is a strange sense now of consistency, normalness, and comfort. Perhaps part of what I failed to recognize this summer was how much I would come to find my kids to be just that: kids - funny, unpredictable, sometimes mean, sometimes compassionate, and almost always pretty damned smart when you least expect it.