Nichole’s Slices Of Life, 5

1 03 2009

It’s about 4:30 p.m.  We all just woke up from a Sunday afternoon nap.  I don’t usally get a nap for there is just too much to catch up on with household chores.  However, I declined a job Friday because of exhaustion and I’m also still fighting a horrible cold and cough.  Thus, I was able to get caught up with my household chores.

I guess I’m a whimp.  The exhaustion of being a sub teacher is getting to me.  Vera reminded me that I’m still a cancer patient and that I should be merciful to myself.  Yes, I do take a powerful cancer medication each day.  I’m sure it does take a toll on my body.  Still, I’m a whimp.  I’ve been out of the work force for two years.  It is just going to take time to get use to working again.  I’m not under contract.  I can decline a job anytime I wish too.  The problem is that If I decline too much–I won’t get many jobs.   So I have to build up my strength and try not to turn down anymore work. 

The pencil sharpener was another major battle this week.  I did have one second grade class that actually asked to use the pencil sharpener.  I also received the most delightful note from one of the second graders telling  me how much she enjoyed me being their sub.  I keep such notes.  They are very precious to me.  I’ve received three such notes in the past few weeks.  I also had a student tell me I look like the wife on the television show Home Improvement.  My hair is red and it is long and curly again.  I guess that was a compliment.

I plan to start taking pencils and paper to school with me in the future.  I failed to get a supply this weekend.  But it is my goal to soften this battle.  I don’t care that it will cost me part of my paycheck. It is just so annoying to have a child say that they have no pencil or that the pencil is only a couple of inches long.  I also plan to have sharpened pencils to just hand out.  The pencil sharpener is a nightmare.  On Thursday, I demanded to sharpen all pencils.  For the children just congregate around the sharpener and fight etc.  It seemed to help some.  Except I refused to sharpen more than one pencil per child.

I’m also fighting a battle with teachers who don’t leave good plans or expect a sub to hunt around the room looking for teacher manuels.  It is an awful experience to walk into such a room.  The way I figure it is that subs should have explicit details about what goes on in the classroom.  A sub folder with all procedures should always be available.  Lesson plans should be written as detailed as possible just in the event of sudden sickness.  And when a teacher knows that he/she will be out– a very personal detailed letter from the teacher is always appreciated.  I can dream on though–this perfect world for subs will never happen. 

I am glad that elementary school gets out at 2:10 ( it starts at 7:10).  So far I’ve been able to pick up my grandsons at the private academy most days.  John, who will be  seven this summer– is getting harder to deal with.  I think he is still having issues with his mom being pregnant again.  We have power struggles and his parents are having power struggles with him.  But his mom was the same way.  She told me that she can see so much of herself in John.  Hopefully, he will have a better week.  Friday afternoon–when I took him home he told me that he was never going back to school nor was he ever coming back to our home.  I told him that he was just a child and he better start listening to his adult authorities a little better.  He got really angry and told me that he would never forget our conversation.  I was secretly laughing to myself–for I knew that John would indeed be in school on Monday and that he would also be at our home once again. Alex hasn’t gotten as brazen with us.  He will turn five on April the 4th.  He still has that precious childlike spirit about himself

On the home front–Jim has not been feeling well at all this past week.  I came home on Thursday to find that Jim had been in bed most of the day.  It is hard on me to see him suffer so much.  I’m just whimpy all the way around lately–in that not only the teaching has drained me but I don’t handle Jim’s illness as well as I would like too.

Well, hopefully–I’ll shed some of my whimpiness this week and get a little tougher with myself.  Maybe my cold and cough will settle down.  Maybe my dreams at night won’t involve chasing students around the classroom and fighting the pencil sharpener.  Just maybe.  Let’s hope for a better week.

May God bless each of You!

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