Some of you have asked how things are going, and so I thought I'd better give you an update!
Going back to work on a regular schedule after 17 years of being a stay at home mom is a real adjustment! I had settled into patterns and schedules that are suddenly gone, and I have to replace them with new ways of doing things- dumb things like when to get groceries, and so on. I'm working things out, although the housework has suffered some- it's mostly because I don't want to do it in the first place that gets me in trouble. :)
As far as the job goes? I really like it! I like these kids! I have fun talking to them and joking with them. I love teaching again. I haven't lost ALL of my teaching skills, and it makes me excited to work on a new lesson, and decide how I'm going to present things. It helps that we're in the animal unit because I can do fun things like show the Shelob scene from the Lord of the Rings when we're talking about spiders.
Not to say that this job doesn't have challenges. I'm coming in the middle of the year, and I don't have the control over the classroom that the other teacher does. She's got them whipped into shape, and they definitely don't respond the same way to me. I need to get my mean teacher voice back. They're still responding to me, however. They like me, and are doing the work, and are involved in the class. It's not complete chaos. I think it will be better next year when I can start with them from the very beginning.
The other challenge is just the nature of these kids. They break my heart. Since starting, I've had one suspected pregnancy, one student came to class stoned, three students have run away from their foster/group homes, six have been pulled out for drug testing, two have been written up for gang activity, one was in a serious fight. They're all pretty streetwise, and street tough, and it's not a world I'm used to at all. Two boys today were pulled into the office for exhibiting gang colors. I had NO IDEA there were even gang colors. Who knew that green duct tape on the backpack was a gang thing? I'm REALLY out of the loop. I don't know their stories, and I think maybe it's better when I don't. I can see them as just kids, and talk to them and laugh with them. I come home and thank my girls for being SUCH GOOD GIRLS. I'm so lucky I've never had to deal with some of these issues!
It's been over a month, and I still like going in to work. I'm going to call that good.