When you go to the first meetings about student teaching, when you first get your assignments, and before you start, people warn you that the process is exhausting. I believed this was true, but never realized just how exhausting until I did it myself. I’m consistantly waking up earlier than I ever have before, (a fact which is augmented by the fact that work seems to insist on scheduling me for the 5:30 am shift on the weekends) and I’m both mentally and physically engaged with what I’m doing all day long, with the sole exception of the 20 to 30 minute lunch break.
The students on my caseload are great, but present their own level of challenges. I have a student who occasionally likes to flop down and lay on the floor and requires physical assistance to redirect him. I’m concerned about him, because he always seems to be very tired all day at school. I know a little bit about his home environment, and have to wonder if he is getting enough sleep. The other kids on my caseload range in abilities, but all of them have unique and usually wonderful personalities.
I’d adjusting to my school and my relationships with the teachers and staff at the school. I’m trying to force myself to come out of my shell, but with me, it is always a fight with my shyness. However, I”m trying to make progress and to foster relationships with the people of my school.
My personal goal for this week is to add stops at the gym to my daily routine. My current plan is to go tomorrow, but that would mean that I have to pack a gym bag tonight. I know for a fact that if I stop home first, I won’t go to the gym at all. I want to get back in the habit of going to the gym again, and I think it would provide a little mental downtime after finishing out the school day. The problem is getting myself to start doing it. I also have to work on getting things done when I get home from the school day. I’ve been giving in to the seemingly constant state of exhaustion I’ve been feeling, but I need to stop doing that and get things done around the house.
The lunchroom also provides a whole new dimension I never expected. It seems like almost every day I come home with some sort of food product on some part of my clothing. It can happen innocently, like when I leaned on the syrup-coated table while eating breakfast with one of my students, or can happen less innocently, like when that same student wiped his oreo-coated mouth on the knee of my khakis. Either way, doing a spot check with stain remover before chucking the clothes in the hamper has become part of my routine.
On a bright note, I seem to have done a pretty good job at assembling my “teacher clothes”. Each day, I stretch and bend to make sure nothing is showing that shouldn’t be. At this point, Old Navy should give me an advertising job for their perfect khakis. I wear a pair pretty much every day in either capri or pants form, in some color or another.