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ahhhhhh! return to full-time work…in week 8!

March 22, 2015 , , , , , ,

Rcd687oc9I went back into full-time work this week. FULL, FULL-TIME WORK.

Actually, I think my return to full-time classroom music teaching was more like a catapult into space, with me shrieking, arms flailing, legs kicking…! I reckon I did all that in real life, too…

And I think I spent the whole week drooling…into my pillow, wrecked after a full day of running fast, into my lap, whilst looking at a brand new teaching plan or curriculum that I had to pick up…or CREATE…and onto my laptop, whilst trying to understand the new roll-marking system, read exotic names without completely slaughtering them in front of their owners, and trying to create some sort of flimsy lesson plan to carry me through the next 23 minutes that I’d unexpectedly inherited to teach…

But I am so incredibly, ridiculously excited. I’m back in a world I love, in the groove, running VERY FAST…!

I’m back…in a school community, in a new place I can build, create momentum, and affect positive change. I just have to remember to take it one step at a time.

I’ve felt everything on the emotive spectrum this week. There have been snotty tears of appreciation, swells of gratitude, abrasive stabs of frustration, as well as the slightly crazed laughter of the overwhelmed…I’m starting in Week 8!…I don’t know any of the kids!…I have no idea where I go for the care group I’ve never met!…I’ve just met my Year 12s and now we’re diving into the lesson, never mind names!

For the first time in ages, baked beans straight out of the can with a tablespoon of Nutella afterward seemed like a reasonable dinner + dessert combo…

But I survived, in full-colour and not without some semblance of style!

I came out of last lesson Friday fist-pumping, happy bum wiggling, and WINNING at life. “We Are The Champions” was playing in my head, and the crowd was going wild.

In the wide stretches of bug-eyed, high-octane thinking, and planning on top of planning, my 3 little mantras of 2014 popped up into my head:

1. I don’t need to figure it all at once.

I don’t have to plan 211 lessons all at once, and pronounce the umlaut on the strange last name perfectly, or have a photographic memory of the school down to where all the fire exits are…I am ALLOWED to be on L-plates…and revel in it!

So I did. Walking the school grounds LIKE A BOSS with ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE OF DIRECTION. I had an awesome Friday morning randomly wandering in and out of classrooms, having kids wave at and recognise me, (“she’s the REALLY COLOURFUL new music teacher!”), and meeting all the staff by default.

2. I absolutely have the capacity of figure it out.

I get to change the momentum of this place…how incredible is THAT!? Yes, I’m starting halfway through the term, but, when you think about, there’s no perfect start…you just build. I didn’t get the team-building games or Week 1 opening credits…but I know how to care for the students under my direction. It will take time, patience, loads of advice, trial-and-error, humour, and courage…but I know this story. I’m just starting in a different spot, that’s all.

What’s the thing most needed?

Students absolutely need to be seen, valued + heard.

I know I can do that.

In caring for them, I will take time to learn their names, plan supportive, interesting and suitable lessons…even if I’m only ONE lesson ahead, that’s PLENTY ENOUGH TO STAY ALIVE RIGHT NOW!…and teach with my heart open, alert to all the little characteristics which form them. In caring for them, I am building my foundation to teach well…and this is my work. This is my new thing to practise.

3. I’ll dust-bust it later.

New mantra: There is always wine. That is all.

Wish me luck for Week 2 of Running FAST Like An Idiot!

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