Easily Deterred?

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I haven’t been keeping up much with my diet blog – I know. I actually have broken my diet over the past week – several times. This is bound to happen when a bad thing happens. The bad thing in this case was my being forced to teach French this year.

I don’t want to re-hash the whole thing. Just let it be said that I was feeling pretty good about myself after winning my Fund for Teachers grant, spending the summer in Mexico studying SPANISH and researching arts integration ideas for my ESOL students. I came back to my new room, psyched for the year. I decided to go on my diet because I felt good about myself, and wanted to feel better. You know, to LOOK like a person who is going places in my chosen field – teaching English as a Second Language and maybe some day becoming a professional visiting artist.

I haven’t taught French in 6 years (I taught Exploratory courses in Spanish and French to 6th graders – a kind of “feel good” course designed to give the kids a taste of what learning a foreign language is about) – and I haven’t taught a French course for credit in much longer than that. So, to suddenly be expected to teach French to surly 7th and 8th graders who did not necessarily elect this class – is not what I signed up for.

This whole experience has left me low in spirits. Instead of teaching four classes of 20 – 30 students every day, I am now expected to teach A and B day classes – meaning that I really have 8 classes. The total of my students at this moment is 80+ and growing. The class is computer-centered, so I am basically a facilitator. I can expect more students, as my class will be the receptacle of all new and transient students, so that they can “learn at their own pace.” I have to take students to lunch every day – which I didn’t have to do before. I have weekly department meetings – while the ESOL department met on a need-to-meet basis only.

I also had some really promising students in my ESOL classes – who looked like they really wanted to learn. They have been farmed out to two other teachers – one who has never taught ESOL before. Now, I have a mixed population – some great (I’m sure), some okay, some bad. I am not used to teaching to the masses any more – I have no patience for students who feel entitled to things that they have not earned yet.

So, as usual, I have turned to food for comfort. I have not really re-gained my weight, but if I don’t get motivated again, I will. I am trying to get into acceptance of the situation, but it is hard. I feel like I have done this really great thing to further my career, only to be told that I am only useful as a warm body with multiple certifications. That is not great for my self esteem, I can tell you that.

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