I last wrote in October and these are just a few things I've learned since then:
First - The things they didn't tell me far outdo the things they did tell me:
1) Nobody told me that I would need to take a nap every day when I got home. I have been told, now that it's all over with, that this is a symptom of first-year teaching. However, I put so much of myself into every day that I don't know when I will ever "get use to it." It is so tiring to be constantly monitoring children, answering 2 questions you prepared for and 3 you didn't (all at the same time), rearranging examples and lessons in my head and in general being constantly on my toes - in both the literal and figurative senses. I love the fast-paced world of teaching but it is so emotionally and mentally draining that it often pulls from the physical also. Chores? Ha! Making dinner? Bah! I often neglected every other aspect of my life because I was just too darned tired! Nobody told me that.
2) Nobody told me that I wasn't supposed to put books on my bookshelf. This is just one of the general, procedural knowledge nuggets that people take for granted that the new people would know. As a veteran, you know how to set-up your room at the beginning of the year and how to clean it up at the end. Ideas such as not putting books on shelves that need to be moved for floor waxing - well those just didn't occur to me. I thought I was nearly done with my books and had arranged them neatly when the principal happened to mention in passing to "be sure your books are stacked on your counters." I didn't know that when I was given grades of transfer students, they wouldn't be entered into the grade book by the guidance / resource counselor who takes care of every other aspect of grades and reports. I didn't know I had to print report cards out by assignment and with a signature line. Nobody told me that.
Second - Reading is relaxing, unless you're at a really exciting part.
I love to read and I have neglected it for far too long. I have read about 5 books in the last 8 months and still have 5 more to go before I go on another book-buying binge. (I also have plenty of other un-read books on my shelf that I don't consider my "must reads" of now.) It is so hard to read during the school year because it keeps me up at night. I always need to know what happens next and feel compelled to read "just one more" chapter. It's also a lot more fun to read when other people have also read the book, so I think I am going to start blogging about the books I read and hopefully will find people to respond. So far I can write about Beautiful Lies, Secret Life of Bees, House Rules, The Help, and another book whose title happens to escape me at the moment.
That takes me to the third thing I've learned:
Just because I'm a math person doesn't mean I can't write - it just means I can't spell.
I want to write a blog - a more specific blog. But I realize it also can't be forced because then I have interest in writing. Clearly I can't keep up with something just on whims. I just helped my boyfriend write his resume - believe me I can make working at a grocery store sound like the most important job you've ever held. I would love to write a book - but about what? I just love writing. Everybody assumes that you are either a numbers person or a words person, but why can't you be both? I would also like to pick up some sort of freelance writing job, but I wouldn't really know where to begin. Really, is it possible to get paid for all of your passions? Teaching, writing and cakes? Can I combine them all into one? Hmm.
Oh and the spelling thing - I love playing Scrabble. I know plenty of winning words but it's the darndest thing: I can't spell worth a lick. Oh well, that will maybe come with time.
Well that would be it for now. Luck to you and luck for me!