There is a pretty distinct feeling of settling. There were a few weeks of mania, where I could not sleep past 5:30 even if I tried. Then there were two weeks of lethargy and apathy, when I did what I could to get by and slept for the rest of the time.
Now I’m back to being totally invested in my kids, and feeling just the slightest bit more confident about what I’m doing. I get nervous that my classroom will turn into a place of fear– fear that my kids will run it despite my attempts to control them, fear that my lessons will fail them, scared that TLI tests and Benchmark tests will tell the district I am incapable of impacting students. BUT, it hasn’t. I walk in and nothing happens. Nothing collapses. I even feel slightly comforted at how organize I make sure to leave it each day. Pencils where they belong, extra papers hole punched and slipped into my curriculum binder.
Big changes are coming to my classroom. I’m switching the format of everything from long extended projects to a weekly writer’s workshop. More details when I’m not so exhausted.
This is a selfish post, to say that adjustment has been easier the past two weeks. That the writing teacher in McGehee and I have a weekly meeting time, that I got out of bed Saturday to run a 10k in my town, alone. No support group, and I was totally comfortable making conversation with the other runners. That roommate Ben and I drive almost an hour every Sunday to play soccer with other TFA teachers. That when I go to football games I feel like some sort of celebrity, with all these kids calling “Ms. Lampinen!!” with (literally) open arms, rushing to see me. I could have made them cry in class earlier that day, they don’t care. They’re all smiles later on.
There are so many things left to say, but it’s 10:30 and my body is begging me to quit. Must leave some energy for the paper journal, then to bed.
I have two personal goals for this month: read 5 pages of any book (top choices currently being Emerson, the Bible, and Where the Red Fern Grows) and run 40 miles (last month was 35, the month before that 30). I might add another that says “Never stay up past midnight” because for any reader that knows me well, that really proves just how different my life is here…