Holy moly. Okay. So I've almost finished all my paperwork so I don't have to dump any of it on my poor substitute teacher, I've finished the two online classes I was taking, I'm working on making my pathetic contribution to cleaning out the basement before it gets refinished, I'm suffering even worse pain than I thought I would experience before the day I actually squeeze this little one out into the world... And my next college class starts in two weeks. I've come to the conclusion that deep down, I must really hate myself. I have my reasons for starting another college class that will clearly be interrupted by my giving birth to my second daughter, but they seem kinda stupid right now.
Thankfully, two things gave me a hearty laugh this past week to alleviate some of the self-imposed stresses. One was this, which I found through List of the Day (One of my absolute favorite blogs out there, you MUST check out the other posts, though some are NSFW). I was tired at the time I found it, so that only made me laugh even harder. Ever tried laughing really hard when your lungs and diaphragm are being squashed by an enormous fetus-filled uterus? I ended up sounding like an asthmatic walrus. A crying asthmatic walrus.
The second thing happened in science. Out of the blue, during a lecture on ionic bonds, a student asked my science teacher if he had a girlfriend. Thrown off by the sudden change in course, he paused, responded that he hasn't had a girlfriend since the start of the school year, then foolishly tried to get back to the lesson. You can't throw a tidbit like that out to these kids and expect it to end there! One student offered up her mother as a potential date (not the first time I've heard of this happening), another remarked that the science teacher's step-sister is cute and that he should date her.
Science Teacher: But... She's my step-sister!!
Student in the Back: "Step" don't count.
What's sweet, sad, and amusing is that this student was saying that in a well-meaning way. He sincerely wanted to hook up my colleague to his own step-sister. He saw nothing wrong with getting it on with your own step-sister. This isn't Virginia Andrews, people.
On another note, my English teacher had to leave the room to take an important call, so she left me to teach the introduction to Romeo and Juliet. I was in heaven. The kids were interested, participated, and I flatter myself that I did a fine job of bullshitting my way through the lesson given only one piece of paper I had only just been given with the characters of the play all listed along with some little tidbit facts I expanded upon. I had them predict the role of each character based on the one sentence description of each... I gave vivid descriptions of what it must have felt like to be in the audience of the Globe and the sort of clientele it attracted...
I miss teaching. I really do. My role as a special ed. teacher who supports kids in regular classrooms has reduced me to the role of a glorified nanny- making sure they're behaving themselves, that they're getting their homework done, retaking or correcting tests... If I do teach them something, it's based specifically on bits and pieces they didn't quite get in class, so it's more like tutoring than creating an expansive lesson with a beginning, middle and end and presenting it with all the gusto and enthusiasm of an actor on stage... After it was over, I had to return to job I do, and it made me a little sad. Back to spending all of my time chasing after the kid caught smoking, being his lawyer and parole officer, back to the other kid who can't be near "that teacher" so I'm his babysitter when he fears he may lose his temper and hit him... And these are the kids who just have ADHD... I hardly even get to actually address the identified disabilities of my kids because I'm too busy busting them for buying or selling stolen goods or pot, beating up other kids, cussing out teachers, telling them to put away cell phones and mp3 players, etc. I really hope a building-wide movement towards co-teaching happens so I can have a chance to do this again.
For a moment today, I really felt like a teacher, and it felt good.