Breathing Room

It’s been a busy several weeks. Subbing has kept me on my toes – I haven’t worked every day, but I’m working more often than not. Most of my work comes from the neighborhood public school, which is a convenient location, but I’ve been less than impressed with the school itself. In a town of less than 3,000 people, there simply aren’t enough students to achieve a balance of attitudes. The end result is that the disruptive, disrespectful kids tend to dominate the school, creating a negative culture that often just drains me. I’ve been ignored, talked over, and sworn at on a regular basis. Not that I haven’t faced that kind of behavior before at bigger schools – I have, and much worse (at least no one here is throwing punches yet), but usually there’s also the opposite side of the coin to balance out all the negative. Usually there are good kids who band together for solidarity against the crappy attitudes and give us teachers some breathing room and hope for humanity. This school is just too small, so the handful of good kids cower in the corner or sit by in silence while their loud, obnoxious classmates overrun the school.

It’s a good thing that I learned a long time ago not to let the kids get under my skin, not to be the sub that loses control in the face of such blatant, pervasive disrespect. I can handle these kids, and there have been some easy days (usually involving watching a movie) mixed in with the harder days.  (Gym teachers, please stop assigning dodge ball on days you’re absent!) At the end of the day when the office lady asks how the day went, I usually say fine because I haven’t come across anything I can’t handle, though the dodge ball came close.  The extra income certainly has been nice, so I shouldn’t complain too much.

That being said, I don’t have any sub jobs scheduled for Thanksgiving week, and I’m glad. I’m enjoying the breathing room. Entering the 3rd trimester has left me about as exhausted as 1st trimester fatigue, this time coupled with the aches and pains a growing belly imparts on the rest of my body. Overall I’ve had a pretty easy pregnancy, but my back and joints are complaining more these days.

Plus, Dan and I have had some pretty busy weekends, too. This past weekend we traveled an hour and half north for a conference for his work. It was at a gorgeous resort, and even though it was geared towards healthcare workers, I sat in on a session that gave me some inspiration that I hope to formulate into a blog post sometime soon. The weekends before that were taken up with childbirth classes, us visiting family, and family visiting us.  Mix into all that time spent clearing out the future nursery and setting up baby registries, and I haven’t had much downtime lately.

So I’m glad for the breathing room this week.  I’d hoped when I sat down to write this post that it would actually turn into that conference-inspired post, but at the moment my brain is enjoying the down time a little too much to think all deep and stuff.  For right now, I’m thankful for the opportunity to sit in a quiet apartment, listen to the rain, and catch my figurative breath.

I will be productive today, too, I promise.  Soon I’ll tackle that pile of dishes that has built up embarrassingly high, and I’ll sort through those final few boxes that still need to be cleared out to make room for all the baby stuff we should be getting soon (only two and half months left – eek!).  However, it’s nice to do all that on my own time this week.

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3 thoughts on “Breathing Room

  1. I have taught in south Florida for over a dozen years. I left after having my own students threaten to beat me up. I just could not take the abuse anymore. I was lied to by administrators, threatened with false accusations, and the union was useless. I simply packed up and left not only the county, but the entire country as well. It has been my salvation and I am looking to leave teaching altogether this year. Good luck. I hope you can find a good school with respectful students, they must be out there somewhere.

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