Sunday, October 4, 2009

Survival



I had such good intentions of posting about my week. However, by the time the weekend actually rolled around, I was much too tired. And sick. (Digestive troubles all week and now a bad cold.) Think I am a little stressed?!

Last night at Bible study I was asked to use one word to describe my work. I couldn't decide between "adventurous," "wild," "Twilight Zone," or "survival." This morning, it's definitely survival.
  • Surviving a lack of order and schedule (The schedule changes every blessed day! We haven't started or finished school at the 'correct' time yet.)
  • Surviving having no materials (Umm...they want us to buy everything from pencils and paper to soap and papertowels for the bathroom. There is NOTHING but furniture in my school.)
  • Surviving without curriculum. (How exactly am I supposed to teach kids to read without books? I know it's been done in the past, but I am not so sure I know how to do it that way. A sequence in math and a few units for science would be nice, too.)
  • Surviving without an interpreter. (Getting little kids who have never been to school before and who don't know a lick of English to understand, listen, and follow directions is h-a-r-d.)
  • Surviving without a class list I can understand. (Ok, so I do have a class list. However, it's all in Arabic. I don't really know who is supposed to be in my class -- let alone how to spell or pronounce their names. I did a little translation myself. Fatima. Easy. Mariam. No problem. Whore? Hoor? Whoor? Problem!! Poor kiddo. I had to stop there--not so sure on that one!)
  • Surviving without any accountability and supervision. (Absent teachers + no subs = classrooms and classrooms of kids left to their own devises. No supervision during recess is also a bit problematic for me to watch. However, I keep telling myself, "When in Rome . . .")

Complain, complain, complain. Sorry. It has just been a really rough week. As Dave pointed out, "Well, what were you expecting?". Good question. I don't know what I was expecting, but I guess I was not really expecting it to feel so much like survival. Pure, raw, messy fight-to-keep-your-head-above-water survival. It certainly can't be the best for these little 5 & 6 year old babies. It doesn't feel so good for me, either.

Keeping on, keeping on.
-m.

4 comments:

Wendy said...

"breathe in, breathe out,..."


Dad

Linda said...

If those are pictures of your classroom, I'd say you have a good start. Even in a well-organized, structured, ENGLISH speaking classroom, I many times feel the same "survival" feelings you have now. (maybe not as extreme as yours - for I fear that what you are going through would be horrendous) Keep trying and always expect to succeed.

Ann said...

You are an incredibly strong woman. Just reading about your adventures, I can see why "Twilight Zone" might be an appropriate description.

Things will work out, somehow. They will. Until then, it is an adventure -- even if it isn't always the joyful kind.

Molly said...

thank you all for your encouragement! i am keeping what you've said in mind. each days is quite an adventure. oh my word!!

linda--it was so good to hear that even wonderful, veteran kindergarten teachers have their days, too.