I've been back working full time for two days now. That's it. And I'm spent. But let me first explain that I agreed to a job that has so far yielded me doing absolutely nothing of value in two days. Ah, government waste. As a taxpayer, it drives me mad!
Yesterday was student orientation at the elementary school. When I was teaching in Cali, teachers were responsible for all the paperwork-- health info, lunch money, girl/boy scouts, etc. Not only that, but I taught a regular class size of 32 students! I checked off which student brought what signed paper back and hounded them until they brought back the emergency cards. This school has a system where students and their parents come in to "orientation" where they fill out bus paperwork, health forms, sign up for stuff, and get their class assignments. Then, they visit the classroom and meet their teacher and see their new desk-- the week before school starts. It's a great idea. And filled with an entire day of paying every single teacher and support staff person that works at the school site. I see it both ways-- I love it for students and find it incredibly wasteful of taxpayer dollars on the other end! There is so much value in students preparing themselves for the year and having family involved from minute one. However, yesterday I spent the entire day standing and pointing when parents walked into the school doors. That's it.
Yesterday was tough-- despite me just standing and pointing the whole day. It was tough on my feet. But it was also tough on my heart. Usually I'm pretty comfortable in schools even though children surround me all. day. long. They aren't my kids and I see them as students and less as family members. Yesterday, I saw them as family units. And of course I saw their little brother or sister in the stroller or cute little toe-heads running wild that struck me so similar to what I'd have in Andrew. That was brutal. I was not pre-occupied with paperwork or anything but standing there, pointing, and smiling. So I had a lot of time to think about what I was missing out on and how much I long for that family that I'm working so freaking hard to achieve. I also had a nice, long conversation with like one student. His parents came to the side just to chat with me because I seemed like I needed company or something. And their son's name, Andrew. And he's super white with reddish-blond hair and super smart. Yep, pretty much what I'd expect from my own Andrew if I had the chance to experience that. He's quite the chatterbox, too, and I would have talked to him all day long.
Today was much of the same. I came in because I'm on contract and it was required. There was a meeting all day I was not required to attend. Instead, I had nothing. to. do. again. Finally, I was able to convince a teacher to leave the meeting to give me some busywork so the day would go by faster. What school doesn't have a zillion things piled up in each classroom to prepare the Friday before school starts? I remember it all too well and knew I'd be able to find something to help another teacher out with. I printed, cut, and created magnets of student faces for most of the day. Then I had lunch. Then I worked for another 45 minutes, found another classroom to work in for a bit, and hung out with another girl who was equally bored and counting the minutes until we could leave.
I'm not so much complaining about the boredom as I am complaining about the waste. I just felt useless! I know that once the school year starts, I'll manage to find my way into a busy space. I'll be present and helpful to assure that these kids learn. But oh, government waste.
And let's not forget about the family units that made my ovaries ache ever since Thursday. Goodness gracious.
I drove behind this vehicle on Thursday after the family day at school:
Those friggin' family stickers. Ugh.