Currently I find little to be excited about in public education. Between the standardized testing, the new Ohio Teacher Evaluation System, the Common Core curriculum, and the 7am start time, I’ve begun to become a little, disillusioned shall we say, with the job I once loved so dearly.
The brightest spot of my day in public ed is the overly enthusiastic spark plug who lives next door to me five days a week, nine months out of the year. It’s none other than Jeandayfriday.
We are fortunate enough to have lunch together every day. It was almost unfortunate that we didn’t, but last May when we saw on the master schedule that they’d broken up the dynamic duo we both went down to the guidance office and cried to the counselors like two little freshmen girls until they appeased us. Mature? Not so much, but it worked. Plus, they like to keep their teachers sane.
For the last couple of weeks Jeandayfriday has brought her computer into my room for lunch. She’s working on her blog while we eat and talk. Lately it’s gone like this:
JD: I’m working on this blog post. Will you read this?
Me: Yeah, sure. (I read the blog post and tell her it’s great – because it always is.) That’s really good!
JD: When are YOU going to post again? You have A LOT to say!
Me: That’s the problem. Too much to say. I have no idea where to begin. I haven’t posted for almost a year.
JD: That’s just where you start. Just say “I don’t know where to begin.”
Me: That’s no hook. That’s boring.
After this she usually gives me about seventeen ideas of where I could start. I blow her off, grab another essay to grade and try to swallow that nagging feeling that I should quit procrastinating and write a blog already.
We started blogging because, as English teachers, we thought it was important to “practice what we preach.” We expect students to write, so we should write. I’m a firm believer that practicing writing myself makes me a better writing teacher. We made a pact to write at least a blog a week. That should be do-able. She’s awesome at it. I procrastinate.
Today, Jeandayfriday has worn me down. I’m back but I’m back with a disclaimer. This blog post kind of blows. At the beginning of my dual credit composition classes I make them read an essay by Anne Lamott called “Shitty First Drafts.” That’s kind of what this blog is. It’s a shitty first draft, and it’s not unlike the bad introduction I always want to skip in my students’ research papers. But, like I tell them sometimes, it’s just important to get yourself going.
She is kind of right in saying that this has been one heck of a year for me. This year has been kind of like a bad Lifetime or Hallmark movie that my mother-in-law, holding a box of kleenex, would DVR and watch once a week.
So here it goes. Since I’m a high school English teacher (and to pay homage to the form), I will proceed as in the introduction of a traditional five-paragraph essay. I will tell you what I’m going to be telling you. Stay tuned for these and other gripping posts:
- The Empty Locker Breakdown
- Geriatric Pregnancy
- It’s YOUR Turn to Drive with Him (or I think I’m going to die)!
- Hello, COW!
- The Designated Driver
- I’m Gonna Learn You Good, Kid
- Mom’s Not a Total Idiot After All
- “It’s like falling off a bike.”
- Whose baby IS that? AND
- Are YOU My Mother?
Stay tuned. More to come, soon. I promise, Jeanday!