August 17, 2012

This Ain't the Breakfast Club

The first day of school is only a few days away. Questions and concerns hang in the air, unspoken but never forgotten. Will the kids like me? Will I have someone to eat with? Will I make any friends? What if I get lost? What if I fail...spectacularly...in front of everyone?

Unfortunately, these worries aren't my kids', but mine. For the first time since getting pregnant 14 years ago, I am going back to work full time. I was hired as the In School Suspension (ISS) teacher/facilitator/babysitter/turtle herder at a local high school. It wasn't the job I was hoping for when I put my resume in at the district office, but it's a job and I am grateful to be employed. However, going back to work presents a whole slew of things I have to work through. The first being that since my kids attend a school with no bus service, they will now have to walk home from school every day as I won't be home to pick them up. I realize lots of kids walk home every day with no problems, but these are my kids we're talking about which means there will have to be some kind of issue to deal with. The number one issue is that we live on a busy, 6 lane road that the kids will have to cross every day, rain or shine, with a crosswalk but no crossing guard. While I have complete faith that my children know the rules of crossing the street safely, I have little faith in drivers. And that whole rain or shine thing? I have trouble getting Bubba off the porch and into the car when it's raining because he might get rained on. He doesn't even like to open the van door to get in out of the rain because the handle is wet. Thankfully it doesn't rain a whole lot here, but he doesn't like to cooperate in the heat either. (He is my son, after all.) So every day I'll be wondering if Howdy and Sassy were able to get home from school without getting hit by a car and without having to grab Bubba by his ankles and drag him home.

Another concern I have is that my experience with kids is mostly limited to the little ones--you know, younger than first grade. I do have older nieces and nephews as well as my own children, but most of my time with children has been with the young ones. I have close to zero experience with high schoolers, other than being a former one myself. My job duties will consist of getting the kids' assignments, making sure they do their homework and keeping them in line. They aren't allowed to talk, have access to their phones or backpacks, or turn around in their seats--after all, if they are in there, they did something stupid and got in trouble for it. It's not a vacation from school. 

So my job? Crack the whip. The problem? I love kids. I love hanging out with them. I'm not bothered by tattoos or piercings (not that those are allowed in TX schools) and there's nothing they could say that I haven't heard before. So my big fear is that I'm going to go in all Kumbaya-let's-hold-hands-and-paint-each-other's-fingernails and they are going to pin me to the bulletin board using my own ball point pens and stage a coup. The other end of the spectrum is that I go in there all hard core and they all hate me and egg my car while coming up with uncreative but insulting nicknames for me behind my back. 

I hope I can find a middle ground, a place where I can show and earn respect while keeping them in line. I'm fighting an uphill battle considering not a single kid will be happy to be in there to begin with but I'm going to try. I've survived 11 years with Bubba--this should be a piece of cake. 

And if they do start to get out of line I have a great discipline plan. I'll just break out in song until they behave. I have a big repertoire of preschool songs I can choose from. I figure a few rounds of the Barney song and they'll never step out of line again. :)




(*Editor's Note: Please forgive my use of the word "ain't" in the title. I realize it's not grammatically correct but it just seemed right. :)   *)

1 comment:

  1. good luck and remember to breathe and they wouldnt have given you the job if you werent qualified.

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