Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sink or Swim?

I could let the current sweep me away or I could let the mountain defeat me and give up. Or I could strap on some flippers or put on some serious hiking gear and get to the top. This is the metaphor I am using today because it relates to the realization I came to about my job.

Stress has been building up and sleep has been deteriorating, and it is not the kind of life I want to have. Usually, what one does is blame outside factors and never really look in the mirror. This time I have decided to look at myself and see what I can do to improve my life.

You might be asking what has been so stressful? Mostly I have been worrying about what the homeroom teachers think of me and with open class coming I started to doubt myself. I also knew there were issues with our department that I wanted to fight for, but felt defeated because in Korean society the loudmouth-aggressive person is usually left behind.

Instead, I started chanting to myself, "Think of the future, Joy!" Telling myself that I need to look at these micro issues and see how they fit into the big puzzle of my future plans. Do I really need to worry over the trivial day-to-day stuff? No. What I need to concern myself with is the big picture.

Classes have been good and bad, and the misbehaved students sometimes really push my buttons. I have come to realize that the students are not the ones who need to change, but instead it is I who needs to do the changing.  I figured out that my students are likely drifting off into patterns of misbehavior because they aren't "with me" in the classroom. In other words, I need to recreate my teaching style so to have successful classes. To do this I noticed that with the classes that I really give them a great and energetic beginning are the ones that finish with smiles.

Instead of letting the pull of "typical first-grader stuff" drag me down the mountain, I am going to pick my feet up and meet the challenge. Of course, though my mind starts to draw a blank. Thankfully there is the internet and I can research up on ideas.

Anyway, I think summer is here whether it is June or not.

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