- Quand you forget le mot in your native language. For example, one time en classe, I was reviewing vocabulaire avec my students. A student m'a demandé what "un bateau" was. I had no idea what to say - I had forgotten how to say "boat" IN ENGLISH!! I began describing it IN ENGLISH car j'avais oublié comment le dire. It's that thing, you know, that goes on the water? Sometimes it has a sail, and sometimes you use, ummm...paddles?
- Quand you write notes to present to ses élèves and realize that even though you are teaching English Lit, your notes are in franglais. And not in cognate-friendly franglais, or frespanol (which would be helpful since so many of your élèves étudient l'espanol), but words that have little to no connection to English or Spanish. That's when you begin to avoir peur qu'ils will realize that you aren't a "real" lit teacher.
- Quand you see a former student and have absolutely NO IDEA what their real name is. However, you can remember son nom français, where they sat in the salle de classe when that one really funny thing happened, and how far they went with their étude de français.
- Quand you write a blog entry and have to have someone else qui ne parle pas français read it to make sure that all the franglais is still understandable, but the person that you would most like to check it for you is in South Georgia on a canoe / camping trip with your son with Boy Scouts. Oh well! Félicitations if you made it this far! Let me know in the comments if I can clear anything up!
So I found this great T-shirt yesterday while browsing Pinterest that totally sums up my life. It's from the website LookHuman.com and is $28.00. This got me thinking about times when it is complétement awkward de penser in une autre langue.
I've been in my new position as Assistant ITS now for almost two weeks. Here are the new things that I've learned how to do:
1. Reimage a computer. I wish that I could do this to my computer at home, but I doubt that it works the same way. I may get fed up enough soon to try anyway.
2. Unlock accounts and reset passwords. However, it is REALLY embarassing when I am the one who locks myself out. I don't have any idea what I would have done if I was the only one who fix me. I'm certain, however, that my predecessor would never have done such a thing - big shoes to fill.
3. Keep a mental list of names, room numbers, and problems until I can find paper to write them down. Except for that one time when I recited a list to my co-worker, left, and had to call her right away to remember what the third item was.
Things that I haven't learned to do yet:
1. Fix everything or even many things with a calmness that lets the other person feel confident in my abilities. While my self deprecating attitude is meant to lower expectations, it probably also causes a mild feeling of panic in those who learned to expect miracles from my predecessor. :)
2. Balance my time. I hate feeling like I'm letting things "drop" when I know that I should be getting them done. Unfortunately right now, that's happening with both sets up responsibilities. Luckily, nothing has crashed yet as I've managed to catch everything just before it hits the ground. But it's still not a fun feeling.
3. Say no when it's not my tech time. This is just something that I'll have to work on. It will also help with the balancing act if I can make myself do it.
So here I go. A new school year with new responsibilities to replace the old ones from last year. A son transitioning from elementary school to the dreaded middle school. One last year in grad school. And a school filled with new colleagues to take the place (physically, but not emotionally) of friends who have moved on.
With all of that, I think that blogging will be a great way to help me reflect upon my day, my goals, my challenges, and my achievements. While I will miss my English Lit/Comp colleagues from last year, I have high hopes that my new ITS position (even as only part-time) will be more fulfilling and more suited to my personal and classroom strengths. I have no idea what to expect as Beauchamp enters middle school. As B and I were discussing, middle school contained some of the worst years of our life, socially and educationally. On the other hand, Beauchamp doesn't seem to be dreading it any more than any other school year. That could just be because he is unaware of the horrors that await him. This last year in grad school will contain my capstone project, more research classes, and more leadership classes. I'm not sure which terrifies me more. :) Finally, this will be my first year ever teaching without having a specific close friend of mine in the building with me. She has been with me literally from my first moments as a "real teacher" and I'm more than a little nervous about beginning the year without her close by. Luckily, she'll still be around, and I wish her all the best at her new swanky position in the district office, but her absence will be sorely missed.
Anyway, if there is anyone out there, I hope you'll stick around for the ride. My goal is to write at least one time Monday through Friday, and another time on the weekends. Tweet at me or comment if I get slack. I need reminders every now and then, especially when starting new endeavors. If there is something specific about which you'd like me to write - same process.
In the spirit of mutual communication, I'll end with a question. What new challenge are you facing this school year that excites and terrifies you at the same time?
Angela Burgess is all of things said above. If you want to know more, read what I think.