Monday, February 16, 2009

My New Partner

In a classic episode of This American Life (#347: Match- makers) a girl tells a story about working at FAO Schwartz and how for one holiday season, employees played practical jokes on each other that all revolved around this warped, defective doll. And then a Roald-Dahlian Veruca Salt of a child buys the doll. And as much as the girl telling the story has always been repulsed by the flawed doll, she is loathe to sell it to the bad seed. And that sums up how I feel about giving up my year 9s and 10s classes.

Not that the new teacher is evil or poorly behaved. She is pleasant and smiley and she seems nice enough. I just feel nervous handing off my classes to someone new; even classes that I haven’t really bonded with. And assuming we have another teacher next year, I won’t ever see the kids in year 9 since I am only teaching years greater than or equal to 11. So really, I shouldn’t care all that much.

And in many ways, I don’t. My year 10s went crazy this morning as soon as they got into the lab. They sprinted at computers, pushing and shoving to get on one. I feel bad that they’re only my class once a week and there aren’t enough chairs for even half the class, but come on. You’ll get your turn. I got so annoyed with one class that I made them sit on the floor and copy the classroom rules into their notebooks. They bugged me, and I was happy when class was over. So I should be thrilled to have a new teacher take over the class.

Except for 2 things.

First, I feel a certain amount of ownership of the computer lab. I have the only key, I’ve had to struggle to get the video drivers working correctly at each workstation, I’ve spent weekends in there, I’ve been king of the laser printer. And it’s not just that it cramps my style a little to have a new teacher, but I’m more nervous for all of the intensely expensive equipment that we have up there. At one point today, I wouldn’t let a kid into the room until he washed his hands. Can I count on that level of vigilance from someone else?

Second, she told me she applied for a secretary position and they offered her this teaching job on account of her computer experience. I’m not saying secretaries are unqualified, I just think that the two positions are pretty different. But we’ll see.

She asked me if she could skip teaching typing and go straight into Microsoft Word. I’m not sure why this question rubbed me the wrong way. It may have just been residual feelings from the year 10s I mentioned above. But also I think I was a little annoyed that she thought I was wasting the students’ time by playing a typing program. As though it was my personal preference to teach the Home Keys.

But I showed her the annual plans that we developed at the Teacher Conference last month, and she seemed content with that.

So we’ll see how It goes. I am looking forward to not teaching every class every day. Hopefully I can finagle a nap out of the new situation. We’ll see.

I hope you are getting all your naps in. A couple more landscape shots below.
















In terms of topography, Apia is a lot like Union City; that is, you can see the rolling hills if you look up high enough, and it's not like they're big foreboding mountains. Rolling hills and modest peaks and such.
















The hills behind my school. Looks like... Logan.
















Santa in the off-season! At McDonald's!

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