From Orlando, where it's not Chicago, it's your host, the woman who (barely) survived her first week of school, Dawn Damalas Meehan!
Tonight's introduction was written by Austin who still misses home more than the rest of us put together. And now here are the answers to this week's questions.
wow [your teens have to catch the bus at] 6:15? when do they have to wake up or go to sleep?
Austin stays up late talking to his girlfriend. He wakes up 10 minutes before the bus comes, brushes his teeth, and runs out the door. Savannah goes to bed at a decent hour and gets up to primp before catching the bus. That's the difference between boys and girls.
6:15 AM? That is too early! What time is their school day over?
It's WAY too early! They get out around 2:00 every day, but Wednesday when they get out at 1:00ish.
Are you working at your kids' school?
What exactly are you doing at the school?
Beats me. I'm just trying to survive.
Really, what are you doing?
I'm working with the lowest performing kids; the ones who need some extra homework help and support. I help them to get organized, teach them how to form good habits, encourage them, and help them with their work where needed which means I have to have knowledge in each subject. Every day, I ask the kids, "Don't you need help with spelling? Grammar? Any punctuation questions? No? Nothing? Just math? Sigh."
Right now, I have kids in 6 periods a day. My smallest class is two kids and my largest is eight. Things will change after the first few weeks, however, and I'm likely to get more kids in my classes.
How do you like your job so far?
I like it, but it's exhausting. I'm not just tired because I'm working out of the house after being a SAHM for 17 years either. No, it's a different kind of exhaustion. I feel simply drained, mentally and physically. It's not like a regular office job where you can check your email, make a quick phone call, take a break, or go to the bathroom whenever you want to. People who work in education are "on" all day long. There's no downtime. You are always on and smiling and working and going... I'm not sure what I'll do if I ever have to go to the bathroom in the afternoon when I have four classes back-to-back.
Just wondering, do you have an education degree??
No. This is why I took that para pro exam a few months ago. I needed to prove that I know all this stuff so I could apply for the position. (BTW, I got the highest score possible on the test. Do you hear the crowd cheering for me?) It's a non-instructional position so I didn't need an education degree.
You really need to get to bed earlier. Let the housework slide so you can sleep.
Oh, I have no problem letting the housework slide, believe me! But I still can't go to bed early because I have to fit my writing jobs in somewhere. It's not optional. I love writing and I absolutely need the income it brings in order to stay afloat. Sooo, sleep will just have to wait for when I'm dead.
How are your kids adjusting to school?
They're adjusting, some better than others. The three youngest like their school and their teachers. Jackson and Savannah seem to be fitting in, making friends, and having fun. Austin, well, Austin is kind of shy. He doesn't make friends easily just because he keeps to himself, not because he's awkward or dorky or anything. He'll find his place to fit in eventually.
I still feel unsure of myself and probably will for a while. But on Friday, a student shared with me, a song she'd written herself. That was cool - that she trusted me enough to open up like that. I guess this new job might be okay. If I can get past the exhaustion. And the algebra. Oy.