Friday, July 3, 2009

homework blues

I spent fifteen hours today at the kitchen table doing homework. I'm so tired I can't even see straight, and I know I have another full day of it tomorrow.

I know it is my own fault. I've procrastinated and put too many things ahead of getting through this classwork, and now I have to reap the consequences of it. But I'd be happy to spend the entire weekend at the kitchen table tapping away at my laptop if it means I can finish these correspondence courses and be able to focus all my energy on my new job.

At work yesterday, I was put in front of a cabinet filled with papers, textbooks, and general junk and told to use my professional reading expert opinion to decide what needs to stay and what needs to go.

Me? The expert?

I don't feel very expert-like at all. I have no idea what most of the stuff I was looking at was, and how they fit together into a reading curriculum. I'm worried that my ignorance will cause more harm than good to these girls. I don't even know them yet, and I'm already obsessed with moving them forward by a few grade levels.

I finished reading the Freedom Writers Diary. I've learned there is an entire institute dedicated to the brand of teaching Erin Gruning used with her freedom writers, and that there is a teaching manual out there that guides teachers through the process teaching tolerance while simultaneously engaging students in reading and writing. I have to get my hands on it. I need to figure out a way to win these girls over before I officially start teaching them.

The only thing that concerns me about looking to Erin Gruning for inspiration is that I don't think I can be as dedicated as she was. She worked three jobs, stayed after school tutoring, hounded corporations and celebrities for fundraising, field trip opportunities, supplies, guest speakers, etc. As I read, I kept asking myself, "When does this woman sleep? Watch television? Plan her lessons?

If this was my life, where would my Danny fit in?"

Maybe my heart just isn't big enough to be another Erin Gruning.

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