Tomorrow I am going to teach the hardest lesson I’ve taught since 2000
October 12, 2011 § 2 Comments
Yet many will be shocked at these changes. After all, most of the staff will be leaving then as well. I do not know if I will have a job (although I’m set up as the last man standing and there are other, smaller providers) come next month. I’ve been through this path before: three times since September 2005 have I seen treatment facilities and/or programs shut down, with me being laid off each time. It is difficult to face, even now, but the word “perseverance,” which a student earlier today asked me what it meant (I said it was, among other things, “sticking with it until the end”), will be the main lesson tomorrow.
I doubt I’ll focus much on grammar, literature, history, mathematics, foreign languages, or the sciences (yes, I teach them all at this job). What I think I shall do is have a discussion with them, followed by showing one of my all-time favorite movies, Chariots of Fire. They might not understand why that movie is so meaningful to me, but I think it might give some solace to those who might be upset at the sudden changes in their daily routines.
The teachers where I work are encouraged to teach “life skills” to the residents/students. It is one thing to talk about how to fill out job applications or how to calculate rent as a percentage of income; totally different to try and model how to deal with devastating turns of events. Too often these students in the past have turned to substance abuse as a coping mechanism; perhaps I can help them see that some can cope in different ways. The last time I ever had to deal with anything so difficult in class was in April 2000, when a student of mine drowned over Easter weekend. I was too young, perhaps, to handle it well (if anyone can ever handle such things well), but I like to believe that undergoing such a traumatic event will help me with this situation. It’s not like I will leave teaching if the worst happens (I’m going to be applying for an adjunct history position at a few local community colleges and perhaps a combination of sub teaching, tutoring, and ESL assistance), or so I’m telling myself at the moment, but it does make for a very trying and difficult period ahead. Maybe one day my cup shall overflow. One can only pray that might come to pass, no?