Anxiety dump

My lovely little vacation is about to end— not the one that had me at my aunt’s house yesterday, where I somehow left during the summer and returned during the winter, because that happened— but my three weeks between jobs. Tomorrow afternoon we move my stuff into my classroom, and I officially start on Monday.

And if I’m being honest, I’ve not been this nervous about starting at a new school since I lived in Chicago. I don’t feel like I know nearly enough about the building to be starting on Monday, and while I don’t want to get into shit-talking before I even start, I feel unprepared in a way that is specifically alarming about the quality of leadership– admin and otherwise– in the building. To be specific, I’ve requested access to their teacher handbook at least half a dozen times and from multiple people, and not only have I not been given access to any such thing, no one has even acknowledged the request. In other words, I’ve asked three different people “Can you send me the teacher handbook?” and I haven’t gotten “not until you start here” or “we don’t have one” or “Yes, I’ll do that” from any of the three, it’s just been as if I haven’t asked the question at all. So right now I know not a single thing about how any procedures at all work in the building. I finally got access to attendance today, so I know my schedule, but I have never seen a bell schedule, so I don’t know when, say, fourth hour actually is. I don’t know if there’s any particular places I’m supposed to be in the morning or at dismissal.

It’s alarming. Like, this is information I need, and furthermore it’s information they want me to have. I’m supposed to see the principal tomorrow so I’ll be able to ask her in person, but I should’ve had this weeks ago.

The other thing? I’m letting my head get into this stupid place where maybe I’ve only allowed myself to think that I’m a good teacher for the last two decades because I’ve been teaching at mostly shitty schools for my entire career! Like, I don’t want to be the guy who spends the next three months saying “Oh, at my old district we said bleh, and now at this district you say blah,” but I have this weird and likely entirely inaccurate feeling that I have a whole lot of really bad habits— what are they? I dunno!– that I’m going to have to unlearn, and I’m worried that I’m going to have to start submitting 20 pages of lesson plans every week or some shit like that, which is … massively unlikely.

Oh, and I have to learn Canvas, which is vastly annoying, because right now I don’t know it at all.

It’ll be fine. It’ll all be fine. But I’m already stuck in a world where I left town for 24 hours and I feel like I was gone a month, and next week is going to be an enormously long week even in the best-case scenario. So maybe that nap I took this afternoon wasn’t a bad idea after all.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

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