MP3 Players are Lollipops

I learned something while subbing today. For a teenager, the right to listen to your mp3 player, or more likely, your phone, is like giving a little kid a lollipop for being good. That’s right, teenagers respond to bribery just like anyone else, and that bribery is music. You might desperately want to tell them to sit down and shut up, but you can’t, so you say the next best thing, which is please sit down and be quiet but that really doesn’t get you anywhere. However, threaten to take away their music, and they will quiet down.

I also got some supportive chats from the nearby teachers. One of them said the most important button on your phone is this one, and he pointed to the office. He said, it’s like John Wayne toilet paper. It’s rough, it’s tough, and it doesn’t take crap. He told me to use that button whenever they give me trouble and send them down to talk to the principal. Right now I feel fired up enough to send the whole class down there, but everyone assures me that it doesn’t take the whole class, just a few students. Man, I have to get up the courage to do that.

I have another day of subbing tomorrow. Wish me luck!


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Substitute Teaching

I’ve done five substitute teaching assignments so far, and I have mixed feelings about it.  Some of it is good, some of it is bad, some of it is…well, babysitting.

My first assignment was with the alternative school.  I thought I could make a difference but instead I got run over by the students. I should have sent some of them to the principal’s office. I don’t think I want to teach that again.  I’ve pretty much been run over by the students in most of the classes I’ve taught.  One of them even snuck out of class on me and she was called down to the principal’s office.  This was the last time I taught.  I managed to keep a hold of the remainder of the classes (just barely) and I was feeling so stressed when I got home that I took a Klonopin.

In my last therapy session, I talked about substitute teaching.  My therapist said I glow when I talk about teaching.  So why am I sucking down benzos in order to deal with it?  Why do I feel so stressed out?  I thought I liked teaching?  I do like teaching college.  That’s what I want – a college teaching position.  But tonight, even the thought of teaching college stresses me out.

Hopefully this will pass.  I have to get back on the horse again, but I don’t think attempting the alternative school is the right horse to ride.  Can’t I have a nice English or Social Studies class?  Well, I could have but I didn’t click the assignments quick enough – someone else got to them before me.  (It’s a computerized system. If I don’t accept the job online, then I’ll get a call in the morning if there are openings.)  All I can do is keep checking the website for openings, and turn my phone on in the morning.

As for now, I think I will call it a night.

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Unhelpful Employment Office

I shouldn’t be too hard on the lady, she really is trying to help.  Maybe there is a grain of truth to things, which is making me feel uncomfortable.  Let me start over.

I’ve been working with this nice lady from the employment office, who I will call Carol.  She is very perceptive and a bit of a counselor.  Her job is to help people find jobs.  She teaches a class on job hunting (it was a requirement for me to take it) and one of the things they talk about is going door to door with a resume in hand meeting receptionists and finding out about the company, then leaving your resume with them.  There’s a story about an IT guy who lost his job and found a new one within three weeks by going door to door. (So to speak.)  She’s telling me to do this too.  Right.  When I have a very specialized background?  She also said that I need to focus my job search in order to focus my resume.  She’s not going to help me with my resume until I can determine what fields I want to focus on.  I feel helpless.  If I knew what the hell I wanted to do, wouldn’t I be doing it?

Research: yes, I enjoy it, but do I love it?  No, love is too strong a word.  Am I any good at it? Yes and no.  I’ve always been good at some aspects of it but poor at other aspects of it.  I’m not a good organizer and sometimes I have trouble thinking outside the box.  Yes, seriously, a bipolar who can’t think outside the box.  I get curious about things, but then my curiosity fades and I’m bored.  (I am so easily bored.)  I don’t know if I am really any good at research or not.  I love analyzing data and looking for trends, which then lead to answers.  Is that research?  Yes, but you need to have an idea to explore in the first place.

College Teaching: yes, I enjoy it, but I don’t always have the answers.  Students expect that you always have the answer for things.  It took me years to make my intro courses into something I could be proud of, but my upper division courses were always a mess.  I couldn’t even follow things in the textbook – it was worse than being a student the first time through.  How did I get my PhD in the first place?  It must have been a miracle.  I’m doubting my teaching skill as well.  I went to Rate My Professor .com and looked up my scores.  Pretty sad. 😦  Well, sad for someone who really cares about what they are doing.  I got an overage average score of 2.5/5.

I’m not going to find a job teaching now, we’re well into the fall, so that’s irrelevant.  I thought about high school and Carol asked me why I hadn’t applied for my teaching certification.  She pointed out that there must be a reason.  I didn’t tell her this, but yes, there is a reason.  I’m terrified.  I’m afraid I will do it and get the job and discover that I hate working with children/young adults.  She suggested that I try substitute teaching.  It’s $60 for the background check and fingerprinting.  It pays $50/day.  So two days worth of work and I have paid for the background check.  I guess it’s worth applying.  It would at least tell me if it’s a job I would enjoy, tolerate, or utterly loathe.

I mentioned putting on weight.  She said “you know the solution to that, don’t you?”  Get up early, go for a walk, etc.  It will help with the depression, give you more energy, blah, blah, blah.  Like my problems with depression are going to be solved with a walk every morning?  If that were the case, I wouldn’t be on Paxil, Lamictal and Geodon.  And even then I’m still struggling.  No, she doesn’t know the details.  And bipolar is one big detail.

I know she’s trying to be helpful, but telling me about her life and how she tries not to let her impending divorce get her down doesn’t make me feel any better.  I feel worse.  She has a full-time job, kids to raise, etc.  I have none of that and I still can’t get it together.  Tomorrow is another day was her message.  What I hear (emotionally) is that she can do so much more in her day than I can do in mine.  Just writing this post has taken me nearly an hour and I haven’t even started editing yet!  I’m so slow at everything, which is why I don’t work well in a fast-paced environment.  (Although, believe it or not, I do type relatively fast and with two hands!)

So why am I writing all this tonight?  It’s not to bash the nice lady at the employment office.  She means well.  And I think door to door resume submissions might work for some people, but won’t work for me.  I don’t want any of the jobs I’ve already had.  I don’t know what I want.  Maybe it’s time to start my own business, except I don’t think I could handle that either.  What I do know is that my last job was a mistake (except financially) and I should listen to my instincts in the future.  Unfortunately, my instincts aren’t talking right now.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

High school may be out of the question

Well, I was reading up on the requirements to teach high school, once I found them buried in the state board of education website, (don’t you love broken links?) and discovered there is another whole application process that I have to do before I can take the tests. This process can take up to 6 weeks, so if that happens then there is a very slim chance I can take the tests (with results) in time to teach this year. Since the schools aren’t even willing to entertain the notion of hiring me before certification, this leaves me in quite a bind.

So where do I go from here?

Even if I get through all that process, they do a FBI and criminal record background check. Would I even pass that with bipolar disorder?

There are so many fees involved too… each test has a fee. There are enrollment fees, application fees… it would be about a $400 job application to teach high school, and I’m not sure I have the self-confidence to do it in the long run. I’m not sure I have the self-confidence for anything.

I dreamed about the university position last night. I dreamed that I was doing the interview all over again, only not screwing it up. I really want that job, I just wish I had answered that one question right: which upper division classes would you be comfortable teaching? Well, hell, I can teach all of them (if I have the self-confidence). That’s what it all comes down to in the end: self-confidence. If only I had been hypo-manic instead of stable for this interview, I would have nailed it.

This waiting is killing me. If I had done that right, I might have an offer by now. I really hope I get the university job. My self-confidence tells me I can’t do it, but another part of me says I can. It’s all pointless now until I hear back from them.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Can I teach high school?

I went to the job fair yesterday for the school system. I know they desperately need math and science teachers at all levels. I gave my resume and talked with the high school for a bit. I think they are very excited about me because after I left the table, I was tracked down by one of the teachers and he gave me his card. Before I made it to the next school (middle school) I was also tracked down by one of the assistant principles. He was trying to lure me into teaching their program for students needing special help in graduating. Not slow learners or disciplinary students, but students who need extra help because life has not been kind to them. (They may have children already or a non-supportive home life.) He gave me his number and asked me to call him next week if I would like a tour or to sit in on a class.

The downside is that all of the certification tests are expensive! They have a general test and a professional teacher test (why they have two is beyond me) and then there are the subject tests. At $100-$150 each, that adds up quick, plus there are fees. To qualify for just one subject, I would be spending about $400 all total. Is it worth it for essentially a job application? Granted, I would have my certification for 5 years. I wouldn’t make very much money, but I would be “in high demand” as they put it. Teaching school here would be a nice, easy commute but teaching high school is hard. Very hard.

However, I like the idea of touching lives. Of making a difference. I have no children and I’ll never win a Nobel Prize, so basically I have no legacy. Once my life is over, who will remember me? I will have left no footprint on society or this planet. Only a lot of empty pill bottles.

I am getting maudlin. I need to keep an open mind. High school might be the place for me after all. Or is it only my lack of self-confidence telling me that I can’t teach at a level higher than that? I don’t know.

Also, how will my mental illness figure into all of this? I have to take a drug test – how will I pass it with my Klonopin?

Anyway… do you think I should hand over the money and go for my certification?