Friday, September 30, 2011

Fitting

I'm not sure where I fit at school.

I'm not a student (gladly!).
And I'm not a teacher.
I'm just that elusive, nebulous "student-teacher."

This means that the students aren't really sure how to interact with me and neither are the teachers. Such as, the other day in class, Ken was out of the room making copies and a quite snide and difficult student said, "Where's our real teacher?" I didn't know the "correct" way to respond, "Mr. F is making copies. I am right here." He didn't seem satisfied. Neither was I.

Many of the teachers and staff know that I am just another student-teacher, passing through: here one semester, gone the next. I can't blame them for not becoming deeply involved with me, so I really appreciate those who do.

I think this may be one of the reasons I am finding it difficult to thoroughly enjoy student-teaching: I don't know where I fit.

My social life--once handed to me via classes with friends, ASB events, or just randomly bumping into people I knew at the gym or the cafe--is now gone. I don't randomly bump into anyone at school. It's hard to feel connected or fulfilled.

I don't necessarily find comfort or peace standing in front of thirty teenagers (pretty much a moving/talking target, like it feels some days). They can be fun, and they are the population that I am closest to in age, but they are not my friends, nor should they be. I don't necessarily find comfort or peace interacting with teachers either. A handful are in their twenties, but most are grown-ups with spouses, families, mortgages. Sometimes it's difficult to relate to them too.

So at the end of a 12 hour day (like Monday with parent-teacher conferences) when I shuffle in the door at home, the house is empty and I still have at least 2 hours of grading and lesson planning to attend to before heading to bed and doing it all over again, it's hard to feel good about myself or optimistic about the next day when I don't feel I've interacted with anyone who knows me or will beyond December.

This week, I overheard a conversation between two girls, "Hey, guess who I just ran into?"

The other replied, "Who?"

"Mr. F's student teacher from last year. Remember he taught us English 10?"

"Oh yeah, it's hard to remember student-teachers exist outside of school!"

I can't say that when I was in high school I was any less oblivious. Oh, I exist. In fact, I spend a lot of days reminding myself that I am more than just "Ms. Bo."

I am a friend.
I am a daughter.
I am a sister.
I am a girlfriend.
I am a student.
I am a learner.
I am a writer.
I am a musician.
I am an artist.
I am a dancer.
I am an athlete.

I am a person beyond and outside of this student-teaching experience.
I am a person.

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