Monday, October 3, 2011

Life in the School Lane

Wow. My head hurts. It is not used to the information that is being crammed between is flabby, squishy walls. It is used to being filled with light, airy subjects like books, family, PTA and how to get out of making dinner and the second hour of church. Or whether to order the pork salad OR the burrito at Cafe Rio. Not things like common core, scaffolding a lesson, unpacking a standard, objectives, rubrics and accountability. Sheesh.

My brain is stretched beyond capacity. So when more data tries to find a spot it strains the walls and causes inflammation and discomfort that can otherwise be called a headache. In other words, I am having a medical reaction caused by a foreign ( and how!) intellectualism. Like a pebble in a shoe. A similar analogy is the class sizes in today's English classes. The brain is like a classroom that  can't get bigger. Students have to adapt by sitting at tables instead of desks, and it is often uncomfortable.

Here is the conversation I have been having with my brain:

Brain: (with conviction) This stuff is hard to absorb. If nothing else, there's too much of it. Get rid of some of it. You are not sleeping, and when you don't sleep then I don't sleep, remember? You  do remember those REM patterns that I HAVE to have to function? I cannot process all this!!

Me: (sheepishly) I know. I can't get rid of all this stuff.  If I get rid of it, I will not pass this class. I will do all I can to sleep better so you can perform better.

Brain: (with resignation) OK, just this once I will try to stretch a bit more. But I can't make any promises. I get tired, too.

Me. (with gratitude) Thanks for trying as hard as you can. When we are through with this tough part you get to do some fun stuff like watch a movie (you like that, right?) stare off into space, look at pretty leaves and sleep more.

Then under my breath I say, " Until the next round of info comes barreling down the track."

Brain: Goody!

And so it goes.

A side note: Thirty five to forty kids in a class is standard not the exception. I kept hoping to see some smaller class sizes when I switched from high school to junior high last week, but no, they are packed in like sardines, too.

An observation: Some teachers measure the stacks of papers to grade by inches and feet. No kidding. But today a teacher from Orem High came to our class to teach us his technique for handling the paper shuffle and I will definitely adopt his method. There is hope.

This class ends in two weeks. I can't believe how fast and furious it has been.


Foster said...

You rock Ellen! You and your brain are going to make it!

Judy said...

That brain is tougher than you think. New cells growing all the time. Love you and that you are awesome!

Emery County Historical Preservation Commission said...

You are such a good writer, Ellen. I love reading your blog. You are very cute and funny!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Holy cow! Your class sizes are huge! My son's Jr. High classes are 25 kids and according to my babysitters, their classes are about the same. Sheesh. You should move to Kansas. =)

Cathy said...

Ellen, you are awesome! I'm so glad to have you for a sister-in-law.