Tag Archives: first year teachers

Y’all are so NEEDY

Neediness. 

The one true characteristic that makes me rage with anger, fill with anxiety, and gasp desperately for air.

Needy friend who always wants to hang out or asks “what are we doing tonight?”. NOPE. Cannot handle. Needy guy who’s emotional stability somehow depends upon the number of times I replied to his texts that day or the hours that we hung out during the week. NOPE. Be gone with you. And finally, that leaves me to the neediest of all humans.

Children. 

I see the faces of 100 children a day and 96 of them are some of the neediest human beings I have ever encountered.

“Ms. Wildes!” “Ms. Wildes”, 25 voices call my name as I race frantically between partners during “buddy work”. “Ms. Wildes, my hand has been up for a long time!” “Ms. Wildes, we need help over here,” “Ms. Wildes, can I borrow your pencil sharpener again?” “Ms. Wildes, I need to go to the office to call my mom,” “Ms. Wildes, does this look right so far?”

“Ms. Wildes!” “Ms. Wildes!”

75 percent of the time, the scenario goes as follows…

“Ms. Wildes, HAAALP!” the innocent children shriek. “Yes?” I dart over from across the room, practically breaking a sweat with crazy pieces of hair falling out of my bun around my eyes. “Ms. Wildes, we don’t get it,”. “Ok… Where are you getting stuck?” “EVERYYYTHING!” the children make similar sounds to the dying mammals in the science video I saw a teacher testing during my planning period. “Alright. Well, did you read the question?” “…No,”

FACEPALM 

“Ok,” the anxiety in my voice gradually becomes audible as I signal to 3 other groups that I see their hands and will be right with them. “Start with that. Read it. Read it twice. I only help students who help themselves,” I race off almost slipping on the dirty floors to repeat the same conversation with another 4 students.

It often takes every fiber of my being not to look up to the sky and scream “Shut the fuck upppp already!!!” at the top of my lungs. In my daydreams, I have this outburst, the room goes silent, and all my students stare at me, blink twice, and turn to their assignments, reading the questions and no longer needing all this hand-holding bullshit. Instead, I reopen the wound on the inside of my cheek and tap my foot to communicate my disappointment.

By the end of the day I am exhausted, thirsty, and so overwhelmed with the anxiety of having 100 needy-as-shit kids that I can hardly handle reading and responding to any text messages that I have missed since 8:00 a.m.

I love kids. Love ’em. But this whole experience has made me seriously question if I could ever be a

  1. dog owner
  2. mother
  3. wife
  4. anyone who anyone else depends on for their own livelihood

Shit. I’m fucked.

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Fairly Certain They Just Might Change the World

Confession: I have the best teaching quad and Org. Member Advisor (OMA).

Between the four of us, we (attempt to) teach 18 high school students Algebra I. Each and every one of the other teachers in my quad are the most amazing, sincere, humble, and inspirational human beings. I’m fairly certain that they just might change the world.

And my OMA, don’t even get me started! This man is insightful, caring, warm hearted, and damn good at what he does. I am so thankful. His name is Aaron and I adore him. I’ll never stop learning from him, he’s that kind of great.

Because all I have heard so far is horror stories.

Teaching quads getting into fights. Teaching quads hating each other. Teaching quads with know-it-alls. Teaching quads with lazy slackers. OMAs that undermine the whole ATF experience. OMAs that are harsh and unsupportive. OMAs that aren’t very accessible or available.

My quad however, is golden. I have Catherine, a South Louisiana corp member and a bad ass from New York City. Buddy, another bad ass from Biloxi, Mississippi. And finally, there is Kacey. Sorry quad, but Kacey is the most bad ass and I adore her. She is from the Delta. She’s back to teach and she is damn, damn, DAMN good at what she does. I learn from all three of them every day. We get along. We are real friends. And I really respect them.

Every morning, Buddy and I eat our breakfast together in the dining hall before the other org members that teach at our school get there. We both don’t like to feel late. Every morning, Buddy plays gospel music on his iPhone for us as we eat and preaches nothing but positivity. It’s our special time and it starts me off feeling like I can, we can, do anything.

It’s exhausting, don’t get me wrong. But I am so invested. We have jokingly named ourselves Team Aaron and Team Aaron is so invested. I don’t sleep a lot. I don’t blog a lot. I write a lot of lesson plans that I don’t exactly use because you cannot plan for the exact direction the kids will guide your class. But I don’t mind all the stress and late nights.

Because so far, I’m having the time of my life.

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I Just Might Fall in Love, Y’all.

Today, I had a conversation with a southern belle.

And she pissed me off.

I know, I know. Don’t judge! Be open! But just listen  to this story…

Today, said southern belle and myself were talking about the dreaded and hated question: Will you stay longer than two years? Yes, I call this question dreaded because there is a lot of pressure and judgement that is imbedded within the question itself. It holds a lot of weight. I don’t even know what day tomorrow is, how the fuck can I tell you what I want to be doing in two years from now?!

I was explaining that I do not want to commit, say out loud, or make any promises about where I will be or what I will be doing in two years from today. I don’t freaking know. I don’t know if I will be good at this. I don’t know if I will be beneficial to my students. I don’t know if I will be happy and fulfilled in this career. How can I answer that truthfully?

But then of course, I played devils advocate with myself. “But who knows, in these two years I might completely fall in love and never want to leave,” I marveled at the potential.

“Oh I know,” she purred in her deep south twang. “There’s a lot of really sweet southern gentlemen here. Especially in Jackson”.

HA! Okay. That just happened. That’s real. Don’t be mean, don’t be mean! I pleaded with myself.

“I meant fall in love with teaching…” 

And then shit got real awkward, real quick.

If I fall in love with a man in the next two years and don’t want to leave, that’s cool and all! There’s nothing wrong with that. But that’s not what I was talking about, that’s not what I meant. That’s not what I wanted to communicate, at all. Our mindsets were on two different planets in that conversations and we both knew it.

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