26 August 2007

First full week of school--OVER!

Over the weekend, Claire and I went with my mother-in-law Diane and her friend Diane (!) to Dallas to see Paula Deen Live! It was great fun! Claire only got fussy a few times, and that was in her car seat, not in the show, thankfully. Paula Deen is even more silly and funny than she is on Paula's Home Cooking. It was amazing to me that probably 2,000 people paid about $50 a pop to come see her! It was a fun show, though. Her husband Michael and her son Bobby were both there, too, and the first hour was like a talk-show format with Paula talking to everyone in the audience and her and her family telling funny stories about their lives and how Paula got started with the Bag Lady and all that. Then she did a quick cooking segment, but really her assistants did all the cooking, and she just kept laughing and telling stories. She was a hoot, totally unscripted and totally sincere. AND we got to submit questions before the show for Paula to answer, and mine got asked! It was Diane's idea to ask what Paula's grandson Jack's favorite foods that his Granny fixes are. She couldn't think of a particular one, but she said he sure like the squash casserole she fixed a couple weeks ago.

I've only been a teacher for seven school days, but I feel like I've learned enough to have a B.A. in education! Teaching is exhilirating and exhausting, fun and frustrating. These feelings seem like they're all amplified at a small school, where I'm teaching four grade levels and four different curricula, and junior class sponsor and student council sponsor! Picture me last Monday night after our first library day, realizing that the next day, I was going to have to introduce four different works! Up to that point, all my classes had been doing the same introductory type activities, but last week, I had to get into the swing of grabbing a new set of notes and textbook, writing a new bell work activity on the board, and working with a new set of kids every hour. It can be overwhelming, but my days just fly by!

And then when I get home, Claire is such a great de-stresser. I change clothes, grab a drink and snack, and then settle in with Claire on the couch. While I feed her, I watch that day's Paula's Home Cooking (I DVR them!). Then we play for a little while. I thought being a first-year mommy would make being a first-year teacher more stressful, but in reality, I think Claire is making me a better teacher--I'm more relaxed and less frazzled then I would be without her, I think. If I didn't have a baby I had to devote the majority of my evenings to, I know I would be spending way too much time at school after the last bell rings, and working a lot more at home on lesson plans and grading in the evenings. As it is, I have to leave school no later than 3:30 because that's how long the breastmilk supply I leave for Claire will last. Then I wait to do school work until Jay comes home and can take Claire to get her bathed and ready for bed. I don't get graded work back the next day, and I don't think through every moment of the class period, but I think that's how most teachers operate. Claire forces me to relax!

I said to Jay the other day that he and I are both probably working harder now than we ever have before in our lives, and we're doing that as new parents. It's hard, but we're both doing what we love, and our time at home together seems so much more precious and special now.


Audrey said...

Great post Kim! I have been checking to see if you would post about PD and I am so glad that you all had a great time.

I know you are a wonderful teacher and the kids will appreciate your attitude some day. Maybe not this year but, think how great it will feel when they say, Mrs Mauck was my favorite teacher of all time. You will be! Glad Claire is able to make you relax and enjoy it. Take Care!

Anonymous said...

OK...Claire pictures are long overdue!! (With all due respect to PD...bring on Claire instead!) I'm loving reading about your teaching experiences...your lesson plans ideas are so interesting! I especially loved the Mt. People lesson, and I'll bet your students did too! CHS is lucky to have you. Love, Aunt Neila

Anonymous said...

good to hear about your first week in school. i want to hear more details tho, so i guess i'll have to give you a call. give claire a kiss for me. love ya sis.