Thursday, August 25, 2011

Practically the same

    Tim’s 1st week of teaching!  So far, he loves it.  Our 2nd week [of our 7th year] of home schooling.  So far, so good for us, too.  For the first time ever, Tim and I are spending our days in similar fashion.  So I was thinking about the things that are the same and the things that are different....

    Tim teaches middle school, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, at a Catholic school.
    I teach multiple grades too, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and a toddler, who though she may not have a corresponding grade level is learning a whole bunch right along with the rest of us, at a home which strives to be authentically Catholic in all we do.

    Tim works long hours, getting up at 5:30 am, driving 45 minutes to school and not getting home until after 4pm (when he then heads to job #2 for the evenings).
    I put in lots of hours too, getting up a little later but spending all day with my “students” and not getting “off duty” until around 9:30 pm, that is assuming there are no bad dreams, no little voices crying out in the night, no illnesses etc…  that require me to “work late”. 

    Tim teaches religion, passing on the truths of our beautiful faith.
    I teach religion also, but not always out of a textbook.  We pray through math, spelling, history, etc…. relying on God’s grace and strength to make it through each and every crazy, chaotic day.

    Tim has to deal with distractions like: the bell ringing before he is quite done with a lesson, fire drills, and disruptive students talking in class.
    I have very similar distractions-- like the phone ringing, diaper changes, and disruptive children laughing, crying, or even climbing on the table spilling crayons and screeching, “done, done, done!” (that would be my 2 year old)

    Tim has to shift gears going back and forth between the various lessons for each grade level. 
    I have to shift gears constantly too-- slow down enough to sit and read with my 1st grader, be quick enough to grab the glue stick out of the 2 year old’s hands before she decorates the wall with glue or sticks all the pages of our books together, wrack my brain to figure out how to solve pre-Algebra equations with my 7th grader, explain sentence structure to my 3rd grader, discuss once again why playing Legos cannot constitute an entire curriculum, even though it could possibly encourage a future career in architecture, to my 5th grader.

    Tim has to attend open house tonight, meeting his students’ parents and going over his plans for the year.  He will have to have parent/teacher  conferences throughout the year, as well, keeping them informed of all they do in the classroom. 
    I had to attend a meeting for our umbrella school last night, making sure I know how to stay on top of record-keeping and learning about tons of great resources at my disposal.  Throughout the year, I constantly question and re-assess my teaching methods and parenting abilities especially when the atmosphere of the classroom is somewhat akin to the monkey house at the zoo.

    Tim is excited about his year.  He has a great group of students and the support of his co-workers and principal.
    I am optimistic about our year.  I have the very best students in the world, who I love more than words can express.  I have the support of many great home schooling friends and, of course, my fabulous husband who understands what I deal with now better than ever…….


  1. What a great post, Kari! I loved reading this especially as I'm married to a teacher as well.

    We have a couple of differences in our days though. Andy teaches children with special needs or behavioural problems and he has a much harder day than me. My students are easy compared with his!

    Also, I never plan anything and Andy, as a new teacher, spends hours preparing lessons. He doesn't think it's very fair! I tell him it's only because I have been homeschooling so long.

    So pleased to hear Tim is enjoying his new job. God bless!

  2. Thanks so much Sue! I did not realize your husband is also a teacher. I am finding it very interesting how, though Tim and I are both now educators, our approaches to educating and our experiences of putting those approaches into practice are so very different. I agree with you, as home schooling mothers we do have the easier path in many ways. Also, I think the more enjoyable and rewarding- at least most days. :)

  3. Kari, my husband has only been a teacher this last school year. He went back to university and studied for a further two years to get his Masters of Teaching, after being made redundant from his job in sales and marketing. Now Andy, like me, is enjoying doing something that makes a difference in children's lives. God is good!



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