God I’m tired.
I know I said that all the time back home, before I had ever had a real job. But that was nothing!!! I get to work around 6am, do some last minute preparations, and then go to our daily staff meeting. This is followed by classes and marking all day. School usually ends around 1pm to 1:40pm, depending on the day. From 2pm to 5pm I’m in the library. Some days I’m free after that. Wednesday’s I watch the grade 10’s study from 7 -9pm. The other days I’m either teaching computer classes or going on my evening run. Overall, I rarely have any time to just sit and relax. Weekends aren’t even my own! I usually have to mark 120 essays during that time.
Despite my lack of time, I’ve decided to make myself even more busy! During 2 of those library hour, every day, my library prefects will take over so that I can have afternoon remedial classes with about 60 of my Grade 8’s. And boy do they need it! I now understand why teaching is the second most stressful job! It’s never done!!! But despite that, I want to do more. I want to give everything I have to these kids.
So my days are completely full, yet there always seems to be more to do. I’ll randomly find out that I’ve been put in charge of something without my knowledge. Or that there’s an important meeting in 2 days that I have to leave school for. So many things! My principal, bless her heart, warned me that I would burn myself out and that she was worried I was doing too much. I've been asked to extend my computer classes.
I can tell that I’ve got to keep more aware, though, despite my constant state of fatigue. I’ve gotten a bit angry at my classes for not behaving nicely. Granted, I think any teacher would be angry about that, but I should still try to understand that my teaching method is different (aka I don’t have a stick in my hand. I need to preface that with the fact that my teachers don’t use it on the kids, but it’s still there as a threat). I also need to watch the things I say. I was talking to my kids about they need to solve their problems differently instead of beating each other. American learners don’t do that (ha!). As soon as that came out of my mouth, I felt horrible. And thankfully a kid called me on it. She turned to me and said, “But Miss, we’re not American learners.” And they’re not.
Overall, despite my inability to keep my eyes open past 9pm, I’m having the time of my life. I love my village, my school, my community and especially my kids. I wouldn’t trade it for the world (or even a Starbucks!). I guess that’s why Peace Corps motto is, “The hardest job you’ll ever love.”