Friday, December 02, 2005

Hitting My Stride in Five

"You hit your stride in five." Those are the words my father greeted me with during one of my weekly phone calls home. He is, of course, correct. I am finally in my fifth year of teaching at Lutheran High School of San Antonio and it feels wonderful. Currently I have two Art 1 classes, an Advanced Drawing class, a Ceramics class, four Portfolio students, and one Pre-AP Sophomore English class. I have been the Student Council advisor for three years and I'm taking some time off from coaching volleyball while I work on my Masters in School Counseling. Sounds like a full plate, but it is really quite managable.

I began the year with difficulty feeling as though it was the beginning of the year. I was in denial for quite some time--up until about noon on the first day. Why? I've determined it was due to several things. One, we had a very short summer, so it didn't really feel like we had been gone for very long. Two, since we have 124 students, I generally know all of them, even if I didn't have them in class last year. So there was a lack of newness for me. Plus, I realized that I've taught all of my classes for at least three years, if not more. I didn't completely revamp any of my curriculum, so it was very familiar. There was also the lack of pressure that we had last year because were actually on the same location this year, (We are on an interim site while we begin building on our own new property). My room was generally set-up the way I wanted it and my curriculum just needs some tweeking here and there. It was a great feeling to kind of "know" what was going on, but I can also see the danger in becoming stagnent. That feeling of not needing to revamp and change things is so nice, it would be easy to just leave things the way they are and just keep doing them that way. Not the best way to approach teaching, so I'm determined to change at least one unit in each class, and possibly add a unit to each art class.

Do I miss coaching? To be very honest, not really. I loved working with the girls and watching them succeed. But I really like being able to schedule my time after school the way I need to; not being tied down to a 3:15 to 6 or later time frame is so nice. I have also liked being able to go and watch other athletic teams compete. I actually made it to several football and boys soccer games. Something I wasn't able to do while I was caoching. Will I ever coach again? Probably, but I'm not volunteering anytime soon.

The masters program is going well. At the end of this semester I will have eighteen hours done, with only thirty more to go! Yes, it is a forty-eight hour program...I know, I'm a glutten for punishment. I've met some really great people and I've generally been impressed with my Professors.

To add to the madness this year I decided to move in with a friend--Bethany, a second grade teacher at Concordia Lutheran School. I did that the week after serving on the Texas Church Workers conference committee and the week before my half marathon. I really do try to make life as busy as possible. We all know that is what keeps me out of trouble. :-)


jed said...

4 2/3 years to Go! I'm glad things are working well for you. Now that Cross Country's over, I'm not really sure that I miss that, either, at least not too much. It is nice to have some time in the afternoon! Take care, and have fun getting ready for Christmas!

Kari said...

Jed--it's nice to teach now without the added stress of coaching. You'll have more time to work on things. Which will make it easier next year when you're coaching again. Are you going to help with track?