Thursday, October 9, 2014

Week One: Done, not dead but almost

First week done. I have no idea how I survived today.

Yesterday I got a stress migraine made worse by dehydration. There are migraines and then there are migraines, the ones that travel down to your shoulders and make it painful to walk, I have the latter, yay. As much as I love it here, the first week was tough; today I could barely form sentences.

Everyday all week I've been meeting tons of new people (which, for me, is terrifying/exhausting enough when it's in English, let alone French), leading classes I wasn't prepared for for in a language I'm not quite fluent in, I've also been trying to organize both my trip to Poland for Christmas and my trip to Italy and Budapest which starts in a week (and we still don't have half the stuff figured out), if you've ever tried to organize a trip on the cheap, you know how tiring it can be.

Everyday I had new students, so every morning before school I was nervous, before every class I was nervous, when the teachers looked at me like I had something prepared and I looked back at them like they had something prepared, I got more nervous, the inevitable improvisation made me nervous, when I met the people I will be babysitting for, when I was trying to figure out what plane to take back from Poland, etc. etc.

Considering I'm someone whose stress level tends to go from zero to panic in about 10, not fun.

Overall, though, the classes are okay. I'm a little annoyed at the other teachers though. Today was the first time at least some of them had something prepared. They know I'm not trained to be a teacher, I'm not meant to lead the class the whole time, it's not my job to completely organize the English curriculum for them, yet it seems like most of them expect that from me. I was also told to find a way to speak English throughout the whole class. So far 95% has been in French, which is fine I suppose, it's mostly me presenting myself and explaining how Washington State does not = Washington D.C., but it's exhausting. At the same time I have 16 separate classes, there is no way in hell I'm planning 16 different lessons a week, but since I don't know how the much better the older kids are from the younger ones, I don't really know how to adapt the lessons.

I don't know, I'm so tired. I'm going to stare at a wall for a few hours now...or sleep, whatever.

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