Monday, February 8, 2010

Stagnant Slacker

I confess, substitute teaching has not kept me at my sharpest.  No lesson plans to prepare, no papers to grade, and no specific math concept, historical period, or even a particular grade level to study up on has left me floundering.  Coupled with the fact that I am no longer a student myself -- The Breadwinner's slight income slump and The University's insistence on huge chunks of money having led to a Master's degree hiatus -- I find myself regressing academically/intilectually.  See, I can't even spell good no more.

So I am rededicating myself to the pursuit of smartness, revitalizing my appreciation and application of that great gray mass of matter that of late has been preoccupied largely with creating playlists for the iPod (great Thanksgiving Day songs, lead singers with "Q" in their name, etc.) and dialing the sub job services hoping for sick teachers. I have kept up my reading lately, but now that the football season is over ("Wow Dat!") I need to step it up a notch.  So here's the plan...

  • Read Bigger Books.  Picked up Churchill: A Biography, weighing in at 952 pages, and The Seven Basic Plots, a bit lighter with 711; did a few curls with them as the cute Librarian passed by, and now they're making a fine ottoman while I ice my shoulder...
  • Re-Read Text Books.  There are several degrees worth of books surrounding me, text books and gift books and hand-me-down books and yes-honey-I-neeeeed-to-buy-this books, all centered on various aspects of teaching.  Maybe I should be using them for more than keeping the dust off the shelf?
  • Utilize the Internet.  For more than Facebook, I mean.  I get updates daily from all sorts of amazing educational sites, including blogs and YouTube, and I usually say something along the lines of "Great idea Angela, I'll read/watch/check it out later!" yet never do...
  • Talk To Myself.  Or blog, whatever you want to call it.  Putting it out in the blogosphere somehow holds me accountable, if I post the title of the text I've pulled off the shelf it somehow helps me to actually open the book and do more than look at the pictures.
  • Eat With Others.  I need to take my lunch to the teachers' lounge instead of dropping crumbs all over the afternoon's lesson plan.  It's tough, on one hand 'cause I'm kinda shy and on the other because I really want (need) to read the lesson several times and practice a couple of problems or read a few chapters before attempting to teach it.  I like to get as much up on the white board ahead of time as well, I never like to turn my back on the pack, er, class.  Plus you never know when the Principal might stop by, and the whole idea is to look like I know what I'm doing so I'll get offered a contract on the spot.  What? It could happen, couldn't it?
Any suggestions?  How do keep moving forward and always improving your self and your craft?