Saturday, December 10, 2011

on letting go

Don't I look innocent?
let me proceed this post by saying I'm not looking for advice on how to raise/train/bring up my baby or put him on a schedule :) thanks but no thank you.

So I've been out of my classroom for five weeks now. Time has gone very fast and very slow as far as being out of teaching responsibility. I found I was unable to think about my classroom at all for the first three weeks and thank god my sub is super competent because aside from one line answers I was not able to help her out at all. Sometimes when I'm driving or can't sleep I think of what lessons I would be doing if I were teaching right now or get excited about something I've seen on a blog and want to try this spring...but with a four week old those are fleeting thoughts.

Taking care of a newborn is really amazing and really overwhelming as everyone knows but you can only understand so much till you are doing it. For me the hardest part of caring for a infant is the lack of schedule. Long time readers know my job the past four years has required extreme scheduling and structure to switch classes every half hour and deal with 600 kids in 9 grade levels. So it turns out I have become someone that likes schedules and structure and getting things done. You know what brand new babies don't really believe in...schedules, structure or just getting things done.
getting a nap in
I find my little human a bit baffling...one day he eats every two hours and takes a bunch of one hour naps and I worry that he is starving. The next day he eats every four hours and takes one really long nap and I worry that he is starving. Sometimes he looks at me and I worry that he is starving! Now I know why moms feel so driven to shove food into their kids. Baby Drew could care less about schedules and structure and I don't think he should for the first bit of his happy little life. However, as a teacher I am having trouble letting go of my need for structure and schedules. I wonder, when I got back to work after 12 weeks of being with him, if I will welcome the structure of my classroom again or if I will be changed and will have a more relaxed approach to my teaching.

In the last few days he has started becoming a little more regular and I've been able to breath a bit more and panic a bit less. With a bit more time to think and breath I have been missing my classroom more and more. Winter lessons are my favorite and I'm really sad to not be doing them. Can you force kids to do penguin and snowflake projects in April? One lesson that I would having been doing if I was in my room and would be new this year would have been a sweet success I think;)

(I've been using Drago art for drawing instructions a lot this year)
I think it would be really fun to review one point perspective house drawings and then design elaborate gingerbread houses in a setting of the student's choice. I would have the kids add color with colored pencils, watercolor pencils and watercolors so they could learn several watercolor techniques. Then wouldn't it be fun to make a slab gingerbread house box out of clay where the roof lifts off to be the lid?

Finally I would have the last class or two before winter break be a homage to elementary school and have my middle school students make milk carton and graham cracker cookie gingerbread houses just for fun.