My Love/Hate Relationship with Teaching

It’s been a bit longer than a month since I’ve started teaching.

About 5 weeks since we got our books and started classes in earnest.

And I must say, I’ve developed quite the relationship with teaching.  Some days it is more love.  Some days it is more hate.  But it is definitely quite the mix.

As I had expected, the students are wild.  Wild-ish? Well, the ones who started out well behaved are being more and more naughty as the weeks progress; and the ones who were bad are learning how to behave.  What is this madness? For example, the second graders are now staying in their seats (mostly) instead of running around the room…but the 9th graders are fist fighting in the front of the room in the middle of class.

What is wrong with these people?

 Of course, having no real grade to give them, no tests, and not being on the “interactive” list on the computer doesn’t help.  Honestly, my class is a bit of a joke. No one takes it seriously, and I’m starting to not take it seriously either.  And the parents aren’t too helpful most of the time either.

But for some reason, when I see my students in the hall or outside of school completely, they pay more attention to me than they do in class! They will go out of there way to say hello, sometimes spending the whole lunch period trying to speak in English!

WHY!?!?

 When we have a good lesson, or when I hear them shout “HI TEACHER!” from across the street and run up to say hi, I love being a teacher.  The hours and pay certainly don’t hurt. But when they refuse to write the answers to their book activities, even AFTER I write them on the board…play with toys in my class…run around hollering…REFUSING to stop and listen to a SINGLE WORD I SAY.

At that moment, I really hate teaching.

It’s a big learning curve, moving from young adults (university) to children.  I hope it gets easier, and I find my own rhythm, because I want this career to work.  At least in Turkey, where it’s a very cushy job.  Man, but do you earn your pay in the war grounds…I mean class room!

NOTE: Follow me on Instagram tomorrow to see a day in the life of a teacher!

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Mother’s Day (When You Aren’t One)

I have been exceedingly blessed with a different kind of mom.  The kind of mom that had to put on the Dad pants when my father passed when I was one year old and she was pregnant with my brother.  She never taught me how to do my hair, match my shoes to my outfit, or how to flirt with boys.  But she did teach me how to mow the lawn, kick an assailant where it hurts, and how to get by without a man. She did a nearly impossible task,  raising me and my hellian brother on her own… And we both turned out pretty ok.

Of course,  my maternal grandmother picked up on the girly slack.  And she deserves a shout out for that.  I may have never learned how to keep my mouth shut the like she tried to teach me… But I did learn many other skills from her.  She is where I took my knack for art from, too!

Now I have a mother in law to enjoy and appreciate. Sure, she gets on my nerves plenty, but she doesn’t mean to. She’s been willing to help me learn the day-to-day things most people know at my age, but I don’t (because, you know, I just got here…and things are different!).

So I am very blessed to be surrounded by positive female role models… Which is great and everything… But, I kind of want to be one too.

Mother’s Day can be a mixed bag for those of us who want to be one (a mother) but aren’t. It can be particularly difficult for those whose abstinence from motherhood is not by choice. Fortunately, I’m not one of those who are forced to be childless by physical/biological reasons outside of my control. I guess my not being a mother is by choice, but due to unfavorable circumstances.

When we came to Turkey, we didn’t think our lives would be the way they are right now. My husband thought he would be working. We thought we would have a house/ be somewhat settled down. Hell, I even thought I’d be pregnant by now. It seems sometimes like everyone else thought that too. But while my friends (who are first/second time mom’s, or maybe newly pregnant) drink the kool-aid and offer some to me, I can’t really tell them why I won’t drink it. These problems are ours and kind of private (again, don’t worry, not relationship problems. Life problems), so only a handful of people even know about them.

I know I should be grateful that my self-imposed childless-ness is self imposed…but I can’t help but feel a twinge of regret when the mother’s day pictures start rolling through my Facebook feed featuring my friends (who are majority younger than me) with their kids celebrating mother’s day.

Maybe next year?

Baby fever

“Oh my goodness!  We’re expecting!”

  Something I’ve heard from several of my friends recently.  I am at that age where everyone is getting married… I’m glossing through wedding photos on facebook on a, nearly, daily basis.  But now the new topic at hand is babies.  What startles me the most is that these mommies-to-be are younger than me!  I’m not tutting and wagging my finger, when they want to start their families is their business, but…now I have baby fever.

   My husband and I have been together for four years in September, married for one year as of last May.  Looking at these numbers, I feel as though we have no business starting a family just yet, since once you have a family, you always have a family (inshallah).  Additionally, we are both still in graduate school, no true work experience, and a mere year or two away from moving to another country.  Clearly, this is NOT the time for a baby.

  Oh, but on the other hand… I am almost done with graduate school, and several graduate students that I know have children, or are pregnant.  This is our only chance at having an American child, since American citizenship is by land, not by blood.  Since I will be unable to work in Turkey for a while, until I’ve learned Turkish, it’s a good situation for an aspiring stay-at-home mom.  

  How do you know when you are ready to start a family?  Are you ever really ready?

  I need to go play with a friends baby and get it out of my system.