Still here, plugging away.

The cool thing is, I have passed 30% done on the first draft.  Mind you, I’ve got 70% to go, but still… considering that I basically started over after I got back from Viable Paradise in mid-October, I’d say I’m doing pretty good.  Some days I struggle to get a couple of hundred words out, other days I shine and get 1000 or more through the fingers.

Day job is taking much of my energy, but it’s getting a little better.  Many of my worst problem students are removing themselves from the classroom via getting expelled for their behavior, or transferring to other schools.  Upon being gently prompted to leave a personal conversation and return to his desk on the other side of the room and do his work, a student told me “I ain’t fixin to do my work no more.  I’m not going to this school no more starting next week.”

I didn’t waste time pointing out that he’s still here for the rest of this week, because frankly he’s done so little that even if he were an A student for that time, he’d get an F-.  And this is with not one, but TWO teachers (in this classroom, with a few others in his other classes) trying to motivate him since September.  What can you do?

I am quickly coming to the attitude, frowned upon by some colleagues, that I’m there to teach all students, but if they’re not going to meet me halfway, that’s their problem.

This weekend I’m taking time off writing, as I’m going to Reno for my wife’s birthday trip.  With luck I’ll win some, but I’ll be happy to break even or just not lose much (all disposable income only, with limits).  See you all on the other side.

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About Michael Johnston

Father of a third grader, high school English teacher, writer. Forty-three years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA
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