Ah...I finally feel like I have time to breathe. And think. Here are some thoughts regarding a) a move to a new (smaller) town, b) a new school (and my first real teaching job!) c) sophomores d) a new (good!) relationship. I may or may not address all of the above, and in fact may include others not mentioned.
a) I was super hesitant taking this job simply because it required a move. I don't deal very well with big changes, and this was like two HUGE ones in one fell swoop. It's been a little stressful, and I've had more than one breakdown already. However, I have yet to regret the decision. I'm not as in love with the place as I was hoping to be, but I think it will grow on me, and should I not find a job in my "hometown," I think I can survive a few years here. At least until I decide I can't, and start to actively pursue that PhD I want. ;)
b) The school is...old school. So much could be better. But in fairness, so much could be much worse. I have aides in my classroom, I have sufficient supplies (so far, though I haven't asked for too much yet,) I get a prep period, something I didn't get while student teaching, and the staff is friendly enough. Staff morale is something that could improve...morale isn't quite the right word. But I'm starting to loose the "you're all so awesome, you teachers, you" twinkle in my eye. Instead, I wish the staff room at lunch was a little less gossipy, the halls before and after the bells a little more...lively. And that my questions received answers...the ones about students who I don't know yet, strategies I need help with etc. It's very small, which is good because my classes have stayed fairly small (average about 20, though both English 2's have 30+.)And the kids are well behaved (except the sophomores...) and really sweet. They live a life so foreign to me, traveling for heffer shows and rodeoing on the weekends. It's fun just getting to talk to them about what they do afterschool.
c) Sophomores. I guess I haven't ever really worked with sophomores. If I had, I may have been better prepared for the CONSTANT talking, the inability to listen and use ANY motor skills at the same time, the CONSTANT talking, and the attitude. Oh, the attitude. In all fairness, most of the sophomores have a pitch perfect sense of humor. So much so, that I often find it hard not to laugh at them. Which really does nothing for my sense of authority in the classroom. And did I mention they are CONSTANTLY talking... not that I mind students sharing, thinking, working together etc. But it becomes something different altogether when I explain the task, give them help, suggestions, hold their hand through the first step, and then ask them to keep going...and they immediately turn into the Access Hollywood of XHS. Seriously. Shut up.
d) so far, in all honesty, the only thing keeping me sane is my...boyfriend! So...at the same time I moved and started my new job, I went out on a date with an amazing guy...who is still in town A. I live in town B now. Lots of talking on the phone, and an astronomical phone bill later, I am dedicated to him, and he's taking all my crazy in stride. What a sweet dude. :)