Archive for June 1st, 2015

Evaluating my skill set

I’m coming at this the long way, so be patient!

This morning, at 6 AM, the alarm on my husband’s phone rang.  We hadn’t set it last night, so we both hit at clocks, scrambled for the landline and he finally found his phone.  A minor technophobe, he handed it to me to turn off, and I saw that the alarm was named for me.  First Monday of summer break…first Monday of my real retirement, and an alarm that I did not set goes off at six.  Is the universe trying to tell me something?

So I got up and got to thinking–six weeks ago I would have turned it off and tried to sleep for another ten minutes, but now I just got up…because I didn’t have to go anywhere!  What other aspects of my teaching skill set will I now  no longer use and which will continue to be useful?  Or are they dinosaur skills, gone the way of writing cursive with a freshly sharpened quill? The teaching skills that are never taught in ed classes:

Let’s see…

I can stuff 36 large ‘math-top’ student desks into a room clearly meant for 25, working around the permanent desk for the obsolete language lab and the bump out for the storage room, and still walk around.  Of no use, unless I acquire a lot more furniture.

I can find the paper I want from the paper sludge that is my desk in under a minute.  Useful…my organisational style is not ‘give it a home’, but ‘remember which stack it’s in.’

I can spend upwards of 20 minutes a day to unjam a copier, opening and closing doors and looking for that wayward scrap of paper, and never once hitting or screaming the recalcitrant machine.  Of no use.

I can estimate the amount of bulletin board paper I need, carry it back to my room without wrinkling it and create a winning display.  Of course it got changed maybe once a year.  Of some use for wrapping presents and finally redoing the living room.

I can dress in the dark, grab food from the fridge and be out of the house in less than 15 minutes.  Well, if there’s an emergency somewhere, otherwise a useless skill.

I can explain to a parent why little Coriander is a pain in the neck, all the while using only the most positive of terms and convincing her that Coriander needs a little tough love.  Maybe if I go into politics.

I can hang up on a parent in mid-word as they’re cussing at me.  Yep, useful with telemarketers.

I can refrain from that clever, witty, sarcastic remark that is straining at the leash.  Very useful, assuming I want to stay married.

I can inhale a lunch in 20 minutes and still have time to make copies, grade 30 notebooks and use the restroom. Of no use, now I get to chew my food.

I can create content-free prose for satisfying obscure requirements. Again, maybe if I go into politics.

I can watch 35 kids for engagement and behavior, all while speaking a foreign language, writing on the board and walking over to stand next to darling Coriander, simultaneously reaching over to confiscate Alphonso’s phone. Nope, multitasking is no longer the order of the day.

I can make those 35 kids behave and pay attention and like it.  Nope, unless I want to take on a similar task of turning the squirrels in the yard to a drum and bugle corps.

It’s time to make my summer break skill set, the one where I get up, dress leisurely, shower leisurely, brew coffee, sip coffee, eat breakfast and decide what to do on my own terms…it’s time to make it my permanent skill set.  And hang up on telemarketers.

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