Seems like my whole life is full of so many first days... I'm always starting one job or another, aren't I! Like I mentioned yesterday, today was my first day of subbing!
I had such a hard time sleeping last night. Part of it was because yesterday, when I got home from my grandmother's house where we had an impromptu birthday celebration for her, I found that my nextdoor neighbor had posted this picture on Facebook:
My neighbor said she saw this coyote prowling through our neighborhood in the middle of the day. It wasn't disturbed by her following it in her car or making noise or anything... it just kept on going. My neighbor posted on Facebook that she warned an older woman she saw walking with a small dog, to pick up her dog and go indoors.
So now I am terrified to go outside with Lily, especially by myself, let alone with both Trixie and Lily. Lily would be food for a coyote. And Trixie is bigger, but a coyote could see her as competition. I can't imagine being out on a walk with both of my dogs, being confronted by a coyote, and having Trixie and Lily both freaking out on the ends of their leashes... what would I do? I could pick up Lily in my arms but could I drag Trixie on her leash back to the house in time?
My mom gave me a rape whistle to keep with me when I walk the dogs. But I don't feel better.
So last night, I couldn't fall asleep at all. I was so afraid about the coyote and other coyotes in our neighborhood. (Remember I told you about my anxieties around losing my dogs, among other things?) And every time I'd calm myself down enough to stop thinking about the coyote, the other scary thing would pop into my head, "Oh my God I'm subbing tomorrow!"
I was awake all night, tossing and turning, literally thinking, "Oh no, the coyote! Oh no, I'm subbing! Coyote! Subbing! Coyote! Subbing!" It is a miracle I didn't dream about subbing for a classroom of coyotes!
In the morning I was so tired, never good for your first day of a job. But I got up, took a shower, went outside to check the backyard for coyotes before letting Lily out to relieve herself, made my lunch, and ate some cereal and cottage cheese.
Then I started feeling so nauseous, I was sure I was going to puke! For the last fifteen minutes before I left for work, I was walking around in my house, trying to settle my stomach, debating whether to run for the bathroom or just keep trying to walk it off.
But you know what? I made it into work. And it was not bad at all! The hardest part was classroom management. I am not the kind of person who can go into a classroom of children I've never met, and be like, "Alright, no messing around, sit down and do your work or you're going to the principal!" I'm more instinctively nurturing and gentle with little kids.
I did come up with a good trick with the second graders though. I told them I was making a secret list of the best workers in the classroom, to leave for their teacher. Whenever they were working, I'd walk around with my piece of paper and pretend to be writing down names. (At first I really was writing down names of the best workers, but in the end they were all working so hard, I just left a list with all of their names on it!)
With the kindergartners, they sometimes got a little noisy. I felt horrid for them... these five and six year olds spend the entire afternoon sitting down doing worksheets and other serious academic business. No games. No free time. No singing. No socializing. Nothing. Just work work work work work. Obviously they're going to get a little loud by the end of the day! I couldn't yell at them for it or discipline them. So whenever I needed their attention, I just said, "Raise your hand and stop talking, if you can hear me!" And they actually would. They were funny like that.
I don't have a job lined up for tomorrow, which is good because I am so exhausted. But I will be working Wednesday and Thursday, and on Friday I have an orientation with another school district in the area, so by next week I should be getting double the work!
I think it is going to be really good for me. I'll have to defeat my anxiety every single day, and find ways of controlling large groups of random kids. When I finally do get my own classroom, it will be so easy-peasy!
I have to sign out now... need to get some sleep! Good night!