Like Dustin Hoffman dressed as a blueberry about to dive into a bowl of milk, i also wake up daily and ask myself :what is my motivation?
Yesterday i struggled to wake up, having had the idea of walking the dogs at 2 a.m after having done too much coffee at the teachers room. Always give something else the fault..since i began teaching teenagers i have been sleeping very well at night but every morning is a struggle, what DO i teach? How do i teach? How do i get the pupils motivated?
Yesterday morning i noticed the tree at the entrance to the building left quite a few flowers on the ground; white with yellow strips and a sweet scent , i gathered a few, and stuffed them in my bag as i left for school , a bit too late as it turned out.
I teach in a religious boys high school so they pray “Slichot”, forgiveness prayers during this times of high holidays.
We just celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, and are now making our way towards Yom Kippur , the day of atonement and a two week vacation Sukkoth, which to me will mean handing a detailed organised report of what i teach at the end of the holiday to the English teaching guide, detailing the goals of the lessons and what language skills i teach. ah¨CLUTTERED mind..the perfect challenge !
“Smile! when entering a class room ” advices a motivation speaker , while the experienced high school teachers advice the opposite, frown, look tough..but i chose the road less taken, and that made all the difference that morning..there was a terror attack on the news, we all needed some reason to survive the morning, i actually skipped coffee because i came in LATE not having calculated the end of the morning prayer which should have given me enough time to have arrived at 9 o’clock a.m. rather than twenty past eight which is when the lesson officially begins.
Struggling to get out of bed at 6.30, i insisted on completing my yoga morning routine , and only managed to get back home at 7.45, got the later bus than my usual 7.30, and got to school at 9 o’clock, the 8th grade homeroom teacher was pacing nervously, the children were waiting, and the flowers were most welcomed..
Flower power! The lesson went very well. I began handing out colourful stars to the pupils who had written down the lesson in their notebooks, and the lesson was WH questions.
I divided the pupils into pairs and had them ask each other how old they were, and where they live?
We went over the numbers, and counting.
The lesson went well, commented the experienced science teacher , who had been listening at the door …
Good things are happening at the 8th grade, and i don’t know whether it was the flowers or the despair of being late, not having calculated well enough the end of the prayer or whether it were my secular prayers and wish to succeed.
This morning i woke up on time, i hear the garbage trucks begin their work , and as i lay in bed i plan the day, motivated by an extreme worry i might fail , and an extreme wish to get my pupils speaking and practicing English, so that i will not be that substitute teacher they will blame for keeping them behind in English . I want to be that substitute teacher they will recall fondly, as a teacher who had helped them move ahead, which is also the name of the book i need to teach .
It is 5 .28 a.m. i listen to the Israeli radio culture corner bombard with a list of books i do not have time nor motivation to read..being submerged in what i do, which is my motivation, to teach children so they will remember me as someone who unlocked the world for them, and enabled them to communicate with others.
I listen to the Israeli radio program discusses books , what the book stores sell, what books to read, discussing a writer, what a great job, i think, i would have loved to discuss books but it also means a certain responsibility, just like teaching, to the words they say.
5.33, i am about to search for a photo to illustrate this post and to begin the yoga routine earlier, at sunrise, the dogs are already stirring getting ready to go to the park , the radio plays an odd melancholic song of longing, less musical, more verbal, maybe based on a poem, and i just want to get out of bed and escape to the park where i might gather leaves of eucalyptus tree, and then i remember, it is my daughter’s birthday in Europe, 21 years old, and i will be sending an electrical message and count the days till she arrives, and hope that she will have a happy birthday with words and perhaps a song i will send via electrical mail..