Monday, March 3, 2008

The new job

So I started my new job today. (The one where I teach "Dangerous Minds" type students that are left behind in the school system) First, let's rewind to last night. I had a splitting migraine from about one in the afternoon until oh three in the morning or so. This was the kind of headache that blurred the vision, caused sweat, and made me somewhat nauseous.

The new kitten Slider decided that he wanted to snuggle from about seven in the morning until I finally got out of bed at 8ish. I showered, ate my oatmeal in silence, and to my surprise Sallie woke up early and made herself breakfast and mostly stayed awake. I was too out of it for talking, so it was one sided breakfast talking.

I arrived at the job, not nervous, but not knowing what my job was exactly. A nice lady named Mary shows me the computer system the kids use and then after an hour or so, takes off to other tasks, leaving me with little or no information. For the next couple hours I keep the kids in line and try to teach myself the Fast Forward program.

The students are surprisingly well behaved for supposedly being the bad boys, rift raft, and forgotten ones. There's one that fought doing anything, but he didn't bother anyone else. Another kid told me that he and his friend wrote a computer virus and leaked it onto Limewire. My first thought was "wonderful, I'm in charge of the computer lab and if I ever anger this student, he can unleash virtual hell onto the network." I think I won him over with my knowledge of rock bands he listens to, and I think I won others over when I let slip that I had tattoos. Hopefully this scores me leeway as far as when they want to misbehave.

The job itself seems fairly easy and rewarding, but the organization of the whole system is mind splitting. I'm one that likes to have everything where I want it and clean and I can't even find proper training manuals for the online program.

My other gripe is the program they use. Several of the kids complained about some things being too hard and some things being too boring. I tried the game that was hard. It emits a series of 5-8 high or low pitch beeps that represent the "up" or "down" keys. After a couple the beeps speed up and I was lost. A person with a college degree was having trouble with a game that I can't figure out the value of in a persons education. According to one of the manuals its supposed to teach them how to listen to directions. I think it just hurts the ear drums. Then I started taking some of the other tests and found them to almost insult the intelligence of these kids. I feel the program suits elementary school kids, not the seventh to eleventh graders in the program.

So I think there's a chance I will like my job, it just depends on if I get the support I need. Things such as training and an outline of what exactly I'm doing would also be nice. At least for now its a paycheck and I get all normal school holidays off. (Spring Break! WHEW!!!) I'm sure updates will follow.