Far away and so close

These were the books I read right before school started. I think books really speak to different parts about me. For example, I want to go camping and fishing. I’m interested in modern Asian history. I support Asian American authors! I found Front Desk really inspiring as I was starting a new job.

Mia wrote a letter to persuade motel owners why she should win the motel. She told them

  1. I know what I’m doing.
  2. I love what I’m doing.
  3. I won’t let you down.

That is all an employer or even a partner ever needs to know. Mia is an inspiration to me because I want to go about whatever I do the same way. Thank you Kelly Yang fir writing this book! I am so glad you wrote it and we all have the chance to stand by Mia.

I love every type of book!

I really love every single one of these books and they are all SO different! I will read anything! My reader self is growing 😊.

-Advice column – So glad I finally got the chance to read Dear Sugar. Relationships with our selves, families, friends, and romantic partners are endlessly fascinating to me. I think people are incredibly strong!

-Chick lit for tweens – I love chick lit and a summer/beach read. It’s fun! I love this series. I love sisterhood and the beach! Could there be more chick lit for tweens? Not quite romance and not quite MG. I am surprised there aren’t more books like this!

-Current/historical fiction – I think there should be a MG novel for current events so kids and adults can better understand it from a human point of view. There are real people with names, backgrounds, and prior lives. People are never just refugees, insurgents, or sympathizers. They are individuals and had fun and lives before whatever human or natural disaster befell them. How valuable it is to hear their story. I wish people in power took the time to speak and listen to even one person whose lives they are determining.

-Fantasy/fable – I had the read the sequel about the sweetest robot and her journey to reunite with her son! Fables are so comforting to read.

-Thriller – What a strange and disgusting book! I am so glad Ottessa Moshfegh is a published writer. As a reader, I’m happy to read unique voices and get to know characters who are more like me than might be expected. Eileen doesn’t shy away from anything.

Summer reading

I can’t believe I am only blogging about this now, in December. I borrowed these during the summer! I just finished Future Home of the Living God two weeks ago. How time flies and how much has happened since then.

I have to say I’m really enjoying reading contemporary and adult fiction lately. I love middle grade fiction and chapter books because of how engaging the stories are and the strong characters. (MG books may have ruined my expectations of actual children… how strong and determined our main characters are despite their hardships!) When I gave adult fiction a try I found that they really are just MG novels where the characters are older. I guess I have found my new favorite genre!

Reflections on teaching, 2018

Thank goodness it is winter break!

These past few weeks have been really eventful for me. I found Thanksgiving break to be breather, and when I went back to school I was totally dreading it. The month between Thanskgiving break and winter break I felt like I was in a fog. I wasn’t feeling well and despite not feeling stressed about school anymore, I also wasn’t motivated. I felt fine going to work every day but super exhausted coming back. Then I had this huge pain on my side so I finally went to the doctor and found out that I had pneumonia 😭😷. I felt like I was in a fog and out of commission the last week before winter break.

It’s been 2 weeks since then and I’m grateful I’ve had time to pause and reflect. I have been feeling iffy about teaching basically ever since 2016 when I started teaching, and at least once a year I get super sick and want to quit. I realized this is just not sustainable. There is no way I can keep teaching if I am feeling this way every year. I’ve tried to communcate with my parents why I feel this way and it’s been hard getting them to understand. I’m not quitting because it is hard or I’m losing interest, it’s that teaching seems to be hurting me more than it’s helping me. My mom finally understood a little when she was in the hospital with me and I’m glad.

Some reflections:

  • -I got worse at talking to children since I became a teacher. I used to find it fun to play with and talk to kids but now I don’t even feel good around some 5-year-olds 😞.
  • -I enjoy talking to adults and for the most part, I can chat with anyone. I love giving presentations and professional tasks.
  • -I do not enjoy Dual Immersion or foreign language teaching. I much prefer having one group of kids the whole day, same kids all year. I want to teach core subjects (math & English) and traditional multiple subjects.
  • -I really enjoy tutoring and art. I do not enjoy disciplining or managing, so I question whether public school or classroom teaching is for me. I can be a disciplinarian but it is going to be much harder for me than it is for other teachers.
  • -I don’t have a personality or presence where kids automatically want to please me or are scared of me, so I think management is always going to be a struggle for me. In addition, I simply don’t click with naughty kids. I can’t relate to them at all and maybe that’s where I need to be more compassionate.
  • -Teaching hasn’t been good for my health because I’m trying so hard to talk every day. I feel ignored/not heard/not seen, and my work is not appreciated. In other words, it doesn’t feel worth it because it is one-sided. And since I base my performance on how engaged students are, it’s only felt like a huge amount of work that’s wasted.
  • In order to keep teaching I need to be healthy in body and in soul. I need to have more compassion for myself and my students. Even though I can’t change kids or coworkers, I can change myself. I need to start with enjoying what I do, and let go of whether it’s effective or not, or whether kids are learning. Only when I begin to like what I do, do kids have a chance of liking what they do in my classroom. It’s ok if no one gets it or a thing completely falls flat. If I had fun doing it or I’m excited, it was at least worth it for a little bit. Because of that, I will start trying things I am excited about and letting go of how effective it was.