Communication, Teaching

Marching As To War . . .

Last Monday I had gone school as though to war. There were two battles to be won. The first: a resolution to my long-standing request for a room to hold my English classes in. The second, and far more painful: “confronting” my English teacher about our non-existent teaching partnership.

Both of these issues were long-standing. My fear of conflict and general tendency towards procrastination contributed to the situation. However, I felt that something must be done or I would simply burst. Into tears, that is. And probably at school, in front all my teachers and students.

The classroom was needed to give me some space of my own and my students a visually engaging educational classroom. The discussion with my English teacher because our current arrangement (me trying to do it all) was getting us nowhere. It was doing nothing for our students and nothing for our relationship. Our exchange of morning pleasantries was forced and awkward on both sides. I was angry that she was contributing nothing. I can only guess what she was feeling. Invaded, maybe? I don’t know.

The Thursday before we had been supposed to go to a co-teaching training session that was being put on by the Ministry. I wasn’t eager for it, but thought it would surely force us to discuss our issues. Painful and awkward, yes. But necessary. I was waiting at my house for her. We were going to catch the martshutka together. A vibration in my pocket. I pulled out my cell phone and read her text. She was bailing on me. How convenient.

That, on top of everything else, brought me to Monday. One of those mini D-Days we all have in life. It ended up being very anticlimactic.

In the teachers’ room, I spoke to the Assistant Director about my room request. I explained why. I explained that I’d already gotten permission from the German teacher. I just needed the administrative go-ahead so I didn’t have issues later. (I didn’t tell her that; that was what I was looking for from her) She said “Fine, fine, no problem.” The discussion stalled when I tried to talk about moving chairs into the room. But it was progress of a sort. I left for classes.

After classes I stalked my English teacher, looking for a private moment when I could initiate THE conversation. Getting the courage to open my mouth was the hardest part. But once I did, it all just . . . flowed. Yes, she knew about me wanting to use the other room. She would help me move chairs that afternoon. Yes, she too wanted to work on lesson planning. Thursday? Sure, we would do it then.

And we did. My new classroom was assembled by the end of the day and we had a very satisfactory and relationally-healing lesson planning session. It was . . . amazing.

It’s hard to explain the relief I felt. You probably all think I was exaggerating the situation. I edited out a whole page of this post, which went into detail on the entire history of these two problems. It was long. It was sad. It made me feel like a whiner. So I deleted it all. But it WAS long, and it WAS frustrating and I just could NOT get resolution on either issue. And suddenly it was like I was pushing on an open door.

For me, dear friends and readers, it was an answer to prayer. A tarnished often over-used phrase that usually receives eyes rolls, except when you are the recipient.

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One thought on “Marching As To War . . .

  1. Patricia says:

    Congratulations Amy! I don’t relish confrontation much either so I completely understand how you felt. I’m glad it got resolved. Enjoy your space. 🙂

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