Saturday, April 20, 2013

Short and Simple

I am officially job hunting again.

It's hard not to be a bit down about it, but if there isn't a good fit between teacher and administration, something has to change. I'm learning that I'm a far more easygoing teacher than I thought I would be, and honestly if I could simply get away with a lot of reading to fulfill requirements, that is what I would do! And I may, depending on the school where I end up. I believe that well-written books (key words well-written) can be used to teach so many aspects of our language, culture, geography, history, and more science than one might imagine, and it is a shame that we have categorized so much of our teaching into "subject-shaped boxes". To me, that is a huge shame, because I believe that students can learn about life situations and how to apply what they learn to all aspects of their lives by generalization rather than by learning in Language Arts what a noun is, in Social Studies which explorer when where, in science about the solar system, etc. Why not use a book such as The Witch of Blackbird Pond and teach exploration, colonial history, astrology and solar system, AND parts of speech all using one resource? Students can quite easily understand how things fit together in life that way, and their generalization skills would benefit them throughout their education!

Alright, I'm off my soapbox now.

This school was not designed for the type of teacher that I am, I have learned. I am the teacher with bean bags and a reading corner complete with overflowing bookcase and rug for comfort. I have a myriad of puzzles and Legos to stimulate cognitive functioning. I have word games that the students love to do. I purchased a hub so that my students could have internet access at sites allowed by the district's filters. I made a "dice" to have a "life sized board game". I was the first to have my students do commercials when they learned about tools of persuasion. I am the teacher that laughs at myself so students might learn that life can be fun even if they are "different". And I am the teacher whose heart will break when it comes time to say goodbye to this particular bunch of kids.

Because leave I must. I don't teach students sitting in rows, silent like robots with worksheets and pencils in their hands. I cannot and will not teach that way.

It's been a long, emotional time lately. And I feel as if I have neglected Padrone immensely. It's always something.

On a positive note, my portfolio is finished as far as I am concerned. I have heard from my supervising professor and she said that except for "minor tweaks" I'm finished, but I haven't yet heard what she feels needs to be "tweaked". Because of that, and the fact that it is time to turn it in, I am saying I'm finished. What an incredible feeling! I KNOW I passed it this time. It is just a FAR better example of what I can do, know, and believe than the last one was - but this time I had support and supervision. Guess what. I NEED that as a student, go figure!

But it would still be in my head if Padrone hadn't made the website for me!

Needless to say there hasn't been a lot of overtly D/s stuff going on lately. Padrone even gave me a wonderful gift last weekend - of relaxation and not thinking about being used. It was truly wonderful, I admit, and I am a supremely blessed woman. I am so grateful for all your gifts, Padrone, but that one was incredibly special to me and the gratitude is still deep and strong even if I haven't mentioned it much this week. Thank you for taking care of your schiava, il Padrone mio, in so many, many ways. I am wonderfully, proudly, gratefully yours.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Punishment, Revisited

Well, my Masters program is coming to an end, but not quite yet. I have the rough draft of my portfolio completed, and sent to Padrone for him to put on the website for review by the "Readers". That sounds so intimidating, doesn't it?! But I do have to rewrite some of the introduction and wait for my supervising professor to read and edit it all, make any changes needed, then submit it before Friday, or Saturday, or.....well I've been given several dates, so I'm going with Friday here. I'd MUCH rather be safe than sorry.

I am also going to be looking for a job at another school in our district, or another district entirely. Or maybe another state since I live close to a state line. The administrator who seems to have a personal vendetta against me has simply made things intolerable and this will be my one and only year there.

But I can say that I have been effective teaching my students. Their reading levels improved, some by 1 or 2 grade levels! They are comparable with general education classes in the subjects I teach, and I have been extremely pleased and proud of all my kids for their efforts. I will miss these little boogers!

And I have had some time of introspection today since I forgot to do something yesterday and was punished today for it. (haven't yet done the punishment, but even just knowing I have to is a yucky feeling)I also have to make sure I go to town and do it today. I don't mind, I just have to *remember* to do it.

But when I was unexpectedly punished, I felt that little bubble of resentment build up in me and I paused to ponder why for a moment. Not long, but long enough to know that if I was grateful for his willingness to resume punishing me when it was first mentioned a few weeks ago, then I am still grateful for it now even if I don't want to be punished.

Resentment will happen with punishment, that's for sure. I used to think it was more a case of my own issues with the "perfect slave syndrome", then I started thinking it was more that I am not a child (that started as I gained confidence in my school and career). Now I understand that it is more that I dislike feeling judged and being found lacking. It is difficult for me to understand that most comments that are made regarding me or my performance in whatever area of my life someone may feel the need to criticize, truly are not personal comments. I make absolutely sure that I differentiate between person and behavior with my students, yet somehow I cannot make myself understand that if I make bad choices (or forget), then there will be negative consequences attached.

I know, it's one of those things we should have learned as children, and intellectually I know it. But for some reason, I am emotionally stunted in a lot of ways and it drives me insane. I can only imagine what it must be like for Padrone to have to deal with me when I'm behaving like a whiny-butt baby.

But today....

Today, when he announced my punishment, I pondered...I hated the resentment and hated feeling angry (I mean, I had my PORTFOLIO on my mind yesterday! Doesn't he understand how consuming that was? Why can't he just tell me to make sure I do it today instead of making me write lines?). But suddenly it dawned on me that I had asked for it. I remembered the huge relief I felt when Padrone chose to once again exert his authority via punishments. And I suddenly realized that I was still relieved. I thanked Padrone for caring enough to punish me. That wasn't easy to do but it helped me to just...accept and move on.

It's still difficult to call myself reckless and resist internalizing that label, though, I admit. Maybe I should ask if I could write "This slave will be more careful to do what she says she will do" instead. Hmmmm....

Padrone, I know it's frustrating to you that I have such issues about such simple things. You are so incredibly patient with me, far more than I deserve (or so *I* feel anyway). But you know what? I finally get one thing - you put up with me, you help me, you support me, you make websites for my portfolio - simply because you love me as much as I love you. I am the luckiest woman in the world.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Spring Break, Continued, and Extras

So it's been a couple of weeks since Spring Break, and although I had planned to type a second installment of my Spring Break week, I think I'll incorporate it with the rest of what I planned to talk about today.

First school. I am down to the wire on my portfolio, but I don't have much more to do than to update the reflections and put everything in the exact order in which it will be turned in. Padrone is going to put it all on a website for me, like he did the first one, so I plan to get it sent to him in stages. My hope is to have it done no later than next Sunday so that it can be reviewed and edited by my professor before final submission. I graduate on May 10, if I pass my portfolio this time.

And yes, I did spend quite a bit of time over Spring Break working on the portfolio. I didn't think about work at all, which was a major relief and much needed. It was a wonderful break, filled with surrender, submission, Padrone, and taking care of myself. So I did indeed go back to work well rested, physically and emotionally.

I've been dealing with the administrator again, in small ways mostly but it is wearing on me, I admit. But I have slowly, too slowly, come to realize that what I have known about myself for a long time is also true of others. Yes, I know I can be a bit slow. But I fall into the submissive..."doormat"....mode when I am treated disrespectfully. I go back into the old me, the one who could not bear to stir the waters because of the possibility of conflict. Conflict has never turned out well for me, historically, and while I know our pasts do not define who we are now, the past *does* influence our reactions and unconscious expectations in the present.

So I've finally realized, today as a matter of fact, that if others treat me disrespectfully, it is a reflection of who they are rather than who I am. I have always realized it from the flip side - that my respectful treatment of others is simply because of who *I* am. But somehow, giving the same trait to others is not as easy to do. I still try to take responsibility for how others treat me, as well as how I treat them. It is so difficult not to, for some reason.

I've been heading to this point for a few days now, but it all kind of culminated into a "light bulb" thought today. Now I think I will be able to deal with her childishness better, without letting it stress me so much.

And I am missing Padrone more and more, when we miss our times together. At least tonight I got to tell him about the April Fool's joke I played on my class, which was fun. Even they appreciated it! I miss him so much lately. It's like half of me is missing. I am so geared towards him, it is almost as if I am addicted to him and need a "fix". I got a tremendous amount of his time and energy over Spring Break, so I am a bit spoiled I admit. The more I have, the more I crave sometimes. After all the years we have been together, it is truly a blessing that I can still say that.

Padrone, I could not be more yours, even though I strive for new ways to show it. I am an incredibly blessed woman, simply because I am yours. Thank you, my Padrone, for loving me, needing me, wanting me as I am, and as I can be. Thank you.