Monday, December 29, 2008


I asked God to guide me, and he does. I asked God to forgive me and he does, almost daily. I ask God for wisdom, and I am sure He is sending it, I just don't seem to be connecting with it. I have so many bits and peices of life that I struggle with, and I wish He would just write it out and not make it so hard on me.

I had hoped to get a chance to interview with AAS in Moscow. It is the very best international school in both St. Petersburg and Moscow. It seems now, that my resume was recieved, but that is as far as it will go...I knew that leaving my family, would be difficult, but I thought that it would be a wonderful fantastic adventure to take my girls back to their homeland. For about 6 months I have only thought of how to overcome the obstacles of getting a teaching assignment. But in the past two weeks, I have come to terms with the instability of life overseas as a single mom. I realize now that I could not leave my parents. Well, I could, but I couldn't take the girls. We are just not that kind of family. My dad would not tolerate it. My mom as always said that she would go overseas if I were to get a job. But they both firmly feel like they are the Villagers that are helping to raise my girls, and the village aint in Moscow. So for now, that dream will be on hold...

With the girls, I am finding a better rythm. We are still not completely there yet, but we are well on our way. I think if I felt physically better, I would be better. I have diagnosed myself with SAD, ADHD, and a slight case of anxiety. If I put everything together to figure out what is causing me to feel so off, I would have to say it is my job that is most troublesome. I love the people I work with, but the children are so ill-prepared and after almost 10 years at the same school, I see that it is only getting worse. The problem is that most of the children come to be with no preschool, no knowledge of the alphabet or numbers, and they don't speak english. So while other kindergarten teachers are teaching phonemes, I am still trying to show children how to button/zip their coats. While writing is happening in many other schools, we are still trying to show the children how to write their names.
I have parents who cannot communicate with me, since they don't know the language, and the ones that have some small grasp of it, don't feel compelled to assist their kids with homework, returning forms, or sending in lunch money. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched the cafeteria staff take a child's lunch away and give them a box of cereal since their is no money on the account. And I have heard it all. Families in poverty have different priorities. We have to understand the cultural norms of families from other countries...Actually, it might be time to leave that to a younger, less jaded teacher. I have always expected that children come to school REady To Learn, and whatever parents need to do to make that happen, they need to DO IT. So you don't know the language, find a neighbor who does. So you don't have money for your child's lunch, then don't buy them 60.oo shoes.
I may seem harsh. Maybe I even seem cold hearted, but there are ways to correct the problems. All of the fixes are with the parents. Not with the schools.
Parents need to take their roles seriously. Children are not pets to be primped and pampered. School is not a daycare where we babysit.
It is so bothersome, since I see my own daughter's kindergarten doing twice the work my students can do.
To top it off, I won't be getting a raise next year. Which means, I am struggling now financially and it will only get worse next year. My commute is getting worse and worse each year. On a good day I can get to work in 45 minutes, and get home in the same. On a bad day, it is well over an hour. So what's a girl to do.
I think I may consider transfair. At least to get something closer to home.

I shouldn't complain since there are many who don't have a job. Many who haven't somewhere to turn.
So I ramble and whine. But I will continue to pray for guidance...


Anonymous said...

We can pretend to leave in Russia together until the kids get older!
Love ya~

Jojo, Julz, Jules said...

I am glad Kate wrote what she did.. It makes me feel better about not even getting the chance to interview!

kate said...

JJJ, there are ways you can interview. But, I'm not sure that your could bring your parents with you. If you want to be overseas, know that schools do take good care of you--and of families. Mostly.

I don't want to be responsible for squelching anyone's dream! And, if you are at the point of doing something about it (like sending a resume) then you've clearly thought a lot about it.

Keep thinking. Keep praying.

But our kids don't speak English or tie their shoes either. ;> There's no cafeteria so parents do provide lunch...usually. (AAS Moscow has an enormous cafeteria and more of their students speak English.)

Annie said...

I can understand your "disorder". I begin to get physically ill this time every year....have for the past six years or so. Everything seems burdensome. Your post would have depressed me if I wasn't already down in the dumps from reading Kate's. My goodness. Everyone feels dreary....but that is easier for me to read about than about everyone's wonderful, happy, Christmas. Ours was real. Some happy, some not.