When the outside world comes in.

I knew, always, that I would work in public education.
There are special challenges that come with working in public education. Our doors are closed to nobody. In my classroom I have students with learning disabilities, autisim, high intelligence. Students who live in five bedroom homes, and students who live in shelters. My challenge, and my JOY is meeting the needs of each student. We don't select students based on applications or ability to pay.

But now, I am feeling the sting of being a public servant. At the whim of government budgets, suddenly I am preoccupied with measures that will directly effect the quality of education I can provide. Ballot measures are up for a vote and they will decide millions of dollars for already strapped schools. And I'm stressed about it.

The campaign against any tax increase always takes on a fierce and nasty tone in this state. Lies stream through the radio, villifyin public workers and government spending. I take it so so so personally. I AM that public worker. The running of schools is the government spending. These are not imaginary things. When people say they are voting no, I feel it deep in my heart. How could they NOT belive in public education? Why did I get that deep feeling of pride, while others only think of saving $140? (Really, that is what bussinesses would save in a year... and my district loses 19.2 million). I know some of the No votes are just misunderstandings of the law. But the rest just STINGS. It stings.

I love my job. But more than that, I am so proud to be working with each of my students, no matter what their strength or challenges.

It hurts when the public speaks against my work. These measures might pass... but the sting of the advertising and reporting against these measures stays with me for much to long.


And, we're back.

School started again today, and I survived.
When I first arrived, everything seemed unfamiliar. Little messes from before the break were sprawled out on counters. Oh yeah, I remember, I ran out of here the moment the bell rang... over two weeks ago.
I started cleaning up the glitter. The glue. The yarn. The left overs of a pre-holiday snowflake project.
I couldn't find my planner. The next unit, every lesson, in there, planned out... but where... I slowed down. I thought. THINK THINK. There, in the crate, yup, the planner.
I made copies, I tracked down team mates, caught up on winter break stories, figured out when I have meetings (before school tomorrow, after school tomorrow, half day meeting during school Wed, after school Wed, then no more until next week. WHEW!)
And suddenly, there were students in the hall. New clothes, new toys, they come bouncing in, hugging friends they haven't seen in days. No real greetings to the teachers, just the occasional "I forgot my locker combination."
So the day passed by. A little glitch here, and little there, but mostly the kids are so tired (did any of them get to bed before midnight?) it's a quiet day, that first day back.


Just a few more hours

I have first day of school jitters! I do! In bed, my mind is racing with things I need to JUST LET GO:
School wide scheduling: SUDDENLY I have solutions for more plan time, more teaching time, better elective offerings, blah blah blah. In the morning light I'll realize I scheduled 6th grade lunch at the same time as 6th grade band class.
My project journal: didn't my aunt give me a journal to keep track of my craft projects in? Where did I pack that? must find it
That DAMN new kid: already suspended, but will be back on Wednesday. What will we do with him??
Jasper moved. Hmmm, good kid, will miss him. That's one more seat in the room.
SHIT- seating: I need to assign new seats when I get to school.
myyyyyy back Huuuuuurts. What did I do to that muscle? Should I go to spin class this week?
BIKE! I told my sister she could have that old bike in the garage. I should dust it first.
SKIIIII BUUUUSSS. Shit. Need to get that organized.
oh yeah, math department, I'm co-head now, don't we have a meeting this week? What did I say I would have done for that?
I wonder what my desk looks like? Can't remember.
Meetings!! I volunteered to host one at my super messy house. CRAP.
Valentine's day, looked at the cutest project... but should save it for a less hectic year. WHERE is that journal my aunt gave me? I bet it's on that bookshelf by the computer. I may as well get up to look.

And on and on and on and on and on.

I must sleep. But who has the time?

hey- there's that journal. now back to bed.


New Year, New Start... same old kids...

In just a few days I'll be back in the classroom. I'm rested, I'm ready, and I'm hoping for a snow day. That's just the way it goes.
The week before break proved to be as hard as every year. Something about THAT week, beyond all other weeks, just exhausts me. These two weeks off keep me sane. I rest. The students rest. We come back with new energy and enthusiasm.
There will be plenty to write and reflect on in the new year.
We got a new student before the break that will provide plenty to write about. Five days into his time at school and he has already been out of school suspended.
I have a student I want to get more special services for-- but it's going to mean some battles with red tape.
We have ballot measures that will determine how many days the doors of the school will stay open. (VOTE YES- 66 and 67.)
And always, there is the unknown. 2010--- here it comes.