Sunday, August 16, 2009

Every new beginning is some other beginning's end.

The summer came and went in the blink of an eye. Tomorrow morning at 7 a.m., it'll be over. Officially. I report back to school at 8 a.m. sharp tomorrow. They feed us breakfast on the first day, so I guess that's nice. A way to eeeaaase us back into the transition. Then we'll sit in the cafeteria for three days, all 400 of us, analyzing data, crunching numbers, and discussing test scores and why even though right there on the official paper from the state it says the Math department is failing, they're not really failing. We'll blame the state for making us test the special ed kids. We'll blame the middle schools for helping the kids cheat on their state exams and not teaching them the things they need to know in high school. And we'll look over at the Math table and give encouraging looks to all the teacher's there because we know what they have to deal with on a daily basis. They're starting from a deficit, and haven't quite yet figured out how to make up that ground.

We'll all hold our breath and put on our brave faces that this year will be better than the last, and that 895 of our colleagues won't get laid off this year because the district somehow misplaced 60 MILLION dollars and yet our superintendent still has his job.

It's a mixed bag of emotions starting a new school year. On the one hand, as teachers in this large urban school district, we're hopeful about the new sea of faces we'll immerse ourselves in a week from tomorrow. We're hopeful that some of our test scores will go up. We're hopeful that we'll make new connections and form new relationships with our new kiddos. But in the back of our minds, we're always bracing ourselves for the next blow. Whose funding will get cut next? Whose job will be on the line this time? But we'll make it through. This will be my third year and each year has gotten just a little bit better, at least for me in my classroom.

So overall I'm hopeful. And I'm ready to get this three days of in-service out of the way so I can start setting up shop and getting my home away from home in order for those oh so bright and shiny faces that will show up at my door at 9:00 AM on the 24th.

This year feels like it's going to be a big one both professionally and personally. Who knows where we'll be come this time next year. But one thing's for sure. Things will change. The don't stay the same. They never do. But it will be good. I can feel it.


Lynn Brooks said...

If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job. ~Donald D. Quinn
The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called "truth." ~Dan Rather
Thought you might like these quotes and of course I have to say Thank you for being a teacher!