Part of the reason that I had such a huge gap in blogging was that I had a rough end-of-the-year with a poor student teacher. I only had him in my room for 8 of the 16 weeks. The other kindergarten teacher had him for the first 8 weeks and I had him for the last. An unusual arrangement but neither one of us could have managed a full 16 weeks. I was exhausted both emotionally and physically by the end of the day. It is hard work staying professional and being kind when you don't feel that way.
My teaching assistant and I lifted each other up each day. I am really fortunate to have such as great person to work with. To highlight how difficult this time was, I have to say I had a crying jag one morning before school started and cried all evening long at home that night. Here is the straw that broke the camel back.
I went to my school mailbox early in the morning (one of my 7:00 arrival days) to retrieve any accumulated mail. Inside the mailboxes was a little slip of white paper stating that our Dean of Students had accepted a position for the next school year in another city as an assistant principal.
Our Dean of Students is a friend I made the second year I was at our school. He was at the high school and we were part of a team that was sent to Washington D.C. for some intensive diversity training. Believe me you either bond or hate each other when you finish one of these week long trainings. I likened it to an intense weekend religious retreats. Any of you Sons & Daughters or CORE members out their know what I'm talking about. You bare your souls at these things. So anyway, the Dean is a good friend with the bonus of being a hilariously funny Southerner (we're in short supply up here). Most times I would just have been a little sad and yet happy for my friend's career growth. Well on that day it was just the last straw.
The day before I had my student teacher whom I had to write a formal reprimand. Some serious decisions had to be made about this situation. Prior to that a team of teachers, including myself, and an administrator had denied the entry of two students into our school for the next year. One parent was creating quite a stir about this decision. Several teachers were leaving our school for a variety of reasons such as retirement, returning to school to complete advanced degrees, raising children, etc. So when I got the note in my mailbox; I was just crushed.
I kept it together until I got to my classroom. By this time my assistant had arrived. As I tried to tell her the news and show her the note I burst into tears. I think I scared her to death. As she reached to give me a hug you could see the fearful concern in her face. After patting my back and giving me a box of tissues I was able to make it through the day. Although I couldn't seem to stop crying at home as I would talk about the news.
I called my sister and told her all about my day. I told her I hadn't cried like this since high school when my English teacher quit because she was pregnant. My sister found this memory particularly funny since her boss knows my former English teacher and her family. The baby is now 20+ years old. And, Doug use to work with my former English teacher. Shortly after we got married a connection was made. I enjoyed meeting my teacher again. What a small world this is.
So anyway that's my sorry story.