Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tick, tick, tick . . . .

The hours of "freedom" are speeding by. The freedom of setting my own schedule, dawdling in the morning, staying up late if I choose to, sitting on the porch knitting in the afternoon, are over as of tomorrow. It's back to the hectic routine - leaving the house at 6:30 am and returning at 6:30 pm. Then the chores, then phone calls to parents, then maybe a really short knitting session before I head to bed to start all over again. I will miss the summer.

We were finally allowed back in the building this past week. Due to renovation and construction, the building has been off limits all summer. I spent 3 days of my free time this past week - 3 glorious, sunny, warm, beautiful days -- in my classroom trying to make sense of a new space with no storage. The room itself is decently sized, and it's a regular, almost square room, with lots of natural light. I get the sun from dawn to just after noon, so it's quite a warm room. We have brand new windows too, across an entire wall; however in their infinite wisdom, only 2 of them open. At 2:30 Friday afternoon, I'd managed to unpack and arrange the last of the boxes. At 2:35 Friday afternoon, 11 more boxes that had been in storage since January, arrived. I have no place for the materials in these boxes. Two of them I pawned off on another teacher since they contained resources for a subject I won't be teaching this year. (More about that later). Two of them I lugged down to my car since the contents contained personal items I had collected for the subject I won't be teaching. The rest contain project supplies --- beads, feathers, cellophane paper, clay, paints, etc. I have to find storage for these items. One of my grade level teachers in the other wing has offered me some shelf space in her closet but unfortunately the boxes are too big for the shelf. I will have to unpack them. I don't know when this will happen. Monday is our first contracted day and most of it is scheduled with meetings. Monday night is the annual ice cream social for our incoming students and families. Tuesday has more meetings/trainings scheduled and then the students arrive on Wednesday. I haven't had time to even consider the 'decoration and beautification" of my space --- it's all business right now.

I'm more stressed out over the fact that I am teaching a new subject this year instead of the subject I love, trained for, and have taught for 15 years. I haven't been trained in the new subject, and do not have the background or wealth of knowledge that the students deserve. I will truly be "one step ahead" of my students this year and that makes me genuinely sad and unhappy. I will do my best, but I fear my students will be short-changed. I'd be happier about this if I had had the chance to discuss this with administration, but that never happened. The overriding concern was that it was decided that "small learning communities" are better for the students, even if it means 3 of us are teaching outside our areas of expertise. On the plus side, I am thrilled to be working with the teacher I'm going to be teamed with. He's a really good guy and great teacher. He's young enough to be my son so our kids will get the benefit of two generations!

So as the year starts, I'm not a happy camper. I am trying to get over the negativity though, and I do look forward to meeting all my new students! I could use a few prayers and good thoughts sent my way though!


Panhandle Jane said...

The same learning community decision was made here in the 2-5 grades. I'm not sure how that's going to work out either.

Our in-service week went fabulously well. We start with students on Monday.

Cathy said...

I guess no matter where you go, teaching issues are always the same.