I felt a little guilty after my last post. A long time ago someone gave me a plaque that read -Three reasons to be a teacher - June, July and August. I really didn't like that sentiment and I eventually threw it out. Of course, teachers don't become teachers just for summer vacations. Anyone who believes that isn't a teacher. However, it's a wonderful thing to have a career, earn a living, do something meaningful and still have time for your real life. For me, it's time to write, (my second book will be into heavy revision) see friends and family, maybe paint a picture, catch up on a neglected house, and already I don't feel like there will be enough summer for all the things I want to do. I am truly grateful for all of that.
The impression I do not want to give is that I can't wait to get away from students. I don't. The adults - well, maybe. Here's what we need a break from - unreasonable expectations of us with less time and materials to work with, some administrators that don't trust our judgement or even that we're doing our job, standardized testing that judges our efforts without considering the circumstances, parents that don't show up to conferences but blame us for their child's problems, inadequate working conditions, being subjected to every new education fad that comes down the road and then seeing it disappear in two to three years.
Last week I received a piece of paper in my school mailbox saying my assignment for 08-09 is working in two buildings. No one spoke to me about it. I've been in my present building for 13 years. I don't want to go to another building. I do not want my day split in two. I do not want to be somewhere else when my students need a test read to them or help with something else. It may not sound like a big deal, but every teacher I talked to felt panicked by my news. We have a union, but we are only guaranteed A job, not the job we want or feel we're best at. Basically, it will suck. Suddenly I won't belong in either building. I sent an email to my supervisor about my concerns and the fact that, as a team, the special ed teachers and the principal had already planned next year - but she didn't even acknowledge my email.
At the end of the year we often see retired teachers at certain events. We are always amazed by the fact that they look younger than when they left us - they look rested and relaxed. Hmmmm.
So, I do still like kids and I love seeing them learn - but all the other stuff I can do without. Fortunately, the contentment of summer allows me to sort of forget all that stuff and I always seem to be ready to go back in the fall - hoping for a better year.