I miss having time to write.  It is cleansing to my soul.  One thing that those outside of teaching do not understanding is the demands on a teacher’s time.  As a matter of full disclosure, much of the demands of my time are things that I volunteer to take on.

The Great:

FJHS We the People Team Photo After Districts - Vax Photo - November 3

Last Monday (November 3rd) my inaugural Middle School We the People team competed at districts and they killed it.  They won five out of six unit awards and won districts by a good margin.  The best part is was that they realized that they can improve and are willing to work to be great.  I was thankful the Kevin Stumpf and Rachel Smith for going with me.  Qualifying for state was our team’s goal at the start.

The Tough:

I am serving on our district’s redistricting group; I felt the need to serve to try to balance the inequities in our district that have impacted our school for nearly a decade.  I feel the pressure to help my school.  The frustrating thing is that it seems like it should be easy; but there are so many competing interests and many of those interests are not about justice.  The government teacher part of me wishes that we had a council of grandmothers that would put aside the individual motives with a view on what is best for our district as a whole.

The Reminder:

My school is special and it does not get the recognition it should.   My school spends so much energy in creating opportunities for students that it does not have time to publicize our efforts after the fact.  Last Friday our school held its International Fair; we easily had 500 community folks show up to watch our kids perform and show their knowledge through displays and extras.  As much as I enjoyed the Fair it was telling to me that at 8:30 at night there were five teachers with a couple family members cleaning up the mess so that the custodians would not be burdened because of our efforts.  It captured our building in a nutshell; extend opportunities to kids, involve our families, love our students, and don’t burden others because of our efforts.

The “Why Can’t Things be Easy”:

We received our information about the We the People Middle School Nationals and; of course, it is during Tecumseh week.  What are the chances?  It will break my heart to put my kids on the bus to Washington DC without me.  Luckily, there are people out there that will step up to take my kids.

The Legacy:

Friday was my student teacher’s last day.  The reality is that Rachel will be my last student teacher.  She did a terrific job and deserves a chance to have her own classroom.  She fits our building because she loves to teach and she loves students.  Rachel worked hard to learn the craft.  If Rachel is part of my legacy that will give me comfort. I am aware that I will only be a teacher for a few more years.  It seems unbelievable that this is my 18th year as a teacher.  For many teachers that would put them at 40 years of age; not so for me.  Starting teaching at 37 years of age will not allow me to teach for 35 years like some of my peers.   I will not want to give  up any more of my classes to a student teacher: I want to savor every second of my time with my students.