Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's A New Year: Here They Come!

The students are coming into the building tomorrow. This has been a year of many changes. We have two new administrators (a principal and assistant principal), about thirty teachers new to the building, over half of them in their first year, and new standards that have created a huge curriculum shift in English. I don't feel ready, but I don't think I ever feel ready. You're never really ready for the kids until they're in your room, staring you down.

We're all really feeling our way this year and putting in our best. Though I've been back to work for a few weeks, we had our first two days as an entire staff on Thursday and Friday. It was different, but different is not bad. There are a lot of changes with the new staff. It feels like a different school. As I enter my fourth year, I'm one of the veterans. I survived the audit. I stayed. I didn't jump ship after the force transfer. We had to lose fourteen teachers, but that doesn't account for the mass exodus that happened in June and continued through August. Some were promotions. I don't know why the others left. Maybe they were tired of the changes.

I wish I could say I didn't blame them for wanting to leave. There are times when I feel overwhelmed. There are times when I feel exhausted. There are times when I'd enjoy the move to one of the public private schools. I just can't. I didn't get into education to help the kids who can help themselves. I got into teaching for the students who can't help themselves. My babies are seniors this year. I couldn't leave them. I can't leave my other babies, either. Every year I just get more babies who need me. And I need them. I need to see them succeed. I need to see them graduate and move on to the rest of their lives.

I'll survive this year. Right now it feels like a daunting task to even finish one period on Monday, but we'll take the small steps and get to the end of the year. There are times when I'll cry. There are times when I'll want to give up. I won't, but I'll want to. More faces might change next year. I'm okay with that. I'll stay strong and do what I have to do to make my kids succeed.

Here's to the beginning of another year. My tenure year. I've made it this far and I'm going to keep going. I'll adapt where I need to and hold firm when I have to. I will give my 110% every day that I can. I rest when I need to. I am a teacher. This is what I do.

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