The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back 2 School....

Vinny is so very excited to start his new preschool tomorrow. He keeps talking about meeting his teacher and playing on the playground and making new friends. I am either really lucky to have such a social kid who genuinely loves other kids and making new friends, or perhaps it is just the age, and then I am really lucky that we have only had to make this many changes in school during his preschool years. I know if I were him, I would be missing my old friends and the familiar atmosphere, nervous about starting over, and anxious about meeting new people. However, I am not him, and he really sees it as all a positive. The age or just my son? I really don't know... but I hope he doesn't lose this attitude as he gets older. Of course, as he gets older, school will be free, and I don't anticipate moving, so he will probably be staying put at the school by our house.

I wish I had the same excited attitude as my son. Of course, I also wish that the biggest challenge I had in front of me tomorrow would be deciding whether or not to play in the kiddie pool or go down the water slide first (tomorrow is water day at the new school). I, however, have quite a few big challenges facing me tomorrow. School actually starts Tuesday, but Thursday-Monday will be filled with professional development and meetings, so any getting ready that needs to gets done is going to need to happen tomorrow or in the late afternoons and evenings between now and then. The biggest challenge... I'm getting a new classroom. This is potentially and ultimately going to be a great thing for me, but as of right now, I don't think any of my stuff has even been moved (I have been told it will be moved tomorrow). Furthermore, the building is ready, but I learned today that the room currently has...
  • No permanent lock and key (coming, hopefully this week)
  • No blinds with giant windows that face the street. Doesn't sound like an issue, but I work in a kind of dangerous area. (The issue of getting blinds has been discussed, and something will be ordered). 
  • No whiteboard or bulletin boards (already ordered)
  • (and worst of all).... No cabinets  (oops, I think they just realized this today. My director will be ordering them, but my guess is it could be a while). 

So, it may be a while before I am able to get settled in my classroom, since I don't know where I am going to put anything that is in the 20 some odd boxes I am moving over there. The problem... I don't have a while. I have, at worst, 5, at best, 8 weeks until D-day. Anything that isn't done at that point will just have to be done (or not) by the sub.... the sub I do not have set up yet. There are some ideas on the table, but no one officially chosen yet.

Even if the room was not an issue, this year has some other interesting changes in store that are going to take some adjusting. We have some new programs that will take some campus-wide adjusting to and a bunch of new staff members. I also am officially teaching a year-long, during the day, drama class for the first time, which I haven't really created a semester plan or schedule for yet. I spent the last year developing this theater arts program, which does have a small but dedicated group of returning students, but there will be a lot of new students, and as with any theater program, a new show to put on this semester. I need to get it cast and ideally blocked before I leave so that the sub will only need to solidify blocking, rehearse, and polish. I will be back a couple of weeks before the show actually goes up. I am terrified of walking away from the production elements of this show in September, despite the fact that my amazing students will nevertheless come through for me as they always do. We have no budget, yet I owe the publisher of this play like $100 for production rights. That's honestly not too bad though, considering we raised thousands of dollars last year to get the program going.

Everything will be fine- I just need to take one thing at a time and do as much as I can each day to get as far as  I can before I go. It's just easier said than done because I'm such a "see the big picture" kind of person, which is usually to my advantage, but in this particular situation, I really need to look at it piece-by-piece.

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