Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 1

Today was my first day back with students and I am amazed at how little we got accomplished. It was like in the movies when they fast forward to show elapsed time. Every task I had planned took at least twice as long as I thought (better to have too much than not enough, yes?). I guess the summer slide doesn't just refer to academics (work habits I'm looking at you).

My class is full of students who seem as though they may endear themselves to me quite quickly. I'm not quite over my class from last year, though (I found myself greeting them like long lost children today). This new crop of small friends just don't know me and I don't know them, yet. No one said, "Thanks for having me." at the end of the day. I didn't say, "We'll do it again tomorrow." Give me a week, and I'm sure I will be head over heels for this bunch, too (that's if and only if I choose more sensible shoes in the future).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Who's there?
Phyllis who?
Phyllis in on the latest gossip.
Today, we had our district's big staff meeting. Everyone in the district has to go. Everyone. Before the meeting, we have a breakfast and because I have been at three different schools it feels a little like a family reunion to me. I get to see people I only see every once in a while and catch up (which is just teacherspeak for get the dirt). I have struggled a lot with whether or not I actually wanted to stay in my district (oh, the money I'd save if I didn't). But, it is my family (besides that, where else can you watch your administrators play Minute to Win It right before sexual harassment training?).

I remember this feeling,

the feeling of total overwhelmsies and exhaustion all in one. So this is my third contract day this year and I am beat (I don't even have students, yet). I have so much to much. Today will be spent in the great big all district meeting (think pep rally for teachers followed by, "This is what sexual harassment is, so please just don't.")

Yesterday was spent in our annual school "stuff meeting" (I called it that because of all the things we received to file). At the conference I attended in early August, one of the presenters said something like, "In a few weeks you won't be able to see the forest for the trees." I think she might have meant we wouldn't be able to see the forest because we killed it with all the papers that are necessary to start a school year. At the end of the meeting, our principal did something that she doesn't usually do (she's got a wicked sense of humor) and played a touching video about the story of the kid who throws the starfish one by one back in the water. You may have seen it. Then she gave us each a starfish to remind us that we can make a difference even if it is for just one.

Fast forward to last night. I am meeting and greeting all the families in my class (I think that I might just have the elusive awesome class). After they were all gone, one of my former students came by just to say hi. She is going into eighth grade. She hugged me and told me that I was still her favorite teacher. It almost made me cry when Creative Genius across the hall asked me if she was one of my starfish. And that is why I love this job (most of the time).