Sunday, August 21, 2005

about 34 hours of summer vacation left

Here it is. One full day left before I report back to school. I'm sad, excited, grumpy, anxious, and not ready. I'm never ready. Just like no one is ever really ready for anything important.

I still don't have my class schedule, or know with whom I'm sharing that corner room, or know what my prep period will be. I've been in to the classroom three times over the last two weeks, and all my furniture is still piled up high in one corner of the room. I can't move it, and for some reason the custodians who put it there don't feel the need to put it back. I kept waiting, finally going in search of the guys on Friday; they were in a meeting downtown. Darn it. This isn't just moving a desk a few feet, when I say "piled" I mean piled. Everything all jumbled up and on top of other things. I don't think only one person could do it, let alone weakling me (who, by the way, hurt her back badly a few years ago when attempting to not "be a bother" in almost the same situation).

Another cause for worry is that Vice Principal just left last week for greener pastures, and he was wonderful. He kept high-strung Principal from getting too crazy and anal, and now we have to find a new VP. VP and I have known each other for 10 years, and he will be very missed. This is part of how it goes at Unnamed Junior High School. Teachers come and go very quickly sometimes. It's almost as if we keep our distance a bit from the newbies, at least on a social level, until we know they'll be here for a while. The probationary period lasts two years; any one can be asked not to return with no reason at all. It's a bit shitty, but it's the way it works. Just last year, someone who had been at our school for two years, had been in several classrooms over that time, and had taught several levels, was let go. It's all whispers too when this happens, and no one knows exactly why.

I don't worry about this myself, I feel pretty secure in my position. Principal knows I'm a good teacher, and knows I care deeply about my students, I think he also wishes I didn't have to be so damn argumentative. He's from the school of "Being a team player is everyone doing it my way without any questions." He can be difficult. We've had a hard time of it, but I believe there's grudging respect there too.

On Tuesday, the teachers all go back and sit through silly beginning of the year meetings, when really we're all itching to get to work in our classrooms. There are lessons to plan and class rosters to create, and rooms to dust and spruce up (mostly with our own money).

The latest I heard was that our supply budget, (which hasn't changed in the last 10 years, mind you), was going to be reduced by 40%. I should have just enough this year for a black ink cartridge for my computer and a couple dozen number two pencils.

Office supplies. My brother gives them to me every year for Christmas because he's a teacher too. It's sad how excited I get over them. But, other than the lack of money, and respect, and support from our federal and state government, and the ridiculous pressures of mandatory testing, I love my job.

Let's see how this year goes.

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