What a long, strange trip it’s been.
When I was young, I always assumed that teachers chose a job, got hired, and stayed in that position until they retired or died. I was grossly misled. I now know of the constant shuffle that is the education system where randomness tends to play a big part. While I sat at home disappointed in myself for skipping calls from the sub system mainly out of fear, I never thought that I’d be offered a semi-long term position on a Monday and start on a Wednesday. I dove fear first into 9 weeks of lesson plans, inclusion, English projects, state assessment testing, grade books, parent meetings, team meetings, teacher collaboration, school dances, kickball tournaments, and even a full on lip sync battle for the ages.
I packed up a room and signed out on the teachers’ last day of school for the first time. It really is a full day of work. For some it takes much longer. I had to get grades printed, saved, zipped, and emailed, throw away tons of student work (#sorrynotsorry) and other random papers, pack up tons of books, completely tear down all decorations, and unplug and organize all of the electronics. I ran around getting a bunch of signatures from the secretary, the tech guy, librarian, vice principal and principal, turning in color coded forms logging student fines, text book inventories, collected monies, maintenance requests, technology inventories, and wish lists. Finally I locked my door and turned in my keys.
I use the word “my” loosely. None of those things were ever mine. I was responsible by default for a temporary amount of time. Nevertheless, I count myself lucky to have had such a great introductory experience in the strange and ever-changing world of school from the other side of the desk. The teachers were helpful, the students were challenging, the principal was supportive, and I gained invaluable experience and possibly more important, confidence.
This chapter has come to an end, but there are many adventures ahead. This summer, professionally speaking, I’ll be taking 2 Praxis tests, applying for jobs, and will start practicing with the cheerleading squad. I’m happy to stay busy and excited to see where my winding path takes me.