Saturday, April 23, 2005

ON BEING LAID OFF ...

Well, it happened again. Last night, I reached into my mailbox and pulled out a "SORRY TO INFORM YOU, BUT YOU'VE BEEN LAID OFF" letter. Yep. It's official, or so the letter says.

This isn't the first time I've been laid off, officially or otherwise. Two years ago, I got the big heave-ho. Officially, I got it once. Unofficially, I got laid off three times ... in one instance, it happened twice in one day.

So, I guess you could say that I'm a veteran at this. I know that I get to keep my insurance for awhile longer, and I understand the quickening heart rate the closer I get to that cut off. I also know all about the sinking feelings you get every time you get a "Dear John" letter from a school district. I also know that, no matter how hard you cry to the staffer for your local state representative, you still won't be able to talk to a real person at the umemployment office! Yep, I've got it all down cold.

This time, however, it's going to be different. I'm approaching it differently. I'm not going to cry. I'm not going to get down. I'm looking at this as an adventure, and quite frankly, I'm overdue for an adventure ... WAAAAAY overdue.

So, the resume is done, and the skeleton cover letter will be complete later on this evening. That leaves only the teacher portfolio to finish revising ... then the real work begins.

Buckle your seatbelts; it's going to be a wild ride!

Monday, April 11, 2005

WE ALL HAVE OUR MOMENTS

Sometimes, I'm so proud of my students ... I can feel my chest puff out, and, for an instant, I can relate to feeling of buttons bursting off my shirt! Then there are other days that I just could wash my hands of them all. Today was just such a day ...

No one followed directions. No one obeyed the rules of polite, kind behavior. No one gave their all ... no one came close to doing their best. And, I suppose, you could include me in on that one too. My students feed off of me, and I was in a terrible mood when I walked into the room this morning. I hate when that happens! I set the tone for the day, and they followed suit by being as hideous as they could possibly be.

13 1/2 more days ...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

POETRY ... SELF-DISCOVERY

I was intimidated by poetry when I was younger. I suppose that's because I wasn't sure how to tackle it or where the author wanted me to seek true meaning.

I guess that's why I decided this year to really spend a lot of time exposing my students to poetry. I didn't want my students to feel incapable of working through a piece of poetry ... to be scared by it. We've studied some wonderful poems, and I tapped into quite a few that I knew they would have immediate connections with ... poets like Kenn Nesbitt and Shel Silverstein. It's been a great year of connecting to the literature and synthesizing and analyzing ...

But here's the really funny thing ... while attempting to help my students become poetry-savvy, I've learned an amazing amount myself! Ironic, isn't it? You set out to educate someone, and you end up educating yourself in the process.

Discovery is an amazingly powerful tool, and one I want to keep at a ready grasp. I want to always have that innate desire to learn and grow ... that feeling deep within that guides me forward to uncover new things. I suppose when that feeling wanes, it's a good indication that life is beginning to wind down.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

A TEACHER'S FIRST BLOG -- APRIL 9, 2005

So, I'm new to this whole blogging thing ... wasn't sure what it was at first, but I'm obsessed with writing, and I was intrigued by this new venue in which to write. So I thought I would give it a try ... and here I am ...

I'm a teacher ... a third grade teacher. I came into this profession later in life ... well, not completely late in life. I started my first job at 29 years of age. I was a late bloomer, you could say. It took me six years to find my current passion (beyond writing), and I have to say, it was worth every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears (lots of tears) to get to this point. I LOVE teaching. Grant it, teaching provides its own heavy dose of blood, sweat, and tears -- sometimes I feel like I'm in the deep trenches doing hand to hand combat and getting no where fast -- but I can't imagine any other job that's more fulfilling.

I'm looking at the last nine weeks of my third year. I have had some monumental ups and tremendous downs. Coming off of an incredibly beautiful spring break week, I'm sitting here wondering what these final nine weeks will be like. What kind of development will I see in my students? What sort of leaps and bounds will be made? What kind of development will I see in myself? What sort of leaps and bounds will I make?

So, I'm thinking this is an evolving medium, but I kind of imagine this being the spot that I can post my feelings, gripes, whines, victories, triumphs from my teaching day ... a diary of a teacher, so to speak.

Enjoy ... and welcome to my world!