Tuesday, January 31, 2012

sad days at school

I've been blue.  I don't usually advertise my actual problems, nor do I care to share my possible shortcomings.  I always preach to my children "never let them see you sweat."  I don't want to inspire others to think I'm anything but invincible.  But... recently something happened that shook me.  Not even earth shattering, just personal defeat and doubt.

I have been filling in for a teacher on medical leave since sometime in December.  The first few weeks in January, I was there almost every day.  I taught on walking field trips, without electricity in the portable, with my visualizer light blown out, and during snow and holidays.

Eventually, the job became an official "long term medical leave."  Fourth grade, my new favorite grade.

The principal asked me to have a 'mini-interview' with her concerning the job.  Despite the casual sound of this, I actually prepared for it, even dressing up on a casual Friday.  The interview loomed at the end of the day, as a different sub took over the fourth grade class.

I had already bonded with these students.  I had already established routine in the classroom.  Friday night I got the call.  They decided to go a different way.

I could now stand on my soapbox and defend all the thoughts going through your mind, and mine.  I have a master's degree in curriculum.  I am a good teacher.  I know the staff, school, and students.  It really doesn't matter.  Nothing changes.

My reaction from those in the know has almost exclusively been wtf!!?  I am embarrassed.  I am sad.  I'd really rather people think that I just didn't want a long term position right now.  But that would be a lie.

I miss these kids.  I miss the boy that cried on my shoulder about his mother being sick.  I miss the sassy boy that thought he was smarter than me and, realizing I refused a power struggle, started to soften.  I miss the blurting girl that bonded with me when I explained that I also have that tendency, and told her my tools that helped.  I miss the learning support student that actually did work for me.  I miss the five students I've know since kindergarten, when I taught them art lessons.

I have a story for each and every kid, and it's tearing my heart out when they ask "why did you leave us?"

Ugh.  And the new sub... a never before seen young man.  What could this guy do to convince them he's the man for the job that I couldn't do over a year and a half of hard work?  Doubt.  Frustration.  Embarrassment.  Sadness.  Yup- this story's got them all.

So now I plot my new plan.  Teach at a different school?  Return to the college professor route, despite my husbands sighs about more school, less work?  Go into the always advised against 'cause I can't handle the emotions social or charity work?  (I have a child, consumer, and family studies degree, too)  Hold my head high and continue to prove my worth to the principal that doesn't seem to have faith in my abilities?

My tenacity seems to be voting for the last choice.  Sigh.  Here we go again.

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