well, they pretty much sucked actually.
Now, I'm not one to do a lot of writing on here. I know that I prefer looking at pretty pictures, and so, that is what I do. But sadly, I need to get some mad writing on right about now. Let's just say that in the four years that I have been in the classroom, where I was going to work the next year has always been filled with uncertainty. I am at my 3rd school, and teaching my 5th grade level. Now, with that being said, that brings me to yesterday, where this all begins.
My kids were finishing up working on their displays for the travel fair, that was held today. One of my students was working on his piece for his state, and as I was walking by, he let me know that he included a dumpster in his picture. When I asked him why, he let me know that not everything is perfect, and he wanted to make his piece look as realistic as possible. Ok, good, I like that. Now, I responded by saying, yes, a land with no trash would be quite the utopian society. And, because my kids are awesome, he and his neighbor asked me what that meant, "utopian". So, I tell them it means perfection, a society where everything is without flaws. Something that does not exist. And, with that comment, I find sickening irony in the rest of the afternoon.
We go about our business, all is well, and the kids are excited to show off their state display boards and food for the school and families the next day. I stand by the door and shake their hands on the way out, just as I have done with them every day since August.
Now, here is where things just aren't fair. I have been laid off, not new news to anyone, including me. And, if you have been following this blog long, you know that the plan was for me to loop up with my kids into 6th grade. That means me, my kids, same room, new year, new grade, and an unbelievable amount of awesomeness that would surely follow. When this idea of looping first came up months ago I expressed my concerns to my colleagues around me, letting them know I was not comfortable with looping since I knew my seniority would be in question again come March. I was reassured countless times that things would work out.
So, for some reason, I believed them. I believed that clearly there was some type of seniority fairy that was going to grant me the ultimate wish, one that existed at this particular school because of our "opt-in only" enrollment. Well, now it is all too clear, this was not true.
In May my parents became aware that I was going to be laid off. However, again the said fairy gave me hope. The hope that everyone knew something that I didn't. A massive letter writing campaign began that spanned the entire school. It simply asked, when the teacher in question was hired back to make sure she was hired back to the same site.
It didn't work.
Yesterday, my teaching partner got up the nerve, and I'm so thankful she did, to tell me that my position had been filled that morning. And within 24 hours, all the open positions at my school had been filled with teachers who had "opted out" of their own school sites. These are voluntary transfers that are only granted to title I teachers (low-income sites, for those not teacher vernacular savvy) and sure enough, my job was looking pretty good to them. And yes, they are right. My job is the cherry on top of the sundae.
Once again, I find myself an emotional wreck. I have been through this before so many times you would think that I would be hardened to the whole mess of the situation. Clearly, I'm not. This time brought new challenges. 30 students who had been told and reassured that I would be their teacher next year. However, the seniority fairy never granted us her presence.
So, after a night of about 3 hours of sleep, I knew I had to tell my kids, today. I of course waited until after the travel fair - they were too excited to hear such horrible news. So instead, with 10 minutes till the bell rang to go home, I broke the news. Now, during the day I had been practicing this conversation with several of the parents that had come to see the festivities. And, except for one parent, I had done this without tears. Good, go me. However, that was not the case with my kids. I could hardly get the first sentence out without having to apologize and let them know that I was sorry for my less than "professional" demeanor. Me crying let to many tears, many hugs, and many impromptu gifts, including some homemade salsa left over from fair, (he knew how much I liked it from my many samples earlier).
I don't really know what happens next. I am thankful to at least know before the last day of school. I know, and they know, we are going to make the next 6 days count. I will try to keep my packing to a minimum and as discrete as possible. I can't tell you how it just seems like I was unpacking my boxes in the very same room I now have to leave.
When talking about all the "sucky" business, as I am now referring to it as, my kids just kept saying how quick the year went. And yes, it did. Because we had fun. Everyday. We learned something new. Everyday. I tried something new. Everyday. And we came together as a class in a way I never have experienced before. And we did that, everyday. We had truly created our own utopian classroom. Something I did not think was possible. They proved me wrong. Now, please don't think my children were perfect. In fact, some came to me with some pretty interesting comments on their articulation cards. I chose to ignore those comments and start fresh. And so, we did. We made a classroom where learning happened, and it happened with barely anyone noticing.
I will miss this class. I know I will always look back at this year and remember what they taught me. Now, I will try to move forward and hope to one day soon find the place I will call my home.
But for the next 6 school days, I am going to enjoy what I have. Some really cool kids.