Well I finished my third year of teaching yesterday. In some ways it seems a bit surreal. There are a number of reasons for this:
1) I woke up in a panic at 6:18 this morning, thinking “crap! I slept through my alarm again!”, only to remember it was Saturday.
2) My 4th block class, which was my worst class of this quarter (but not for this year)…many of them wanted to give me hugs yesterday at the end of class. It was odd. But, sweet at the same time.
3) I wasn’t feeling like I’d gotten through very much with my students this quarter — till I made their final and prepped for their speech. We’ve read a lot. However, I’m not sure we were very in depth with it.
4) I survived this year. Like many of my coworkers at my school, and many fellow teachers in the blogosphere, this was a TOUGH year. 2009-2010 is something we can say we made it through. One of my coworkers who teaches freshmen brought something to attention (to a few of us in the English dept) this week. This year’s freshmen were first graders when No Child Left Behind was rolled out. This year’s freshmen were assholes (sorry for the language) to many of their teachers — a sense of entitlement, of “you can’t make me do anything”, of “so-what” regarding consequences was VERY present in this grade at our school. Is it a coincidence that NCLB has shaped their entire education? I think not.
5) I bit off WAY more than I could reasonably chew this year. Besides just teaching (which was under a new curriculum, of sorts) I started grad school (online, thank god — it was wonderful doing homework in my pjs), I was involved in a multi-school effort to get kids discussing social justice, I did after school credit recovery…and that was too much. If I had to choose again I would probably have axed or said no to the multi-school project. It was fun, but I don’t feel I gave it enough attention and that was to the detriment of many.
last but not least
6) I DID receive my contract, and tenure, for next year. For those of you have read me this year, I started getting really nervous about whether or not my school was going to keep me on next year. I haven’t been 100% happy, but part of that is that I still am questioning my effectiveness as a teacher. Part of it has to do with my classroom management skills, but…either way, I need a job. Now, I have one, guaranteed until I decide to find one somewhere else. And, I might look next year. I might not. We’re getting a new principal next year, and she might make enough changes (hall sweeps, jeans every Friday, etc) that my school might become the perfect place for me. I just have this feeling that these kids (from my city’s version of the inner city/urban) need me. All students need great teachers, but…you guys know what I mean…
Now, if only I knew what classes I was teaching next year. Yup…we’re told we probably won’t learn till late July. Can we say STRESS?!