Ten random things.
1. I am VERY much looking forward to starting the year. While I’m still not 100% confident of my plans, I know from experience that it’ll all work out. As I’ve been telling my teacher-blogger friends, I have a really good feeling about this year.
2. I’m also eager to see some of the kids again (though I have to re-familiarize myself with some of their pseudonyms). There’s one boy in particular that I’m eager to see – he and I have a daily tradition of telling each other which song is playing in our respective heads, and I’ve missed not having anyone to tell that bit of weirdness to (at the moment, it’s “Too Late” by Carole King. Don’t ask me how it got in there, but there it is…)
3. My classroom is almost completely put together. A friend and I did a commando raid on IKEA yesterday and obtained more book cases (two of which I put together yesterday; the other two will get built this afternoon). My sister-in-law (how much do I love THAT?!) gave me a box full of geeky teacher things – sheet protectors, Post-its, scissors, that sort of thing – that I’ve got to put away this afternoon, too.
4. Mike and Will are planning on putting up some drywall and making an office for the English department. As soon as the fire inspector okays the plans, the walls will go up. It’ll be good to have that space; we’re not a department of one (as many of my colleagues are) and having a spot to work while our room is being used is going to be important. For now, we’ve blocked off the space with metal cabinets and, while that works, it is not at all elegant or practical.
5. We teachers are officially back tomorrow (the kids start next week), but most of the day will be spent resetting the spaces that haven’t yet been brought under control. Since we THOUGHT we’d be moving to new digs this summer, everything was packed up in anticipation of the move. Now it’s all got to be UN-packed and replaced, and a bunch of rooms are shifting purpose and people are relocating into different spaces. The girls and I will go in this afternoon to finish working in “my” room (the quotes are because it’s not MY room; I’m sharing it with Will and Mike, but writing that all out every time is tedious), and we’ll head in tomorrow after Punkin’s appointment to see if we can be of any use to the folks who aren’t settled yet. It’s not fun work (remember the last time YOU moved?), but it’s got to be done.
6. I’m eager to spend time with my coworkers on a regular basis again. We have a really kick-ass team put together, and I can’t wait to see what kind of magic we can work during the school year. I’m especially looking forward to seeing TK (my work husband and an all around snarky son of a bitch), and to having Sphrynatude be a regular part of my days. Will got a part-time contract and will be a regular fixture in the school as he goes back to college to earn his teaching degree (yay!). I’m dying to work more closely with Mike, my colleague from Local U; he has an energy about him that I find simultaneously attractive and challenging. Then, of course, there’s Bob (DUDE!), about whom I feel terribly conflicted. He’s looking for new work, and he’s said he will leave if he finds it. I want for him to find a gig that he really wants, and I completely understand why he feels he needs another situation, but I really, really love having him be a part of our team.
7. I know it’s not very charitable to say so, but I’m really glad that a number of students aren’t coming back this year. There are quite a few kids who I’m relieved I’ll not have to deal with in class again. That being said, there are quite a few kids who graduated last term who I’m going to miss very much (Yes, I’m looking at YOU, Kiki!). It’s all about balance, I suppose…
8. The board held a meeting in “my” room last week and no one raised any objections about the Buddha. In fact, I’m not certain that anyone even really noticed him – no mention of him has made its way back to me – though I KNOW that the room was scrutinized fairly carefully. I’m leaving him right where he is.
9. The science teacher from last year decided to take some time off to be a full-time dad. His wife got a better job than he had, and the decision was kind of a no-brainer (and I love the commitment he has made to his family. It reminds me of the truth in the bumper sticker that says “men who change diapers change the world.”). I’m going to miss him a great deal; he brought a kind of carefree levity to the place – nearly perfectly balanced with an iron-clad commitment to integrity – that can never be replaced. He was also the guy who blew the didgeridoo to get the day started, and I’m wondering if anyone is going to pick up that mantle….
10. I feel like I’ve been away for far too long. While others are lamenting the end of summer vacation, I’m rejoicing in going back to the work that I love, to feeling useful and necessary, and to interacting with kids and colleagues who inspire me to continue to strive for my best self.