Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Secret Life of Teachers: A Day in the Life of the Displaced

6:30 I enter Starbucks looking RIDICULOUS. I have on my school T-Shirt, a bandanna that says "A+ for Teachers; We'll School You," and yoga pants. The barrista seems amused by my outfit. I can't help but think, "I wonder if I'll ever go to this place anymore if I am at a different school by a different Starbucks?"
6:45 I get to school early, as always. It's all about copies first thing in the am. Miss Kindergarten is already at the copy machine. She tells me she couldn't sleep last night because she heard about another district in the city that laid off 250 teachers.
7:40 I go outside to pick up my class. I am greeted by a loud chorus of "tea-chers,tea-chers..." My class wants the teachers to win the Staff vs. Fifth Grade kickball game.
8:00 The fifth graders win the kickball game, and, no, we did not let them win. My class runs out on the field to hug me. They want me to know that I kicked the kickball better than anyone they've ever seen. I wonder, "Is this the last time I play in this kickball game?"
9:00 It is teaching time. The day speeds by, and on Wednesdays the kids go home at 12:45.
12:45 We have a staff training on the specifics of implementing RTI next year. All the talk about next year is prefaced by a big fat "IF" in my mind. My team is actually excited about it and we start making plans, but I end it saying, "I just don't want to play this game because I may not be here." That was the first time I said anything about it, but clearly displacement had been bothering me all day long.
3:30 Commute home. It is 90 degrees plus, and the black war paint under my eyes is starting to run down my face.
3:45 I walk straight in my door and hit the showers, literally. I catch a glimpse of my face in the mirror and I look even more RIDICULOUS than I did in the morning.

I'll get up tomorrow and have a very similar experience. Until May 18, when the election decides my future, I will keep thinking about the possibility of ending my time at my school. I think when I know, even if it is not the answer I want, I will at least have something new to look toward. In the meantime, this is hard.

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