Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday - let the tide take me away!

I'm looking forward to a weekend - perhaps some yummy, cheap mexican food to start with, washed down with something frozen. My job search is showing a little bit of action. I have almost completed the process to be a substitute - did my drug test (no drugs or alcohol in my system, as I'm a very light, weekend drinker at best), have my paperwork, just have my fingerprinting next week. I learned who is the best contact for new jobs at the orientation, and she told me about several jobs open. Now I play the waiting game to see if principals call for interviews...but at least I am headed in the right direction and "on the radar," so to speak! I feel like Scarlett O'Hara - "I'll NEVER be without a job again" (if I can help it).

My son finishes mid terms today, so he will be ready for a weekend as well. He was like an excited puppy earlier this week, talking about how he had the highest score on recent AP English and AP History tests. Boy, all you need to do as a teacher to motivate him is print out a list of test scores by student number, or tell who the top ones were. If he's not there, he'll hustle to GET there....

My husband has been doing well healthwise, and managing his computer classes. I still don't know if he wants to finish out his five years until retirement or not. It is great to see him happy and content after a couple of rough months. I remember how he was such an amazing teacher 25 years ago, and I was so jealous I wanted to start teaching myself. I can only pray that he finds his way. As teachers, I do feel that what we lose in energy as we get older, we make up for in knowledge and wisdom.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Picking up the little pieces

I spend a lot of time watching sandpipers on the beach - my favorite shore bird. To be so small in such a large world! I am trying to remember that dwelling on daily troubles, or worrying about a certain possible future, represent wasted energy, and are just not worth it! Better to be grateful each day for awakening and drawing a breath, one that is free of physical pain or mental anguish. Like the sandpiper, I have been going along gathering little pieces this week, content in my actions - chatting with a store clerk, comforting a friend, making a cake for family, picking up my son and his friends from school, sitting outside in the sun with the dog.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Going forward, not backward

I know my teenage son is tired of hearing this, but it IS true. As human beings, we can only go forward, not backward, and that is my mantra as I continue to look for teaching jobs that open up during the school year. My husband is feeling better each day, but his recent health problems have emphasized to me the importance of having a job! Would I have made the same decision to leave my private school teaching job last year, if I could have forseen recent events? Who was a crazy time last school year, and being able to say "I'm leaving" gave me much needed peace last May. As much as I could use extra cash as a substitute, I am also hesitant to go back as a sub to my old school. As Scarlett said, "I'll think about that tomorrow." Or next tax year....

Mark and I had two wonderful walks this past weekend - one to local fort and nature preserve, and one at the beach. The weather is just about perfect here in Georgia in October!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Principals on Power Trips

I had a wonderful morning walk at the south end of the beach last week, and took this photo. Morning sunlight makes the water and sand looked as though each has been dusted in silvery glitter, alight with new possibilities for the day! This old tree had washed up on a sand bar.
My son and I have been talking about school administrators a lot on the way to his high school in the morning. Last week he had dress down days for homecoming - no uniforms! - but the week was marred by the "rules" for each day being changed at the last minute. Why is it so hard to get a school administrator that can relate to teenagers? What good is a dress down day if you can't wear jeans? This is a minor, inconsequential thing, but indicative of the larger problem. Do administrators give up brain cells when they take on this job? Why do they act as though they never set foot in a classroom as a teacher themselves?

I went by my local branch of the public library and was amused to see a display of "banned books" - books that were banned when they first came out or thereabouts. Kudos to the librarian who prepared that one! I saw books from 1900s on to present. Surely the best way to get someone to read a book is to ban it, but the whole idea of book banning is like poison to a teacher/English major. A book incident was the beginning of the end for me and one previous administrator. Now, mind you, I welcome positive or negative comments from peers, administrators, students and parents on book study choices, and I will follow what a principal decides with grace. BUT DON'T DIS A BOOK UNTIL YOU HAVE READ IT!

When I attended my son's public high school, we had an amazing administrator - she was respected and loved by all. She brought together two races, both disgruntled a bit over busing, and made the student body a unified whole. Then, when I started teaching, my husband and I each worked at separate public elementary schools in the downtown area. Our principals were close friends, and just about perfect. Both have long since retired, but the ones who rise to take over leave a lot to be desired. I have come to the conclusion that power truly can corrupt, and much quicker than ever before!