June 16, 2008

Packing it All Up

As the school year draws to a close, my elementary school colleagues are busy sweating out their end of the school year rituals. No other job offers the yearly benefit of closure and paid vacation; Time to regroup and then to begin anew. Before the joys and freedom of summer can happen, however, a teacher must digest their final helping of last minute demands(abuses), pressure(threats) and anxiety(fear of imperfection). Meeting deadlines(rushing), planning graduations(grin and bear it), budget meetings(more cuts and layoffs), attending award ceremonies(keep smiling), teacher luncheons(not another one), retirement collections(I don't even know her!), reorganization(favoritism at is' best), rating sheets(the final blow), shuffling articulation cards(those poor kids) and the honorary passing of the file cans(whew, you made it).

It is a time to ponder many questions- Should I extend a kindness to the next teacher and complete the file cards or leave the cards for her to fill out in September? Should I run away? Should I turn in my real classroom keys, or -uh just the ones that are useless to me and anyone else who finds them? Should I leave up the backing or rip it down? Should I run away? Should I pack it up or just cover it? Will I have to move my classroom? Will I have a classroom? Will my stuff still be here in September? What should I do with these?( We may never be able to get 'these' again.)-And in the end, nothing ever gets thrown out. The senior teachers have been packing it up since the beginning of March and the newbies are scrambling for closet space while learning the true value of a clean empty carton (They never take advice). Pack Rats we are, always will be. Let's not forget the dreadful thought of having your classroom used for summer school...The thought of unknowns granted free reign of your room and the opportunity to take, use and destroy everything you've worked so hard to maintain.
The trials of teaching. I can't say that I miss them. Although I do miss some of my colleagues, my present situation has taught me who my real friends are. I am grateful to be away from the toxicity of an unfair administration and the daily injustices I've beared witness to. I am grateful to have removed the rose colored glasses and clearly see through the facade that our country calls Public Education.

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