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April 30, 2008

Bittersweet was what it was. Finishing the spring concert and having to sign paperwork that condemns me to another year of close observation that I won’t receive is very bittersweet.

I’m thinking of how this year has been full of trial and full of worry and full of hatred of what I’ve gotten myself into and how I haven’t been able to pull myself out of it. Every attempt has faltered, every step has been weary. But all this is just exposition.

I stand before some two or three hundred people, holding my arms in the air, with many pairs of eyes on me, waiting for my next move, and I’m wondering why I’ve had to wait til the end, when it has really stopped mattering, to get the attention of these kids. It’s superficial at best, for as soon as this concert is over, they will go back to ignoring me. This, I know. Even while this is the best moment we will have, here together, making music, it is one a long time coming, and I wonder if it was worth it most days.

Having tried to keep my feet wrapped around the idea that I am here to learn and I have learned and so I am exactly where I need to be, I still find myself a little tear-struck when a bad day gets worse. I’ve taken to talking to my school mentor, a teacher designated to hear me out when I’m getting stressed and offer me some guidance. She is an ever-present ear and heart and I thanked her for being such at the concert. She told me that all my fighting with the kids paid off because the concert was the best she’d ever heard from this band. I nearly fell apart in front of her, in front of her husband and many other strangers.

I don’t know how I keep getting up in the morning. I don’t know how the singular thought, “the kids need to play today,” can possibly still keep me going. I’m feeling very woulda coulda lately, and thinking about how I’m gonna rectify my next year, but I signed a piece of paper saying that the “Schools” recognize that I need more help. My mother says that when she has to fire someone after their 90-day trial period, she feels she failed as a boss. I don’t think I’m getting that kind of sympathy from my own employers.

How can a principal that has observed me twice in the course of 181 days give an accurate judgment of my teaching ability? How can he say I haven’t done the things he’s asked me to, when in meeting after meeting he agreed that I was completing the requirements of my Professional Growth Plan? How can he tell me that parents complain about me and that justifies his actions, then tell me the parents have stopped complaining, and still ask me to resign.

I wish my own boss had been willing to help me. I don’t know how many times I told her I needed to meet on the weekend to go over some things that I need her opinion on, and she simply ignored me. Lazy has never been so uninviting. I can’t believe I’ve allowed myself to be part of it.

I’m not a violent person, but when I think about it too much, I want to punch a wall. I’m drowning in debt and bills, like everyone else, and now I will spend the next three months is mostly unemployed uncertainty while I try to find a job that will see me for what I can be, not for what I’m not.

*shakes head*



  1. Sweetie, hold still while I wrap my virtual arms around you. *hug*

    Look, it’s all about the lesson. It may well be that the place you’re in right now is supposed to teach you something besides what’s on your professional growth plan. It could well be that the lesson is about advocating for yourself in ways that makes recalcitrant people listen to you, or it could be that the lesson is that you don’t stay where you’re not getting what you need. I don’t know the situation well enough to be even a poorly informed judge, but I’d say, given your musings about this, that another year in this place isn’t going to serve you.

  2. *big hug* You know I’m here if you need me.

  3. *hugs* Sweetie, I’m sorry your boss wasn’t there for you. Having been a student for most of my life (heck I still consider myself one, still learning, right?) a teacher needs to be available for you. Your “teacher” didn’t seem to be and that’s rather sorry. I hope that whatever comes your way next goes better.

  4. You did what you went there to do. YOu learned, and now you can move into the next year more focused with more experience. YOu know where you are lacking more and can pick. YOu got the experience you need to move on with a better look at teaching. Maybe the next job you have will be such that you can appreciate what you have already experienced. I know you will do well just be yourself and focus on what you want to do. Teach.

  5. […] August 27, 2008 I just finished a texting conversation with one of the students I taught back in New Mexico. He was drum major, a saxophonist, and is now a music major at the university in Pville. He’s […]

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