14 May 2007


Seven weeks to go until school gets out and I'm counting the days (how do I loathe thee, let me count the ways-). I'm still enamored by the kids and some have said that they want to spend the summer with me (although, perhaps that was more motivated by a desire to play with my kitten than to write sonnets with me). In that sense, I'm lucky because there's a huge mutual love society between the students and me.

I find myself staying positive because I fake it, so it's easier to sometimes feel it. I'm so disappointed that this was where I spent my first year of teaching.

It hasn't been all negative: the fact that I have complete creative control over my curriculum and methodology is rare and I like that I've been able to develop a strong, consistent teaching style on my own. But I wish I had mentors, wish that someone were checking in on me, wish that I had at least been observed once or collaborated with someone on *something* this year. After all, who am I to preach groupwork and think-pair-share if I don't even do it?

I look forward to next year because I'm only going to sign on with a school with proper, certified teachers, and an unhidden agenda. CEO R. C.'s point three on his August Powerpoint was "to preach the gospel and witness to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior." The school has never recovered in my mind from that, but I'll admit that I had several complacent months in which I thought about staying because, well, it would be easier than standing up for my principles.

I don't want to burn bridges when I leave, but I can't help but realize that I only have a few friends at this school. I've been told twice in recent months that I don't belong here and that I never should have come because I don't subscribe to the school's belief system. I've come to agree. Strongly. I've been criticized by others for planning field trips, student publications, and experiential activities that no one else is doing- "you're opening a door that the other teachers don't want to walk through." I've had a lot of fingers pointed at me all year, but never more so than in the past few months.

So I'm going to walk through a new door, one that other teachers *can't* walk through. I realize that at my next school, there will be disappointing moments and teachers who don't know what they're doing. But that's always the case. I'm looking forward to working with my peers. I'm looking forward to not being put down for doing my job. I'm looking forward to not having to mumble the name of my school when people ask where I teach.

I have a contract on the table, one more forthcoming, and two less formal offers. It feels good. I can't wait.

betholindo at 12:24

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