Monday, October 27, 2008

Cat is Out of the Bag

Some of my students started asking me last Tuesday if I was going somewhere. When they asked me I told them that I was possibly leaving, that I was on a list of teachers who might move. Then Wednesday I was asked by my entire last period class so I came clean and told them that I was likely to get transferred but I didn't know. Now they're all asking me every day because they've heard teachers talking and administrators talking and so the cat is officially out of the bag--when they ask I refuse to lie to them.

My second period class and fourth period class knew last week but I didn't tell my homeroom kids/first period class because I couldn't face them. But they've heard, and many of them came to me rather sad after school today. It breaks my heart. They're asking if they can hang out in my room with me after school, if they can clean up, if they can bring me gifts, etc. For the first time this year I'm rushing out of the building right at 3 because I can't take it. Most of the kids are so cute and small and they wear their emotions pinned on their jackets like mittens. It makes me too sad to be around them.

I'm slowly loading all my books and gear into milk crates and stuffing them into my car. It's a big job setting up a room and a big job tearing one down. Having to do that once per year is enough, and I'ma have to do each twice. I'm trying to decide on my approach for next week at The March. I told Ms. R the hard-core Administrator where I was going today and she blanched. "Them East Siders think different. You best know how to approach them. They resort to violence much more quickly." I'm getting my first-day strategy together already. Going into a classroom where no instruction has happened all year and there's been no accountability is going to be a treat. It's going to take me time to set boundaries and expectations, and I'm going to have to be diplomatic and flexible. At the Book I was tough and inflexible at the get-go and showed increasing warmth and flexibility as we went. I think on the East Side I'ma do the reverse. I'm going to invite the students into the process as much as possible, asking what they need in order to feel safe and to get their learning done, and what kind of decor they want on the walls, etc. Then we move from there into "getting to know each other" activities. I won't get teaching done for at least a couple weeks.

I'll have no time to set up my classroom until after the first day there--I'll have to work in the evenings to do it. Fucking bullshit.


alicia said...

It's so sad to read these posts, again, I'm so sorry for you and for your kids. This just sucks.

Designerd said...

I just can't believe this shit is happening to you. I wait on pins and needles every day to read the blog to see if anything is improved???

We got the kids thank you notes from DonorsChoose this weekend. It broke my heart (not an easy feat, as we all know what a tough sarcastic jackass I can be) To know that those kids are losing one of the only good things they HAVE at that school... a good teacher.

I swear to god I give up...

fernie said...

Well this Mom isn't packing you a lunch for your new school. I've ordered a suit of armor, tazer gun, and 38 special. I don't care what you believe, I'm on my knees praying.