2016: At Least It’s Almost Over

2016

I closed out my last post of 2015 with this:

And 2016…please be better than 2015.

I don’t even have a response to that at this point. Between everything in the world at large (the U.S. election, Aleppo, Brexit, seemingly another celebrity death every day) and my own world (job loss, financial insecurity, family challenges, career change), 2016 has had a lot of horrible things in it.

Last year I did a huge year in review post. This year, I’m keeping it simple. Continue reading

Fa la la la la…I broke my badass resolutions

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For being such a realist/pessimist, I sometimes surprise myself with my optimism.

Take last January, for example.

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a post, which I admitted at the time was written with “wide-eyed optimism.” You can read it here if you’re interested. In it I listed my badass resolutions for 2016.

Um.

So…

Yeah. That happened.

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On the fairly optimistic side, I did follow through on some of the resolutions, and I’m proud of that. Continue reading

Time Marches On


The last few months have alternately dragged and sped by. The days are slow, but then suddenly it’s time to file my weekly unemployment certification again, proving that I’m still looking for a job.

November 8th felt like it would never, ever come, and now I wish it was October again (for the sake of my local races as much as the presidential campaign).

But time keeps marching on. My unemployment account shows so many weekly certifications that I have to scroll down to see them all. November 8th unfortunately happened.

And suddenly it’s Thanksgiving and the radio station has switched to holiday music 24/7 and the decorations that were up too early are now appropriate…

and it’s been almost a semester since I taught a class of kids. 

No back to school rituals. No teaching calendar routines or triple-checking how everyone goes home. No learning about the seasons or apples or pumpkins. I didn’t read Skeleton Hiccups this year and then listen to kids chant “Hic, hic, hic” all day (week) long. I didn’t teach about Pilgrims and the Mayflower and Squanto and how they planted corn with dead fish.

Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas was on tv tonight. I watched a few minutes of it and was reminded how my kids always loved the parts with the dog-turned-reindeer. (I’ve always loved it too.)

My DVD will stay on the shelf this year. I don’t need to bring it and my laptop to school to show it to my class.

A more cynical someone might sneer at these musings. With everything that’s going on in the world–and no, I haven’t forgotten about that Secretary of Education nominee–this is what I’m focusing on?

Well…yes. For now, anyway. In the midst of job hunting and the difficulties I continue to face with that, the part that often gets forgotten about is the time with the kids. Not the data meetings, the assessments, the push to raise test scores at the expense of everything else–I still hear about those all the time from my teacher friends. I don’t miss those a bit.

But watching my kids’ faces light up on field trips…seeing them perform their music program they’ve practiced for so long…reading a book and having them read along with me…I miss that.

Having old (former) kids coming back to visit…developing a community where you can say “remember the time when ___?” and they know the story you’re about to tell…getting to know these short, funny, never-boring people…I miss that.

I miss my kids.

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There are a lot of us who have been bullied, a lot of us who left the teaching profession altogether because of it. In the coming days, I’m going to be announcing a project I’m developing to amplify the voices of the teachers who are no longer in the classroom. Please subscribe below so you will be the first to hear about it, and if you know someone who is no longer teaching, please forward this to them. Thank you!

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About Last Night…

It really happened.

Last night really happened.

I was literally shaking as the results kept coming in. As we hurtled towards a horrifying conclusion.

I’ve been very angry for almost 24 hours. In the last few hours it’s started to move towards bitter resignation. Of course the bully won. Of course we tell our children one thing and then reward the opposite behavior.

I have a lot of friends who are teachers. Here is a sampling of what they said about today: Continue reading

#StopWorkplaceBullying

stop-workplace-bullying

Sometimes your subconscious reveals things you hadn’t already put together.

About ten days ago there was a Twitter storm to stop workplace bullying. BATs participated to bring awareness to the issues teachers face when they are bullied. At first I thought I might come up with some one-liners to tweet out over the thirty minute Twitter storm.

And then I realized I had blog posts to share about this.

Turns out, Continue reading

This Is Why Tenure Matters

this-is-why-tenure-matters

Being unemployed has allowed me the opportunity to reconnect with friends I haven’t heard from in months or even years. The non- or former teachers have more time to talk, so we’ve met for lunch or dinner or coffee. Those who are still teaching are a lot busier, so it’s been a lot of text messages or Facebook Messenger.

So late one night a few weeks ago I sent a quick message to a teacher friend, not expecting a reply until after school the next day. To my surprise Continue reading

47 Reasons I Can’t Find A Teaching Job

47-reasons-i-cant-find-a-teaching-job

Summer is over, which means kids are back to school (and parents are rejoicing).

I’m still at home.

I’ve completed paperwork in several districts. I’ve applied for teaching positions. I’ve emailed principals and called them on the phone. I’ve reached out to friends who have suggested jobs and let me know of openings in their orbit.

Nothing.

I filed for unemployment the other day. I’m going to try to get a teaching job for another few weeks and then… Continue reading