The first semester is finished...and so is my full-time tenure at "the f'ed up school," as my friends call it. There is a non-student day tomorrow and things begin afresh next week.
As for me? I'm looking forward to having more time and headspace to do my doctoral study. I am working on collecting data and analyzing data this spring. There is more literature to read and insert into my drafty chapters. All of this will be a lot simpler without the additional 60 students...plus all of the adult drama to be had at that school. I have sought out a bit of part-time work to supplement the bank account, something that will also feed and nurture my educator's heart and soul.
Mr. McNamar recently posted the need to feel some sense of ownership in a school. I know exactly what he means. I see the sneers when people refer to "my school." I usually jump in and remind them that other than showing up to teach, there is nothing of myself there. It is not mine...not a place I would ever claim on a resume or be proud to say that I was associated with. My afternoons from now on, however, will be very different---and very positive. There will be a building where the needs of children are considered to have the utmost priority. It is a place where there is intellectual curiosity among the staff and ideas have value, even in the face of great odds for its students.
Raise your glass tonight. Make a toast with me. Let us not be gleeful over the passing of first semester, but hopeful in the coming of Spring.