9.07.2007

some good, some bad...but there's hope

All week I've been looking forward to posting some photographs of my classroom, but unfortunately I received some bad news today. Because of low enrollment, {the story of my life for the last 3 years as I've been trying to secure a teaching position} I'll likely become "displaced" at some point next week. Needless to say, I'm pretty disappointed. All sorts of thoughts are going through my head right now...mostly though, doubts of my decision to switch careers from advertising/event marketing to teaching. What's confusing is the passion I think I have for education. But really, how do I know if it's my passion when I've not really been given an opportunity? The glimmer of hope is that I've signed a contract, so I guess that means the district has to try to place me at another school. Here's my question: with enrollment at an all time low, there must be other teachers in my situation. How can there possibly be enough students for all the displaced teachers? Of course, my questions couldn't be answered today. When will they be answered? On Monday...my 30th birthday. Let me take you back to last year...Rob proposed on Sunday, September 10th (my 29th birthday) and on Monday, September 11th, I was let go from a teaching position. So I've already been through this experience and I know I'll wake up tomorrow with a spirit that will push me to continue pursuing my dream to teach. Tonight though, I'm sad and a little teary-eyed. I was really, really looking forward to working at this particular middle school in 'da hood of the LBC. The kids (can't call them "mine" anymore) are sweet and the staff is supportive. One of the teachers is even an original "Freedom Writer" - how freakin' cool would it have been to work along side her? I know one day I am going to be a great teacher...my chance just hasn't come yet.

Here's what would have been my classroom...
My students were going to bring in some of their "Favorite Things!"

The "Favorite Things!" wall

The front of the classroom
My wonderful husband helping with last minute fixes

The cookies I made the night before the 1st day of school for the janitorial staff (they have been incredibly helpful)

As I've been writing, deleting, and writing again, I keep thinking of the little boy that was sent to my class at the end of the school day this afternoon. This middle school has a "buddy" system for teachers. When a student is being super disruptive, we have an agreement that before we send the student to the office, we send them to another classroom so both the teacher and the student can "cool-off". This little boy literally stormed into my classroom yelling, "I know a lot about fire and guns. I'm going to use guns to burn the school down." Well, yes, technically, this is a threat, but this is also a special day class student with some emotional disorders. At first, I was pretty darn freaked out and wasn't sure what to do. This poor kid was so angry he had tears in his eyes and was shaking. He was so frustrated that he couldn't get out what he needed to say. I let him talk and he calmed down after a couple minutes. Eventually we started talking about good and bad choices and what to do next time he's getting threatened at school - verbally or physically (which both happened today). I asked him why he didn't tell a teacher or another adult what happened. He told me that his mom told him that he should never interrupt an adult when it looks like they are busy doing something important. That's why he didn't say anything earlier - every time he saw a teacher or an adult after the incident, to this little boy, it looked like they were busy doing something important. I don't know if this little kid will actually tell someone next time, but if anything, I hope I drilled in his head this afternoon that our jobs as teachers are to help students, all the time, even if it looks like we are busy doing something "important". This is why I love teaching. I really hope I'm given an opportunity soon...

11 comments:

WeezerMonkey said...

I hope you get another gig soon! You are too cute with your cookies for the janitorial staff -- incredibly sweet.

only1erin said...

sorry to hear about that alyssa. keep the updates coming as to where you end up! :-) and happy early 30th!

Nanette said...

That sucks. :( I hope they can place you in another school. And I agree, those cookies were a very sweet gesture.

Kay said...

hi alyssa,

i am so sorry to hear about that. looks like you've put a lot of effort into making this school year wonderful for the students and its a loss that you will not be able to see it through. don't give up on your dream to teach, you will be a great teacher =)

Enjoy Celebrations and Occasions said...

You have learned one important lesson - always bring treats for the custodians. They are your best friends.
As for the job, I just can't believe it. Hopefully they can settle everything quickly and you can move on to "just teaching" without always having a major crisis to deal with. And, who knows? Maybe there will be a huge wave of people moving to Long Beach this weekend! Positive thinking!

dapotato said...

after reading this, i have no doubt that you'll be an awesome teacher-with-a-job soon. you're already an awesome teacher from the looks of it.

Keely said...

My best girl friend is a teacher in Culver City and it took her a long time to get her position - which still isn't quite full time. I know how frustrating it can be, especially when you enjoy the kids and have so much to offer them. There are tons of teaching opportunities here, but the problem is they are here. I'll be thinking of you and hoping that you get a position soon. And Happy Birthday! 30 was my favorite year so far! :)

Crispy said...

Alyssa, here is what I see: You're a gardner with all these wonderful seeds to plant and your tender care will create a beautiful garden for kids. A safe, nourishing and delightful place for them, a classroom of compassion. I see the dissapointment in your news, anyone would have been torn up with that to process just hours after school begins??! It makes me question the administrative wisdom of the school district. Still, be faithful to the calling, the place will materialize. It will.

Jolene said...

Gosh, I was teary-eyed alongside you to hear this news. These kids are being robbed from such a wonderful person that can teach them so much. I know you will get the position you've been waiting for soon Alyssa...and when you do, I will be one of the first to celebrate with you. Keep your chin up. Love you.

R said...

Alyssa, hang in there. It really sucks that you're going through this, but I hope it just means there is a school where your obvious talents and passion can be better utilized. Don't give up. :)

amber said...

huge hugs alyssa. from the sound of it, you're going to make an excellent teacher, but i can only imagine how frustrating all of this is. definitely don't give up. somewhere there is a classroom of students for you, whose lives will be enriched having you as their teacher. keep your chin up and don't give up hope yet. :)