Saturday, May 23, 2009

A new beginning all over again.

I have a new job! I'm feeling sort of half and half about it. Or, well, I was. I found out from TT last Friday as I was driving home. He sounded more confused than anything, saying my name was on the list for the corporation-wide posting results. I'd gotten the LifeSkills job at another elementary school. See, I hadn't told him I was applying for a new job. I didn't think I'd get it, so I didn't spread it around except to a few close friends working with me (I'm close to the third grade teachers, we have the same lunchtime). I couldn't even finish a sentence on the phone. I was trying to cover myself, really, because I felt terrible that he was so surprised by this. I hung up and called my dad and cried and cried. He understood how I felt but was also happy for me. All weekend I was torn. I mean, this is what I wanted, and my job is draining and makes me sick and miserable and negative. But while I am sick and run down, I'm changing these kids. And I can't even tell you how many coworkers, some not even in the school, have come up to tell me how well I'm running it and how different it is, and parents are telling me how this is the best year of school yet for their child. So Monday morning, I come in to school, and everyone asks me if I'm leaving. No one has actually called me, mind you. But my job was posted and put in everyone's mailbox. I talked to my principal and she confirmed it. So I started to actually get happy when people started congratulating me.

Fast forward to Wednesday, when I had to tell the students I was leaving. You can read about that in the last post. It was so hard to see their faces. And I know that most teachers have kids leave each year, but special ed teachers stay with their kids for a long time. So that was hard. That night I bought a ton of stuff for a party on Thursday. We had balloons, I got each kid a present (a car or stuffed animal, very gendered, but this was not the time for my soapbox), we had a lots of snacks, and it was just a blast. Very chaotic, and too crazy for me to even cry.

I went to visit my new school yesterday. It's way out on the west side, as far as you can get before it's no longer our corporation. In fact, I'm shocked that it's even in our district. So I drive out there, and it is just the cutest little school. When I came in, it was like walking back in time. It just looked....retro? I don't know the word. And then when I went in my classroom, I just got a sense of being at summer camp. The way the light came in through the windows and the pull down shades, all the wood in the shelves and the ceiling in the cafeteria, faded but carefully decorated walls. The principal sounds very supportive. She is very outgoing and has a strong personality and I was intimidated at first, but as soon as she began talking about the different things my class would do, I got excited. I guess my classroom makes popcorn every other Friday, and we count out the money from that. We also count and separate the money from the pop machine. We do laundry for the rest of the school, for towels and rags and whatnot (Mrs. K said she's pretty adamant about the school being clean and hygienic). We have permission to use the kitchen in the lounge. She insists that the students eat in the cafeteria and be with their peers as much as possible. I guess she's had a lot of people who don't want to do that, but I really really do.

Reins of Life is right next door, and we will go once a week to do that. SO EXCITED. We will go to another elementary school by my parents' house and swim once a week. Unfortunately they pulled the funding for elementary lifeskills students to do community trips. I'm really bummed about that.

So before I leave you with pictures of my new room, I'll just say that I'm now getting really excited. I wasn't as much until I started hearing about what I'd be doing. It just felt so familiar, so natural. Oftentimes being in a classroom like I was and teaching what I was it felt so forced. It just isn't what I do. This just made sense to me. I can't wait to tell TT that I'm excited now. I was still kind of blah when he came yesterday. That man came all the way to my room just to tell me thank you in person. He said I made his job so much easier. He said that no matter where I went I'd do well because I was just a good teacher. He is so kind to me. I'm sad to lose him. But I know the support person for the west district is good.

I'm starting something new.

Here is my classroom from the doorway. Don't mind the quality of the pictures, I left my camera's memory card at home so I used my camera phone. But it's still pretty decent for a camera phone.

I'm standing on the other side of my room now. My desk is the one by the door.

There's a little courtyard outside my room. The light out there was so pretty.

Here's the cafeteria. It just reminds me of a lodge or something. I don't know what it is that gives me the feel of camp.


Leo MacCool said...

congratulations miss emily! change is hard but also good. and your new students will be fortunate to have you as their teacher.

Amelia said...

Having worked in early childhood special ed, (never in elementary level, so I'm not nearly the expert you are) you're new classroom is GORGEOUS! All that light! All those windows! All that space! Oh, the things you can do! I'm so excited for you, Em.