Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trying To Adjust

Hey All,
  I stepped away from much of my routine to celebrate Foodie getting married.  What a great week away.  What a great wedding.  What a great Union.  What a great daughter-in-law I got.

Anyway, when I returned home with Superman (Movie Man and Hub stayed for a few more days), I was hurled into my new job.  My new career.  My new adventure.  It's a mixed bag and I sure as hell hope I get things sorted out and feel some peace about it all.

I am going to teach an advanced research-based methods course and supervise special education student teachers.  I had hoped for full time employment that would include an office, a home away from home.  A place to replace my classroom.  A place to practice the back-to-school-set-up-my-classroom rituals I so loved for 18 years.  Well, there is no longer such a place for me.  Except in my heart.  

So much of preparing for a new school year is about making the learning space for my students what it needs to be for them.  For 18 years, whole summers of thought and planning went into the start of a new year, but I had a tangible place in which to visualize, decorate, plan, shove belongings, furniture, resources around.  A room of my own.  I cannot tell you how many hours I spent just sitting in the middle of my classrooms amidst entire contents shoved either to one side or piled in the middle after cleaning services were done with polishing the floors and wiping down the surfaces.  I was never one to leave bulletin boards up.  I always took everything down and put it away.  I never wanted to be in a rut.  My kiddos returned to me and they deserved to see new things from different perspectives.  What worked and was comforting went back up, but usually in a different place.

It was the rearranging and shoving around of the heavy classroom furniture that helped me prepare, ground myself, rethink the whys, wheres and intentions of the last year's choices.  Even when I moved and changed districts and students, pondering past choices while looking ahead is what centered me.  

So what am I to do this year?  How will I adjust to a fresh start with no classroom that is mine and only mine?  How will I keep my wits about me without the benefit of seeing my dear colleagues throughout the day?  How will I feel a sense of belonging?  All the things I relied on for 18 years are no more.  And how will I ever adjust to the whole concept of academic freedom?  Wow.  What I have always craved, but now facing it, I am a bit perplexed.  

But maybe that's OK.  Maybe that's good.

Moving on.  Passing the baton.  Sharing my story as special education teacher.  Helping new teachers stretch and question to become independent thinkers.  Exposing them to my unconventional methods.  Hoping against all hope that I can encourage them, keep them passionate, teach them advocacy, warn them without scaring the shit out of them.

But they better be good or I won't pass them on.  After all, my own special needs kiddos may well be their future students.

1 comment:

  1. Wishing you luck and good fortune in your new professional endeavors! I'm putting my room together, and trying to avoid the "rut" feeling.


Although I am dangerously opinionated, I am a flexible thinker and welcome your thoughts.