1. April Fool's Day.
2. First round of schedule alterations due to State Testing, with more to come. (Because teacher bathroom schedules are very important and should not be trifled with!)
My Survival Kit:
Also, random, this lady is super-awesome and I'm proud to be her employee.
I was recognized this week as "STAR Teacher of the year" for my school building, of which I feel I don't deserve. But I had the pleasure of attending a banquet with all the other STAR Teachers, their principals, and Central Office Staff, including KCKPS Superintendent Cynthia Lane (pictured above).
I'm a tad bit in love with her. She makes me cry every year at convocation with her passion and commitment to Kansas City youth. And I'm a little STAR-struck to be in a picture with her. haha... (see what I did there.)
I also feel a tremendous amount of guilt that the same year I'm being recognized for exemplary teaching, I am exploring options and considering leaving the classroom altogether.
I had a heart-to-heart frank speech with one of my classes this week.
Talking points included:
-I am a music teacher second. I am an encourager of youth first.
-You have observed me go from zero to b***h in less than two seconds, as a result of foolish behavior in this classroom. That is not ok. I am not proud of that. But that is a result of frustrations overcoming my judgement. It frustrates me when students think its fun to disrupt a class.
-I want you to live your best life
-The instrument in your hands could be your ticket to college, if you choose to apply yourself.
-Being in band prepares you for life. You learn how to work as a team, to be self-disciplined, to appreciate an art form that shapes you into good well-rounded people.
-I love and care for each and everyone of you and for different reasons. If I send a student out of the room, its not because I don't like them. Its because they are preventing everyone else in the room from living their best life.
-I'm teaching in this room today because I believe I can make a difference in your lives. In other areas of Kansas City, parents pay for them to attend college. Most of us don't have that luxury. Your skills in band can assist you in a variety of different goals for your life, and not even related to music.
-I could be working somewhere else, but I'm not. I choose to be here. I don't want to be teaching anyone else's kids, but you. Because I believe in you.
-I am here to help you learn how to teach yourself. Because you are going to move on in life, and I won't be with you anymore. But hopefully I have helped you gain some of the skills needed to live your best life.
I spoke to a silent room to that group of students the first time all year. (especially after I said the word b***h. Collective gasp.)
And I felt guilty.
If I'm saying I wouldn't rather be teaching anywhere but right here, yet in my free-time I'm exploring other positions, does that make me a liar? For the record, I'm not searching for teaching jobs in any other building. I'm searching position alterations and occupation changes altogether. But Northwest is the only classroom teacher position I'm interested in. Maaaaaybe I could be enticed by a job opening in the school district in the city where I live, but I really have no interest in lateral movement. If I'm going to change to a new job, I want it to be an advancement in my career somehow, in line with my natural goals, strengths, and passions. Moving to another classroom will only provide me temporary relief from my current frustrations. Because every classroom/building has its thing. I would only be trading in one set of variables in for another.
I came across a very powerful video, and this IS the world I live in right now. I feel a great deal of loyalty and commitment to the cause, but sometimes I wonder, is it just too hard?
And one final thought-provoking message to share: