Saturday, November 08, 2003

So long, farewell

It is with great reluctance but a sense of relief that I have decided to end this blog. This will be my final entry.

I'm ending this for a number of reasons, but the main one is that I just don't have the time. Sure, it's a nice idea, but the reality of teaching is that I don't have a lot of extra time. Even this weekend, I went to Sylvan this morning, and last night my family sprung an early Thanksgiving on us tomorrow (while my aunt is in town). This means that I now have to cram all the grading and ironing I was planning to do this weekend into this afternoon and evening. The next few weekends are already filling up, so I'm going to have little time for myself. On top of that, I'm expected to take care of dinner tonight. Something has to give, and this is one of them.

I've come to realize that blogging isn't really my thing, anyway. I'm not that interested in sharing myself with the world, and I haven't been terribly proficient at it. It's all been a case of prioritizing my time, and this blog has been pretty low on the list. But I've felt bad that I've had to ignore it, as I know there are a couple of you who read this. So I figure by ending it, that's one less thing for me to worry about, and my readers can get on with doing something else.

I'll end, however, with the saga of the last couple of days. Thursday morning, I had a student get very angry with me. What did I do? I asked her to put away her fashion magazine and get out her math. When she started yelling at me, I asked her to step out into the hall to give her and me a chance to calm down. That didn't go over well, of course, and she called me all kinds of names I won't reprint here before storming out. Needless to say my mood turned a bit sour for a while. I eventually went out to see what was up, but she was still fuming at me, so I let her stew a while longer. Eventually, one of her friends in the class went out, talked to her, and brought her back in. Yup, my first big conflict with a student of the year. However, I was in a generally good mood that day, and I didn't let it ruffle me much. Later that day, I also got my first student saying, "This is my favorite class." That certainly helped. The next day, I was in an even better mood — being Friday helped — and I even had my first "You're my favorite teacher." The student who had gotten mad yesterday was also not only in a much better mood, she was even doing math, and I had a brief, quiet talk with her to let her know that I wanted her to succeed, and would help her out as best I could.

Of course, all that good mood and good will meant that the silver cloud had a dark lining. The principal called me in later that day to let me know that I may be out of a job. Thanks (at least in part) to the strike, enrollment districtwide is way down, and every school is likley going to lose positions. One of the math positions will probably be lost at the junior high, and as the teacher with the least seniority it's me. Now, the good news is that I still have a contract with the district, and so I'll still get my salary and benefits, and will be slotted into some other spot if something opens up. But if this all happens — and it's still all in the very early stages, a lot can happen in the next few weeks — I could also wind up being at the top of the substitute list. Sure, I'll be working, but as a freaking substitute!!! I thought that was finally all behind me! I may be permanently assigned to the junior high, so at least I'll know the staff and students, but nothing's been decided yet.

It's been fun, everyone, but now I'm going to put my ten-gallon hat on my head and ride Old Paint off into the sunset. Happy trails! (If you want to keep up with what's happening with me, I'm sure my wife will give updates on her blog, as she's able to spend a lot more time online than I am.)

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