Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Headin' South

What a day, what a day! Taking a day off is always a treat, but a teacher pays for it on both ends, first by investing the time to make explicit sub plans so that someone else can guide your charges through their educational day, and then by picking up the pieces when you get back: someone's always in trouble; someone's always mad; someone didn't "get" the assignment (be it literally or figuratively), and no one understands why anyone's upset.

As if that wasn't enough, beyond the door of my classroom there are big changes afoot: a new principal for our school, a very large increase in enrollment for the sixth grade, and a new state-mandated teacher evaluation system. To be honest, my school year began with an earthquake, and it's like the ground is still moving.

Still, you have to find fun where you can. An hour after the last bell had rung, a couple of colleagues and I were griping and grappling with the future. We bantered about what opportunity might be found in all of this upheaval, and the best we could come up with was a change in name for the sixth grade teams. "Bluebirds and Canaries?" I suggested. "It would be cool to have one team for each of the school colors."

And then the conversation quickly flew south (as such conversations held at the end of a long day in the middle of a long year have the tendency to do) to that tropical place where sixth grade teams bask in the glory of their mascots the Blue Peeps and the Twinkie d'Oros.

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