Archive | August, 2022

Day 1, Year 34

30 Aug

It’s hard to be believe this is my 34th year of teaching since I am only 35. hahaha

Teachers went back yesterday and my learning curve was steep. We had an all day training and I was 100% focused for the first half. But I am a morning person and we were sitting on those folding cafeteria tables, so I struggled a bit in the afternoon. Fortunately, our presenter knew her stuff and planned a lot of talk and movement for the afternoon.

The staff at my new school has been super nice and I am discovering all sorts of things about my new home. Yesterday’s exciting discovery was this:

In my seven years at my previous school, I had a sink in my room for two. No sink in my new room, but a water bottle filling station is just down the hall. It’s the little things that make me happy, like new gear.

Back to school socks 2022

23 Aug

I’ve written before (2019, 2018, 2014) about my tradition of knitting a new pair of socks to kick off a new school year. Sometimes I am inspired by events, a pattern, a yarn. I’ve knit socks to match the color hall I taught in. Since I am at a new school this year, I decided to knit socks in my new school color:

As I shopped for yarn, I was torn between two similar skeins. One of the advantages of being an older teacher is that you can afford not to choose. I bought both. I don’t have any aqua/turquoise socks and I am really excited about this change. Yarn purchase rationalized.

I’ve started the first pair and might even have them finished in time for the ice cream social the school will hold next Wednesday. It might be too hot to wear them, though. Regardless, I will get started on the second pair after finishing the first and will wear both happily once the weather cools.

Third Time’s the Charm (Reprise)

16 Aug

Way back in the Spring, I wrote about a former neighbor asking me to verify his application for an Irish passport. He and his wife had hoped to hear in a few weeks.

Two weeks ago he contacted me to ask if I’d mind repeating the process. Although he sent in the right forms the first time, they were asking for them again. Of course, I complied.

On Saturday, I saw a new email from him. As I opened it, I assumed it was news that everything had been approved. It was not. Apparently, the documents had been lost by USPS. My old neighbor was wondering if I would mind signing a third time.

He stopped by on Sunday and we had a lovely chat and laugh about the hoops one has to jump through to get what one wants. I encouraged him to sit down and write about the experience on a terrace somewhere warm and European. He said it was a good idea and might help others He was in and out in under ten minutes, anxious to get to a DHL office where he’d pay a little more to expedite the delivery, but feel more confident about its delivery.

I am hopeful that the next email from him will contain a photo of he and his wife in that warm and European locale.

Third Time’s the Charm

9 Aug

After not getting the two jobs I interviewed for, I resolved I was done. And then a great job appeared in the district postings. I applied and was selected for an interview the following Tuesday. The day before the interview I questioned my sanity. Why was I doing this to myself? I wondered.

Just after 5 pm on Interview Eve an email came from the principal.

I doubted my sanity even more. Then, I got to work.

I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare, but I had done my homework in the days following the invitation to the interview. I had researched the school and learned what I could about the IB program and the Middle Years Program. The IB learner profile seemed the logical way to organize my presentation. I also needed some chutzpah, so I started with a bold first slide:

On each of the next slides, I named two characteristics and added an image for each that would inspire me to talk about how my life and career reflected the IB learner profile.

During the interview, the presentation took 11 minutes. No one noticed. the rest of the interview felt more like a conversation about teaching philosophy. When I left, they said they’d make their final decision after an interview the next day. Then they’d need to check references and HR would call probably Thursday, maybe Friday.

All day Wednesday, I hoped for a call. When the end of the business day came on Thursday, I felt a little disheartened. At least I hadn’t received the “thanks but no thanks” email. There was still hope.

At 8:30 pm, my phone rang. It was a school number and the HR person on the other end offered me the job, which I accepted enthusiastically.

I will go in on Monday to relabel the boxes I had packed to change rooms and get them ready for a new adventure.


2 Aug

Turning the wall calendar
to August
felt bittersweet.

there is a square
filled with the words
“Teachers’ first day back”.

It’s not a bad thing,
but I do so enjoy
the languid days of July,
made even more so by
our recent heat wave.

Before too long,
the bustle of
“back to school”
will be upon me.

It comes before my official
first day back.
Having lost the energy of a school day
to the halcyon days of July,
I need to rebuild
my stamina.

I will go in for a few hours
to start unpacking boxes
I so carefully packed
in June
and forgot about in July.

With each emptied box,
my strength and anticipation
until I am ready
and eager
to face a new group
of students.

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