Monday started off well. After school, a fellow teacher and I had the privilege of co-facilitating our district's new teacher induction. It is a series of four meetings that are two hours in length and include large group discussions and break-out sessions. There are 130 new teachers in our district. We were told that 30 - 40 usually attend these, so we made copies for 60. 76 showed up! Sure, we ran out of cold, bottled water and had to scurry to the copy machine, but we were thrilled to have so many attend. We know the numbers will drop a bit for the second one, but we are off and running on the plans.
Tuesday went just as well. I am taking a class for the Promethean Board the district is putting into a number of classes. I have not been overly happy about giving up three hours every Tuesday night for 10 weeks AND having to pay for the class. I felt like the district should train me for free since they want me to use the board. But, since it is such a cool board, I was going to do it. Word came to us this Tuesday that through some grant money, we are all getting paid an hourly wage to attend. Woohoo! Huge kudos to our Staff Development Director!
Then came Thursday. I am finishing the heart maps with my English students and have loved the conferencing that goes with the Writer's Workshop format we are using. On Thursday, one of my young ladies shared her story with me and told me how there is very little good in her heart and she just didn't want to be around any more. My heart broke for her. Not something I could ignore. Long story short - I ended up taking her to our liaison officer (she held my hand tightly on the walk to the offices) who did an evaluation, determined that she wasn't a threat to herself, but brought mom in and set some things straight. After school, I think I sat in my room and cried for an hour. I felt this young girl's pain so intensely. I thought being an English teacher was hard because I was learning new curriculum and had tons of papers to grade. This is more than I bargained for. Our liaison came and talked to me and assured me that this student opened up to me because she trusts me and that was a good thing. I know that in my head, but I am not sure my heart is strong enough. I am going to have to get tougher if I am going to continue in this role. I am not sure I can handle becoming an administrator if I am going to fall apart like that either. Loads to think about! (On Friday, I did get a big hug from the young lady and a thank you. Now I am praying her weekend goes well.)
Last night I went to our high school homecoming football game. Our team got killed, but I had a good time. A number of teachers have ramp passes so we can park our cars on the opposite side from the bleachers and watch the game from there. We bring chairs and sit outside chatting. I can't believe the number of students that seek us out instead of hanging out with the kids in the bleachers. I ended up driving three boys home because one had promised his mom would take them home, only to remember his mom is on the other side of the state with his brother at their football game. His dad is not big on driving them around, so I made them call home and get permission for me to take them. You learn a lot outside the classroom! I have a feeling that Monday, two of these boys are going to work a bit harder in my English class.
I am glad the week ended well, but I am exhausted. You would think that in my 11th year of teaching, I would be used to the roller coaster. I guess every year throws a learning curve, especially when you put yourself in challenging positions.