Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just keep swimming!

For the past week, I've been humming Dory's song from Finding Nemo to keep me going through my transition craziness: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."  And it worked!  I survived!  Now Thanksgiving break is here and I've never been so glad to see it!  However, I'm much too exhausted to write a "real" post, so that piece on thankfulness is going to wait until next week, after I've had the chance to sit down and be thankful for things!  For now, here's a peek at my past few days:

3:30pm: School day ends and the trimester officially does too. (This means my classes and my time at this school are over for this year.  My students will move on to other classes, like gym and art, and I'll move on to another school, where I will provide my classes to those students for 12 weeks.)  I'm sad to see my kids go and sad to leave my colleagues at this school.  I finish grading a few last projects and begin packing up my room.  :-(  I hate packing up rooms; there are so many memories of the community we had and the learning that took place in that community!
view from the front of most of my (now-dismantled) room at School #1
5:00pm: I take a quick break to blog about a special note I got from a student on the end-of-class survey.  Such a great memory; I just had to record it!

5:30pm: Back to packing.  Lots of packing. My back is killing me.

7:00pm: My husband arrives straight from work to help me pack.  We grab a quick 45-min dinner and then head back to school for, that's right, more packing.

8:40pm: We load up both cars and drive away from School #1.  See you next year, School #1, (provided that I still have this job)!  Luckily, School #2 is only about 5 minutes away from School #1!

9:45pm: We finish unloading the boxes into my new room at School #2.  We are both about ready to collapse.  Time to head home.

Home football game takes up the whole day.  The end.

2pm: After dragging myself out of bed, eating lunch, and showering, I force myself to head back to School #2.  That empty room is calling to me... no way are my kids starting the trimester in an ugly empty void!  My wonderful husband dutifully comes along.  He's amazing!  The new room is just like the old one -- a former science room -- so it's easy to figure out where everything goes.

3pm: We enlist my dad to help move around all the tables in my new room.  (He says, "Can't you just leave it how it is?" but helps anyway.  He's not a teacher.)  I canNOT teach with the desk at the front of the room and the tables in rows facing forward.  (My dad is surprised to find out that I don't sit at my desk.  "You stand up all the time?" Yes, and walk around helping my students. Welcome to education in the 21st century, Dad!)

5pm: Our mad frenzy of unpacking and throwing decorations and important procedural items around the room has to pause for an hour for dinner with my parents. Then back to School #2 for more crazy unpacking, decorating, and preparing.

8pm: The new room is READY!  (At least, ready enough for the kids to come!  My stuff is still all in boxes, but everything they need is up and in its place!)
"superstars" board waiting for students to do something outstanding!
hall passes waiting for kids to come and go
part of the culture corner

First day at School #2. A blur of new faces, new schedule, new class times... everything is upside down and backwards from School #1.  In a couple of classes, my students mention that my room looks really nice and I must've worked really hard on it.  (They know it was empty in the fall.)  Success!

A little better than yesterday; more of a fog than a blur.  I'm having trouble getting used to the new schedule, and I feel overwhelmed by my students because I only know a few of them.  However, the room is done, the students are nice and sweet and excited for Spanish, and I finally have only a normal amount of work to do after school!  Not to mention... THANKSGIVING!


  1. Can you explain why you have to pack up your room if you're teaching again on Monday? Is it year-round schooling or something else?
    Happy Thanksgiving,

  2. Haha, yeah, I know it's confusing! I teach a trimester (12-week long) class to 3 schools in our district during the year. At the end of a trimester, I leave that school and go to another school to provide the same class to that school. Thus, I'm at School #1 for 12 weeks in the fall, then I leave and teach for 12 weeks at School #2, then I go to School #3 and do it all one more time in the spring! Believe me, it took a couple years for all the other teachers at the 3 schools to figure out why I kept coming and going, too!

  3. Wow!! That is quite a schedule to have to switch entire classrooms and schools after a trimester! I don't know how you do it!! I'm glad to hear that you were able to get everything set up in your new classroom! I hope you have a great semester! Happy thanksgiving!

  4. I am so impressed with you. You start the new year three times! And in new buildings too. Wow. But the fact that you do it--"redecorate" each room that is--is an amazing testament to your dedication to your students. And ones you don't even know yet, to boot. You have already showed you care and the kids aren't in the room yet! Bravo!

  5. What do you mean write a "real" post? This is as real as it gets! Kudos to you for all that packing and unpacking. Thank goodness you have such a great family to help out. Get some rest, it is well deserved!

  6. You are a special teacher! What an amazing journey for you every year. Just when you are getting comfy with the routines, the students, the staff. Adios! I can't imagine, but you are able to do it with a smile. I can hear it in your voice. Most would complain, but you show a strength and light that is contagious. Keep your head up!

    Best of luck in school #2 making those connections with kids. You will do great things with them. I can just tell.

  7. I have to agree with Michelle. You can tell by the voice in your writing that you take this challenge in stride and though it might be frustrating you face it head on and move forward. Have a great trimester.

  8. For some reason I can't really read the comments on your blog so I might be saying what everyone else is saying - what you do is so amazing and those schools are so lucky to have you. I hope you are back - and back and back.

  9. Wow again, I am so impressed that you've done it, & done it with such style. What a great husband you have, too, and father! Your students are lucky to have such a teacher, & as others said, your words came through loud & clear, students are important to me! Happy Thanksgiving & getting some rest!


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