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Year 3 Day 182- The end of the year.

by admin on June 8th, 2006

Well due to the majority of our IT dept. being inept, I was unable to post as regularly as I’d like. I blame it on them, not that I was on top of my game when they stopped letting people access things like blogs. Email, and bank accounts.

The year ended today, and I was ready, as I said when I left.” If you see me back here before mid-August, I screwed up.”

Normally the end of the year is much more “funi I can’t say that this year. We had a student die in a car accident on Monday night, the night before graduation. He wasn’t graduating, but it still sent a shock through the school. This was the first kid that I’ve known who has died during a school year. In 9 years, I was lucky enough to avoid this happening, and finally my luck ran out.

It was harder than I expected…the student was one of my brighter art students, and one of the kids who I got along with really well. He had an awesome sense of humor, and we battled wits on a daily basis. Trading jokes, talking music, and just good-natured ribbing…he usually lost, but it was always fun, and cheered me up. I would have to say he and his twin brother (who was driving the car that wrecked, but luckily is still alive) were a part of the reason that I enjoyed myself this year. They were both really funny. He was annoying at times, but even when you were annoyed with him, he was still funny…and when you looked back on it…you’d laugh. It hasn’t fully set in that he’s gone. It’s been extra difficult figuring out how to react at school…while, inside, I feel awful, on the outside I seem fairly normal…I don’t get it…I think that as an educator…we have this part that kicks in that helps us be a source of stability for the other kids…even though deep down in many cases, we’re taking it a lot worse than them. As I told one student today who was very close to him…’this is the one time this year where I don’t know WHAT to say.’

We had a memorial service at school today for him, and I felt like I should’ve said something…but I didn’t know what. I deal with most difficult times in my life with humor…and these situations have nothing for me. I end up sitting there like I’m watching a J-Lo movie…stone sober, and wanting to leave.

Then when kids keep telling you that ‘you were his favorite teacher.’ It feels even more like I should say something…but again, what? I’d rather talk with the kids in smaller groups, or individually…let them know what I thought about him. The funeral is on Saturday. I’m going. Despite my guts wrenching from not wanting to go out of fear of the unknown, I need to. I’d like to see his brother, tell him I’m around if he needs to talk…but it’s an open casket funeral…I hate funerals. I’ve only been to 3 in my life for old people, or people I wasn’t really close to. I’ve never been to a funeral for someone so young, or one that was open casket. I’m very afraid.

Graduation went off as smoothly as it could considering all that happened. There was a definite feeling of sadness over the crowd, although nobody mentioned the event. Sober grad should have been changed to somber grad…because that’s what it turned out to be. Only about 1/2 of the kids showed up, I stayed for a while talked to kids, and staff…and it was good to talk with people about what had happened.

Summary.

Well this year was awesome, for the first 5 sessions. I felt like I was revived from near dead in my career, and I got a lot accomplished. I set the goal of beating the other school in the art show, and I did…. I got all my college courses done, and all my certifications done for the classes I teach…and I started to care again about my job.

I had home school students who provided me with interesting stories, and experiences. FYI, the OH wasn’t around for the last 2 days…I have no idea where he was. HE still has a book of mine, so it won’t be the end of this saga. He’ll be getting a visit from me in August.
The incense phenomenon continued at the other students’ house. Monday when I was there the following conversation took place

“—— That incense friggin STINKS!”

“Well, grab some of that Nagchampa…and put that in.”

“Ok…that stuff smeeeeeellls. Ain’t ever using that again.”

One of these days, someone needs to do an in depth research project on the incense and lower-mid income group relationship. IN fact, if I ever go masters’ degree on you all, that’s my thesis.

If you were wondering whether or not OH passed…he did. If I wanted to I could fail him easily…but then he’d be back again next year…. and I really want him to move on…so I gave him 4 D-‘s and 2 C-‘s, which was so generous I can’t believe it.

This year went by very quickly for 5 sessions; I went through the entire Economics text and half way back through it again. I worked hard, lectured almost every day…and saw genuine improvement in my kids, and the relationship I had with them…I felt I earned a lot more respect from them. I’ll be sure to pick up where I left off last year.

I missed my first state conference in 6 years…which left an empty spot inside. Next year I have been assured of my appearance, and I’ll be presenting as well…game on conference…game on.

In the space of 1 short school year I’ve gone from being near the point of quitting, to the point of actually being somewhat excited to return. I did apply for another job, but I don’t think anything will come of it…nor do I think I’ll take it. I feel like given what happened this week with the accident, I need to be here next year. The kids will want me back, someone they feel comfortable with…and someone they trust…so for them I’ll be back. If the financial option were there though, I’d seriously consider leaving.

The raise issue will sit front and center next year. The 1.5% offer was voted down by the teachers, just because it’s such a small token of appreciation…and COLA raised 12% since we had a raise…1.5% is nothing. We were given a chart showing where we rank salary wise with districts that are the same size as our…. let’s just say we were one away from the bottom. We’re overstaffed, and a smaller % of our total budget goes to teachers. There are a few districts of our size and economic situation where I’d make another 9K a year…. that’d be friggin awesome.

Next year this will be dealt with…we’ve elected a new president who is going to go for the crotch…I think we’ll know very early next year whether or not we’re getting something…

Next year will also begin a year where a graduating class is missing one of its stars, and the rest of us try and figure out how we’re going to get by. It’ll be rough.

I’d like to thank all 10 people who read this for actually reading it, and let you know, I’ll try harder next year to illustrate more…post more, you know the routine. If the IT dept. doesn’t get things fixed though…who knows, I may be relying on my ability to post at home…which is a shaky thing.

SO for all of my readers, thanks for making it through Year 3, and we’ll look forward to some interesting times next go around, I’d like to thank you for keeping your seatbelts fastened, we’ve come out of the turbulence, and it you’re now free to move about the cockpit.

Just keep the incense to yourselves….

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One Comment
  1. Jess permalink

    I think you need one of those funky incense burners for your swinging bachelor pad.

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