Monday, June 14, 2010


The organization sheet finally came out at my school today. It was weird seeing the word, "VACANCY" next to my position. Everyone was looking at me in a funny way like I had betrayed them or something. I felt guilty seeing it written there. No one on staff wants to step up and take my position. I really wish I could be leaving my classroom and my students in the hands of someone I know. At least I would know that everything I have brought in from will be used. I'm just worried that whoever gets my room won't care and will throw away all the things I worked so hard to get money for or they won't appreciate the little touches (like doorknobs on the cabinets and a fresh paint job on the counter) that I put in over the years. I feel really bad for my team teacher. I wish there were a way to make this transition smoother for her. Our teaching situation has been so tight over the past 5 years, I can't imagine someone else coming in brand new. I wish I could be there for her as she has been for me all these years, but it's time for me to leave. I can't stress about it, though. There are so many reasons why I had to leave this year, and worrying about hiring my replacement (and wondering why they haven't interviewed anyone yet) is not something I can take on at this point.

I had wanted to introduce all the kindergarten parents to the new person and print out all the September documents with their name on it. I wanted to give them a full inventory of the classroom down to the touchtone texts for reading and writing. I wanted to entrust someone with my Pinnell and Fountas "Phonics" program complete with tons of boxes of magnetic letters (all donations) and the new community play rug and car and sign set I purchased through funding from teaching the Title III after school. I want someone to appreciate the new swivel chair I was able to get funded after my old rickety wooden chair broke, the Hoover commercial vacuum cleaner that belongs to my room only. I'm definitely entrusting the gorgeous brand new play-doh baking tool set to a kindergarten teacher. I have quite the inventory and it wasn't easy to attain. I can't take any of it with me because it was all donated to the school through I'm going to have to start over writing all the grants again at my new school.

It's sad saying goodbye.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A new beginning

It doesn't feel real at all and I haven't shared any of this because I was so worried something would go wrong and it wouldn't happen. I am happy to share that I have found a new job! It's official, as of September 7th, I will no longer we working at PS XXX where I have been for the last 5 years. Instead I am transferring to a different public school in a different borough to work in a totally different program with different curriculum and a different population of students. WOW!!! That's a lot! I feel energized by it all and I have to say that I feel lucky to have found this school. I know no school is perfect, but this one had everything I was looking for. It is a place where I think I can continue to grow as a professional. When I interviewed there and did a demo lesson, I could see myself teaching there and for me that was enough. It's also going to be a very welcome lifestyle change for me cutting my commute time by a full 40 minutes each way. I am also happy that it happened now so I could inform my administration and team so the can replace me soon and we can introduce the kindergarteners and parents to the new teacher before the year is over. I wouldn't have wanted to find out in August.

As the school year comes to a close, I am getting sad about leaving my school. For the past 2 years, I have gone through this same process of really wanting to leave my school starting at about February. I really gained momentum in my search in March and April. Usually by June, I am once again resigned to stay another year and fine with it. The end of the year happens so quickly and the atmosphere in schools is usually more laid back. There are more social events happening like baby showers and parties, etc. So, I do still feel that sense of "I can make it another year," but that feeling I had in February keeps me in check and reminds me why I have made the decision to leave.

The same old craziness and lack of advocacy for children continues, but I'm just able to think each time "I won't have to deal with this anymore." When the weather is so hot and we are sweating it out in the overheated classrooms, I think of my new school with it's air conditioning and think "I won't have to deal with this anymore." When I'm on the train in the morning and it's so delayed I decide to just get off and walk 15 blocks rather than waiting to transfer for the 3rd time, same thing "I won't have to deal with this anymore." When the super of the building next to my school and his buddies are standing around shirtless as I exit the building and cat call me, same feeling. When I almost step on a rat on my way in in the morning, I do still wonder if this may be a problem in my new placement as well. You get the idea.

I have worked so hard for the last 5 years and have committed myself to this place regardless of all of the problems both internal and external and it is very sad to leave. I am beyond devastated to leave behind my trusted colleagues, but when I think about how many have already left (I am the 8th to leave out of my little group in 3 years), I am saddened for the loss at my school and for those who are staying behind. I just hope everything will be okay and things will improve. I'm tired of fighting for it. I guess I've sort of given up in terms of my role in changing the school. I am also really sad to leave the families and siblings that I have worked with for years. I know they are counting on me to be there, but I know I will have a new class of students with families and siblings who will count on me once again.