Friday, November 21, 2008

Momma said there'd be days like this....

Guess who came to visit my classroom last week?

I have known E since before she was born. (The one on the right.)She has always had my heart for many reasons. Not the least of which was that she has always wanted to be a teacher. You may know that teachers have a special place in my world.

E graduated last spring and took her first teaching position this fall. She spent the summer preparing her first grade room. Making plans and creating a workspace. Painting over a huge (and ugly) tree left on the wall by the teacher before her. Such dreams and visions she had for her first classroom!

This lasted for the first four weeks of school, when E was told that she was being relocated. There were not enough students to support the number of first grade teachers. E was last hired. So she was first to go. Her students would be divided up between the other classes. And E would be at a new campus. Teaching a new grade. Second grade this time.

It was suggested by more than one of us that E should repaint that ugly tree on the classroom wall before she left.

She did not, to her credit.

She did, however, pack her room up and relocate to a new school with new students now 6 weeks into the school year. Students "handpicked" by the other teachers for her, if you know what I mean. I'm sure they were all the calmest and most polite students the teachers had. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.

The initial weeks were difficult. The students were not happy about relocating at first. And E also found out her new classroom location was temporary: she'd be moving into a portable room in a few weeks. If you are doing the math, the school year is almost half over. Both E and her students have been moved around a lot.

Last week, E did what any sane teacher would do: she took a personal day. Or, what is commonly referred to in the teaching profession as a "mental health" day. She needed to regroup, refresh and refocus. She and her friend, A, took a road trip to Austin and made a pit stop in my classroom.

She returned to her classroom after a long weekend. She held a Grand Opening in her newest classroom location complete with a ribbon cutting and balloons.

I don't know that they prepare us in our college education classes for the kind of first year that E has had.

But this I know for sure: If she can make it through this year and still love teaching (and I feel certain she will), she has a blessed career in front of her. And a great story to tell years from now.

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