Bittersweet Joy


July 29, 2016


Last night, I found myself tossing and turning. Impossible it was to turn my brain off. Everything became so real. “What are you talking about?” I hear you wonder. In order to understand last night, you must know my life for the past two months. Some time in May was the first time I realized my world, my teaching career, was fragile. I heard due to budget cuts there might be major changes coming down the pipe. I’m not talking the annoying ones like unplugging appliances at the end of the day either. I’m talking teachers not getting contracts and those that do, being forced to teach out of their current grade level comfort zone. Naively, I thought I was safe. First grade, was my sweet spot. My kids were happy and based on their test scores, they were amazing scholars! Yeah, well there’s a thing called seniority that trumps achievement. I was a low man on the totem pole, and therefore I wasn’t guaranteed another year in the grade that had my heart. I cried. Like a LOT. The thought of starting over all over broke my heart. It made me flashback to my first year and the ten plus hour work days I’d spend trying to understand and master the curriculum. I remembered the many Saturday and Sunday mornings I’d be in my classroom doing the leg work for a successful week. Looking back, I’m not sure why I paid rent because my classroom was where I spent the majority of my awake time. Well, as much as I wanted to pout, scream, and debate how unfair it was, I prayed. (Now don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means a saint and I definitely had an adult tantrum or two with my friends. lol)

My prayers have brought me to now. Yesterday it was official. I am the newest SECOND grade teacher. I’d be lying if I said this is what I wanted. What I wanted was to be in first grade, but after talking with my principal (who was incredible during this chaotic and emotionally charged time) I knew it was the right thing to do. After talking educational practices, it was also decided that I would loop with my students. (This is simply when a teacher has a class for two consecutive years.) I was happy to get my scholars back, but was a little apprehensive about the parent reaction. Did they want to try out another teacher or would they be happy with what they’ve come to know in me? Well, I got my answer shortly after an informational email was sent to the parents. My phone was dinging from text messages and emails from my parents overwhelmed and happy to spend another year as part of my classroom community. I cried again. This time from the all encompassing feeling…. bittersweet joy…..

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