Yes, I could have put Happy New Year! But, felt like using my namesake, um. This morning I wanted to do some reflecting on 2008 and looking ahead into 2009. I know I said I was on vaca till school resumed, but since it is only hours into the new year…here I am, lacking sleep and my mind racing. Rang in the new year with friends (thanks Deb!!) celebrated my 22nd wedding anniversary, yesterday, and today will celebrate my youngest turning 17! Each end of the year is momentous for us, though my husband and I never celebrate our anniversary, I did get a very “romantic” card this year. Ok, enough personal reflecting.
I don’t want to do much reflecting on 2008 because about the only thing that comes to mind is…oh crap! On a personal, professional and even what I blog for, on a state level. I don’t know about you, but 2008 was not a kind year for Texas Education, myself or the state.
Two thousand and eight! Seems we (Texas education and the national economy) kept slipping into the pit of hell, and we are still falling. The elections were not kind to Texas education (just a personal opinion, but only time will tell if I am right.) Now, on a national level, I have warm fuzzies going on. I feel optimistic and hopeful that we will get our heads focused in the right direction and put education first and foremost.
I was just talking with a friend (teacher friend) the other day, we hadn’t seen each other for quite sometime. She and I met when we both were first year teachers at Oak Village (in North Forest ISD.) She is an Humble ISD employee now and her school was hit pretty hard with the cut backs. She said her first year with Humble was pretty good, last year. She had 110 students two periods off and got through her first year at Humble ISD, pretty much unscathed. This year, much different. Her school had many layoffs and I asked her that that must have put a burden on the teachers left, duh! Oh, yes, she told me that she has 150 students, 52 which are either ESL or Special Ed and she has to do paperwork on them every day. She said she has a co-teacher, but he/she is ready for retirement and doesn’t do much for her in the classroom. She also has her two off periods next to each other, which makes for practically no breaks. All of this along with more duties, morning, even one day on her lunch, and afterschool. And of course, along with the usual, lesson plans, discipline, parent phone calls and conferences, and all the other teacher duties.
Ok, my purpose for this little story, to “educate” the community as to what some teachers go through. Back when I used to sub, pretty much full time, I was working everyday, I saw what the teachers did and said to my self, “self, I can do that.” So I went through the teacher certification program, passed all my tests and worked on getting a district. North Forest took me in. Little did I know that, until you walk in someones shoes (yes, a cliché) you do not know what they go through. Teachers make it look easy, they take what you give them, make it work, and do it with a smile, each and every day.
I do have high hopes the Obama administration will do what is right, ethical and good for k12 education. I also hear education is on the agenda for the state, though I’m not holding my breath that we will see any relief this coming year. But, I will stay optimistic!
Ok, the sun is up, my fingers are tired, and I’m going to get breakfast. Good luck to anyone who reads this. I hope only good things for everyone and hope that things will turn around for all in the year 2009.