But this week I want to talk about teaching.
I plan for this to be my last year. It's my 30th year teaching, and our district doesn't exactly that their loyal veteran teachers well. Just last week, they put a music teacher WHO HAS NEVER BEEN IN THE CLASSROOM in her 38 years into a fifth grade classroom at another school. Crazy. So I don't want that to happen to me. I'm heading out after this year.
And most of my friends are gone. I'm the oldest teacher with the most experience on campus. I'm 52. That's crazy to me.
Our school shirts this year are concert shirts, and I want the back of mine to say "Farewell Tour" and list the names of the campuses where I've taught.
It's been kind of weird in the two weeks we've been back. Last year I had a LOT of discipline problems, and I would have said then that the kids were pushing me out. This year, not so much. I'm actually having fun with the kids, which makes me sad, a little. I'm even able to have choir for 3rd, 4th and 5th, though our opportunities for performance are limited by the lack of funds. I'll be sad not to see some of these kids grow up. I've taught music 8 years this go-round, so most of my 5th graders I've known since PreK. And I'm thinking to myself, when I see PreK, I won't know them when they're old enough to play games, sing in choir, that kind of thing.
And this week, I was deleting pins from my Pinterest boards, ideas that I've done and will never do again, or ideas I just won't get to. I have about 22 more music lessons per grade level, 9 art lessons. I just won't get to everything I've saved over the years. (I don't have a curriculum. I have standards, and I have to find my own ways to teach them. Yay, Pinterest!) I texted my friend Cindi, who retired two years ago, and told her how bittersweet it was, and she said she felt the same when she was cleaning out her files.
So you might hear more than you want as I make my countdown to retirement, and to life as a full-time writer!