Time of Unrest

It’s been a tough year. With the retirement of our principal looming in the not-to-distant future and the chaos that comes at the end of every year, the feeling that permeates around the school is one of unrest. Everyone is talking about the changes, or possible changes, that may be happening to our school in the next few months. Families, students, teachers, and support staff are wondering what the change means to the school that we have all grown to love. If you have ever worked in a school during a shift in leadership, you know that the atmosphere of the school truly depends on the leadership. The principal makes or breaks the school. It is a frightening time.

The unknown is scary. Our principal as led us with passion and love for the students. No one who has worked for her would or could ever doubt her commitment. We may not have always agreed with every single decision she has made (who does?), but we know that every single decision both large and small was made with the best of intentions. Her shoes will be hard to fill.

Someone once told me that anyone can be replaced and I believe this. But it doesn’t mean that the good things they’ve left behind will ever be forgotten. Everyone who works at our school has made contributions to the supportive and caring atmosphere that defines our school. Some have chipped away at the strong bind we have created, but no one has been able to fracture it. The people of our school still walk out at the end of the day exhausted but knowing that they did the best they could for the children that walk our halls.

This is a time of unrest. We all want the best for our school, our children, and for one another. We are strong and no matter what the new leadership brings, we have to continue doing our jobs to the best of our abilities. After all, our principal has worked extremely hard building a staff of knowledgeable, loving, and dedicated teachers and support staff. She deserves to retire confident in the fact that we can and will go on without her at the helm. We owe it to her and to the students to rise above uncertainty. We know what makes a great school and it’s important to believe that whoever sits in the principal’s chair next year will know too. And if that person doesn’t, well, it’s up to us to make sure the new leader learns…fast.


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Hang with the Authors on Ohio Valley Night

Local teachers and authors Lori Smith and Amy Loring want to share a night with friends while promoting their book series. Come to Gresso’s and enjoy some delicious food, (DiCarlo’s Pizza & Coleman’s Fish), great conversations, some laughs, and ice cold drinks! What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up? [/learn_more]

Get directions
961 S High St, Columbus, OH 43206

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My Morning Music

Amy recently wrote a very popular post on the death of Prince We seem to be losing so many talented entertainers lately. Two of my favorites died a few years ago. The artists for me who bring back memories of sleep overs, high school dances, cheerleading, and the innocent romance of first love were Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross. Now for me, when they passed I suffered. I played their songs and shed a few tears. With the end of their lives came the end of an era for me. My youth.

But luckily there’s Pandora. Every morning at 5:15 I start my ritual. First I curse, quite loudly, then I slowly emerge from my cocoon of covers. I go to my bathroom, turn on the light then right to my phone to turn on my Pandora. I then go downstairs, let out the dogs, and get my coffee. My day has started.

It’s crazy how important music is in our lives. For me, it serves as a lifeline in the morning. Without it I have no motivation to brush my teeth, apply make up, or to squeeze into my too tight pants. With it, I sing along to my old favorites, dance out a few riffs, and relax and just daydream to wonderfully written songs that speak to me. It’s wonderful to think about the way music helps us in every mood. Music is like an old friend who knows what you need when you need it.

It’s testing time again in our school and the public schools around the United States. We are once again introducing our students to new tests that are state mandated. They were extremely expensive to our schools and districts and untried. No one knows if they will truly measure the intelligence of our children, yet we all just sit back and let it happen…again. Children break down in tears, run out while suffering extreme anxiety attacks, and lose sleep worrying about test outcomes. How does this tie in to music. Well, many districts around the United States are dropping their music curriculum because they “can’t afford” them. So instead of our children finding peace in music, instead of them utilizing their gifts and talents in this art form, instead of learning how to play instruments our children are sitting at computers or in front of packets spending hours and millions of tax dollars on state mandated tests.

Ridiculous.


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Lori just wrote about all the work it takes to even fill out teaching applications. You are either too qualified, not qualified enough, have too much experience, the wrong kind of experience, or you didn’t answer one of the four tests how they wanted you to. So, you feel defeated, you think if you could just get someone to talk to you, if they could just see how passionate you are. Yet, you are just another applicant. It sure is an unpleasant rollercoaster ride!

I must continue to walk in faith. This year has been one of those years. As I think back to the new school year I cannot believe all the challenges and adversity my students and I had to face together. As a teacher you have to be the strong trusted individual that the students can rely on every day. My homeroom has certainly had its share of hardships, but we are a pretty close knit unit at this point. I guess we have banded together to support each other.

As the year nears the end the students become fearful of the unknown future once again. It is a much needed break for us teachers but the kids really need that stability and structure even if they don’t really want to be in school. They begin a “countdown of meltdowns” I like to say. The closer it gets to the end, the more fragile they become. The 8th graders especially are feeling it. They are stuck in a place between wanting a new environment and some freedom from their elementary school yet are full of apprehension the great abyss of high school.

Tomorrow is Wednesday. Bring on the uphill climb!


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The Irony of Education

Amy and I were talking in the car. We were amazed at the hoops that educators have to go through just to apply for a job in their chosen field. Think about it for a moment. If you are in education then you know what I’m talking about. Let me break it down for you:

1. create a login and password for a district’s website (Always annoying and so darn hard to remember)
2. Fill out 25 pages of information!! (No lie and no exaggeration)
3. Within the application answer a vast number of essay questions that you will answer personally if you ever get an interview.
4. Take a personality profile timed test. (This makes me so stressed I am always positive that I fail it!) Oh, and by the way, it’s 30 minutes long.
5. Then the work history page. (On this page you have to fill in any teaching experience you’ve had including student teaching…no matter how many years it’s been – Amy wanted to say that her cooperating teacher was probably dead by now since she student taught almost 30 years ago!)
6. The willingness to be on committee’s and coach page – Yep, in addition to teaching full-time, you now have to be willing to do extra in order to be considered.
7. The Reference page – Here you have to give names, addressed, phone numbers, email addresses, and blood type (only kidding). You also have to upload recommendations from said reference
8. Then the upload page where you are expected to upload your teaching license (which requires very specific educational expectations in order to get in the first place.) You also have to upload your transcripts (although you wouldn’t have your license if you didn’t complete the requirements.) You also need to upload test scores from professional tests.
9. The next few pages are based on the premise that you could have been found guilty of a crime, been fingerprinted, lost a job, or are willing to admit any of this

Do you realize that these applications take hours and a resume is still needed! Doesn’t a resume almost contain the same exact information? Why is the repetition needed? And remember all of these requirements are needed to get a job that pays less than just about any other job with the same educational requirements. Not only that, but districts want you to have all the education and requirements, but won’t even look at you if you have too many years of experience because then you are too expensive. Finally, if you do get an interview, then you are grilled in front of an entire team of people. I was once at an interview with 12 people. How ironic…


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