First of all, let me say thank you so very much to everyone who's been keeping me and all of the DISD teachers in your thoughts and prayers. I really appreciate all of the support and kind words that you've offered.
Today was a day unlike any others. Filled with more turns and surprise twists than M Night Shyalaman's small intestine, it didn't end until 8 o'clock, thanks to parent-teacher conferences.
I began the day thinking that I most likely wasn't going to get reassigned to another campus, but that I would no longer be a 3rd grade teacher. More like CONVINCED I was not going to teach 3rd grade anymore. Of our 8 3rd grade sections, 4 are dual language (a bilingual teacher paired with an ESL teacher) and 4 are Gen Ed. Put together, the 4 Gen Ed classes have 43 kids total, so I figured the odds were very high that 4 classes would become 2 by the end of the day. Mrs. Math has more experience than I do, and Ms. Jenn Ed teaches reading (which I never have), so I figured they would be the 2 teachers remaining in the Gen Ed wing. My espanol is not so bueno, so I couldn't slide over to the vacant bilingual spot, and I was all but sure that the ESL spot had been filled by a 2nd grade teacher moving up.
Weighing my options outside of 3rd grade, I knew nothing was open in 4th grade, 2nd grade has had the same low numbers that we've had all year, so there would be no new spots there, and 5th grade is beyond my certification.
That left 1st grade and Kindergarten.
I LOVE the movie Kindergarten Cop. However, in reality, I wouldn't wish the sight of a large man blowing a whistle frantically while chasing rowdy kids around the room on anyone. And that is exactly what I would be in either of those spots. "It IS a tumor!!!"
But there was one other possibility. It would involve a radical change, and be totally different than anything I had done before. Not quite as radical as joining the cafeteria staff, but close.
Our technology specialist has taken the retirement option. His spot is vacant. My choice seemed to boil down to becoming the school's IT guy or becoming the school's worst 1st grade teacher.
This whole debate was raging in my head last night. So all day today I was completely convinced that I was going to be the new IT guy. So why wasn't my principal calling me down to her office to reassign me?
At 8:50, all of the 2nd graders and 3rd graders had to go down to the auditorium for an assembly in which our principal told the kids that many of them were going to have new teachers, though they would be teachers they already knew. She confirmed the fact that the 2nd grade teacher was moving up to the vacant dual-language ESL spot. She also told the kids that she, the principal, was retiring and that Friday would be her last day. We the staff had learned that bombshell yesterday afternoon.
By 9:30, I still knew nothing.
By lunch time, I still knew nothing.
Around 12:30, I learned of another big surprise. The OTHER dual-language ESL teacher had been reassigned to another campus. Suddenly, there seemed to be potential room for both Mrs. Math AND me to stay in 3rd grade spots.
12:45-1:30 is our planning period, and most of my grade team sat in my room and talked about what was happening. The teacher who had just learned she was leaving was very gracious and accepting of the change. She also mentioned that in her meeting, our principal had told her to ask me if I wanted her position (the teacher position, not the principal position).
Uh, yeah, but she still hasn't come to talk to me!
School ends, and I still haven't heard anything officially.
(Had I mentioned tonight was also parent-teacher conference night?)
Conferences -- which I won't even spend any time on except to say that of my group of 20-some kids who said they were going to come, FOUR showed up with their parents -- began at 4:00, and I still knew nothing.
FINALLY, sweet relief at 4:30! After a meeting of the campus leadership team, I got the official word that I could accept the dual-language ESL position if I so desired.
I so desired.
So, to sum up, after a nerve-wracking, heart-pounding, DISD-induced day of stress, the final verdict is that I am now a 3rd grade dual-language ESL teacher, responsible for teaching math and language arts in English to a group of kids who also get reading, science, and social studies in Spanish.
The nervous tension is over; let the controlled chaos begin.
I have never taught reading before, so that's a bit daunting. But I need the skill, so that's a plus. I'll miss having my kids in class, but I'll still be just a few doors down, so I can still see them. I also think that the classes I'm inheriting are a pretty good group of kids, which is not something I've been able to say about a lot of years.
Monday is going to be VERRRRRRY interesting...
In related news, a DISD teacher has had an essay published in Newsweek, and it's worth a read. Check it out here.