Thursday, March 31, 2011

Simply Finished!

No more classrooms
No more books
No more teachers’ dirty looks.



Yep. Stick a fork in me, I’m done.
Wooohooo and Hallelujah!

For better or for worse, I’ve completed this year’s teaching assignment. Tuesday afternoon, I packed up whatever creative teachery was left in the unventilated bookroom, cleaned off the white board, stacked up the chairs, and closed this chapter behind me.

It happened just in time, too. Things are starting to heat up here in southeast Georgia, and there are pubescent boys in my classes. Did I mention that the bookroom was unventilated?

Next week, the students will enjoy a spring break before returning to take the test. You know the one, the one that shows whether their unventilated bookroom teacher has any talent left in her at all.

That’s the way I always interpret it, anyway.

That’s probably the reason that it leaves me so burned out. (That and the fact that the old gray mare just ain’t what she used to be.)

The students ain’t what they used to be, either.

There isn’t a curriculum or program for the job that I do. I’m just given a list of objectives and access to any remnants I can find in my unventilated bookroom. Being the chronic over-achiever that I am, I just create my own material. It’s kind of like making a quilt.


If you’re thinking that I can reuse the fruit of my labor, you’re partly correct. I can reuse the remnants. But you see, I don’t teach objectives; I teach children. Since the children change from year to year, I'm perpetually quilting. 

I store my materials in a tote in the attic. During quilting season, I pull down the traveling teacher box and try my best to keep it from crawling about the house.

It has been in the dining room…
And the living room…
And in the bedroom…

I committed myself this time to finding a solution to keep it contained. I had grand notions of a blog worthy repurposing project, but it didn’t happen.


Instead, it has llived on a shelf,
 behind a shower curtain,
 in a little used bathroom off the den.


Nothing like a constant reminder that your career is in the toilet…

So today I get to pack it all up again and wait for the Man of the House to come home and lug the traveling teacher box up to the attic for another year. I get to reclaim the bathroom, my time, and my creative energy. It’s a good feeling.

I won’t know for weeks whether I can call this year’s teaching adventure a success or a failure, but at least at this minute, I can call it completed. If hard work counts for anything, it was a job well done.

And that, my friends, is this week’s simple pleasure.

*****
Sharing this with Dayle at A Collection of This and That
Join me for more Simple Pleasures

33 comments:

Sharon Kirby said...

Congrats on being DONE!! I know this has been a long haul for you, but I'm sure those kids are better people for having known you, and being under your tutelage.

And I'll just bet they do VERY well on that test.

Loved the shelves in the shower. Takes the idea of reading in the bathroom to a whole new level. Isn't it a little hard to get the pencil to work, though, in the water??? Or do you turn the water off before studying? I always get that wrong...

xo

no spring chicken said...

Hurray for you!! I enjoyed your post to the point of chuckling out loud (definitely my favorite kind). As a home school mom I don't have the non-ventilated problem but I do understand the quilting of the curriculum. And the pressure of the end of the year test! Relax and enjoy while you can.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Thank you for undertaking one of the most under appreciated professions.

I am sure the kids will test very well.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Enjoy your time off Debbie-have fun:@)

Sylvia said...

I completely relate to that :) So charmingly written ! Thank you for stopping by and writing such a kind comment ! Enjoy your time !

Terra said...

Ah, a simple pleasure indeed and I am sure the children blossom with you and your creativity. Are you saying you do this teaching stint every year? I hadn't heard of that type of teaching job before you described it. Oh, and I am having a book giveaway on my blog today.

Gayle said...

Oh yea...the relief of it all! I'm so glad you stopped by my blog and left an encouraging note! I hope to see you often.
Sweet Blessings,
Gayle

Kelli said...

Oh the unbridled joy of completing yet another school year. I am sure that the children under your wing have only flourished and will do well on their test. Now go have something sweet and yummy to celebrate!

xinex said...

How nice to be done for a while. Now you can just relax or go on to your other projects. Thanks for stopping by, Debbie, in spite of your computer problems. I hope they get resolved soon...Christine

Shug said...

I love it! congratulations on being finished! I have two teaching daughters and I can tell you that I was zoned in to every word you said...Including the dreaded test!
I suppose I need not express how much I think teachers are so under appreciated, so I'll just leave it at that and send my appreciation to you for a job that I know was well done...
Enjoy everything you do....
Blessings,
shug

Angel said...

Yea! Isn't it great to actually complete something? That is a rare thing for me but I love the feeling of accomplishment when I do. Congrats!

FrouFrouBritches said...

YAY for having completed the year, which in my eyes is a HUGE success. I'm sure all your little ones will pass "the test" with flying colors. I'm only a substitute and at the end of the day, I'm ready to run screaming from the building. Okay, not every day, but some days! Congrats on being all done!!!

I was cringing just thinking of your unventilated room full of little stinky boys, especially after recess or P.E. Boys smell like wet dogs after 10 seconds of exercise, which could consist of as little as walking across the yard and back. ICK!

Kathleen said...

I don't know how you manage in an unventilated room but I'm sure you do it with humour aplenty! Hope you enjoy all your spare time now.

Vanessa said...

Hi! I had a few minutes to eat lunch and take a break from the auction madness and I just had to come and visit one of my favorite ladies! I'm so glad I did because I loved reading about this area of your life. You can tell that you pour your heart into these kiddos, even if they are smelly. :-) Love, love, love the quilt analogy and now when my daughter and I listen to her animal CD in the car and the song "Old Grey Mare" comes on I will think of you! You'll like knowing that, right? :-)
Vanessa

Kay K said...

Great simple pleasure thanks for sharing

Red Couch Recipes said...

Glad you are done -- don't think people realize how hard good teachers work and how much they need a break. Of course, they aren't with them at 1 am in the morning as they are preparing or correcting. I say good for you and party as hard as you can! Congrats! Joni

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Well my hat is off to you!!! and I bow in awe!!! Each week when I go to mentor I see all that is before each teacher, so I applaud.
Success....well of course your were! You did the job and now God does His. Enjoy your break. Enjoy using your creative energy in different areas.
Oh we love Silverstein...one of our favorites and we just laugh!! Enjoy, enjoy!!!

Jacqueline said...

I am glad you are getting a break. I just want you to know that I think there are many students out there who absolutely adore their teachers and remember each one of them and how they touched their lives (maybe not boy students! ha ha). I was one of those students and I can still picture all of my wonderful teachers. There are a few of us! Thanks for the wonderful job you do.

Dayle said...

Thanks for the laugh, dear Debbie. (career in the toilet ... had to laugh). All I can say is those stinky boys are lucky to have you in their corner. Now, enjoy your time away from it all.

Christine said...

Thank you for being a Teacher!
Hard job, very hard job.
Now go and rest.

Entertaining Women said...

When I quit teaching school, high school English teacher, I actually considered selling painted turtles at TG&Y as an alternative career. I loved the kids, but I became fed up with the administrative BS. I have continued to teach for years, just not in a formal setting. Enjoy your time and space. Job well done! Thanks for stopping by my post. Cherry Kay

Joan said...

Congrats on a job well done. Time to sit back and relax - taking time for more simple pleasures.

Blessings,
Joan

sarah said...

You make me smile when I read your posts....and I think you must be one incredibly awesome teacher.....Enjoy your time......

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Debbie,
Always good to come to the end of something and feel like you have done your best, but ahhhh, it's finally over! I bet you are a great teacher.

Yea, our daughter put us on to netflix and we are so glad she did, cause our blockbuster store near us closed awhile back. I wasn't sure if I would like it cause sometimes I have to be in the mood for certain types of movies, but you pick your own and they send them in the order in which you have them, and it is great really cause you don't have to go and try to find something, you just get it in the mail, and you can watch it anytime you want and keep it as long as you want, then send it back, and they will send another one, and you can also download them on your laptop, at least that is how we do it, and somehow hubby hooks it to our reg TV.
So it has been a real blessing and we watch twice the movies we used to for $3.00 less a month. Can't beat that!!

I thought hubby did a great job on the table too. It would be hard if you were color blind to match a table or your clothes. Someone was telling me that a friend of theirs wanted to make an app for an iphone that would help color blind people determine what color things are so if they were out shopping they could do it themselves, without any help, but they were wondering about the feasibility of it, but I said I know about 3or 4 people that are colorblind, and now I know of 5, so I imagine there are quite a few, if everyone knew 4-5 people that would be a lot.

You have a good rest from your labors!!
and hope all is well with you and yours,
Blessings, Nellie

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Congratulations Debby! You never post anything without giving me a laugh (loved your "career in the toilet") photo! I can tell you this much -- just by reading your blog, I have been taught many wonderous and wonderful things. If I were sitting in a classroom, listening to you "wokking" all day, I KNOW I'd be brilliant! So..I KNOW you made an impact on your students, and I can say, without a doubt, job well done, Debby. laurie
p.s. I added a link on my post to a website that sells the plastic bag/vase.

Phyllis said...

Oh, I understand perfectly how you feel. For years I taught first grade, and then fourth grade. Later I did a ton of substitute teaching in all the elementary grades. THEN, I was asked to be a traveling tutor for THE test here in Texas. I started work in Sept. and finished just before THE test was given. Then my supplies went back to the attic....yes, my friend, I can relate! Congratulations and no matter the outcome, you labor was a success as the children learned and learned to love learning from you!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Nothing is a failure that involves sharing your wonderfully creative ideas with others. There's no telling how you've impacted those children's lives, Debbie, but something tells me it is in a forever way...

Congrats!

XO,

Sheila :-)

P.S. Did you get this crazy weather in GA? We had storms all over the state, and a neighbor's tree came down in our yard, taking out the fence. It did, however, miss the house! So I now get to deal with more men wielding power tools. Scary! ;-)

Magpies and Magnolias said...

"I can reuse the remnants. But you see, I don’t teach objectives; I teach children. Since the children change from year to year, I'm perpetually quilting."

What a wonderful way to express what you do! Those kids are lucky to have you....they just don't realize it! (Nor do their parents!)

I used to live in

Ms.Daisy said...

Debbie,
They were some lucky children to have had you as their teacher. You are so creative I just KNOW that they have never come close to having anyone like you as their teacher before. Good job - well done!


~Jean

Rettabug said...

"Nothing like a constant reminder that your career is in the toilet…" Can you come help me up off the floor?? I'm still laughing at that one! Great post & now enjoy your time off!!

elizabeth said...

YaY! I worked in the special ed. dept. in a local grade school for a few years...oh I remember having to pull together things for my reading groups! I also remember the deep sigh of relief at the end of the year!

Denise said...

I KNOW what a difficult bunch of students you had to teach this year. If they don't pass, it certainly would not be YOUR fault. You can only help the raw product so much. Just sayin'. I know you're glad for this task to be completed. Now go and have some fun!!!

Chatty Crone said...

Yippee - have a good vacation and relax. You are the rock thrown into a lake and the ripples start out from you - you will never know how far they will go!
sandie

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