The answer is definitely YES!
My classroom is so beautiful. It’s a big room with cabinets for storage, a whiteboard which takes up an entire wall, a desk with computer, huge modern windows looking out towards a major street and, most importantly of all: it’s MINE.
After a semester of substitute teaching and wandering from school to school, one thing that I am really looking forward to is having a room of my own and students to whom I can dedicate time to building relationships in addition to teaching the subject matter.
This year I am teaching five first level Spanish courses. I printed up over a hundred copies of my syllabus today and, as you can see from the picture, the books are all ready to distribute to students.
This entire week, I have been working hard at school on lesson planning, goal setting and preparing my classroom to receive my first students. So far, the curriculum director has been impressed with my work and I’m encouraged by that. Being new, I’m still trying to feel everyone out and find my place in the school community. Every day, I feel like I’m annoying people with all my questions and I feel unsure about a lot of things. However, folks at my school are really friendly and chill. I feel supported and that has helped a lot.
I still have a lot to do over the Labor Day weekend. A lot of finishing and wrapping up needs to happen. The big things are done and ready to go, but I’m not done yet.
In the midst of all my happy-joy-joy feelings about teaching, there is also some serious shit going on in the Chicago Public School system. I became a teacher in the middle of a bargaining year and it is quite likely that teachers will strike in a week.
Though I’m more than a little nervous about my finances, under the current climate, a strike is necessary. The CPS oligarchy is doing its damnedest to infringe upon student, teacher and community rights. They are using the “bad teacher/failing school” scapegoat in order to systematically dismantle public education and push their own brand of “education”.
The Union, teachers, parents and many students are working hard to make sure that not only are we heard, but also ensure a better education for all students. This is powerful stuff and I’m proud to be a part of it. Though, I’ll also be glad when it’s over.
On Labor Day, we march. On the following Monday, if the assholes-that-be don’t wise up, you’ll find me on the picket lines waving my sign proudly with my peers.
But before that, I have to survive the first week. I’m excited. I’m scared. I’m feeling kind of good-nauseous about everything. I want to laugh, cry and scream all at once. I see my life coming together. I see how things are and could be and might be and will be.
Gods above and Ancestors below, Guardians before me and behind me, to my left and to my right. Peace and Strength do I carry within me. May I project Love and Compassion that they will be my guide and shield. Ashe.
Now. I’m ready.