Next Year

For all of last week’s angst, now that it’s Sunday I am seeing a little clearer. And now that I’m removed from the angst, I can write about it somewhat coherently.

My teaching assignment is changing quite a bit next year. After grad school, I was hired to teach English. Even though when I finished student teaching 11 years ago, my goal was to teach media and journalism classes, I was going to teach English. And so I had accepted my fate and grew quite fond of my cage.

Two weeks ago, my friend who teaches newspaper and journalism made the heart-wrenching decision to leave. It wasn’t an easy decision for her, and she is taking an enormous leap of faith. I am sad I won’t see her everyday, but I am excited to see what she does–she’s crazy talented and will rock at whatever she chooses.

A day after the news was public, I started getting the questions.

“Will you take newspaper? Do you even want it?”

I wasn’t going to rush into my principal’s office and beg for the job; I figured I’d leave it up to him to ask me.

Ask me, he did, and in the process reduced my English teaching load to two classes.

The best analogy I can create is extraordinarily hyperbolic, but here it is nonetheless. I feel like Private Ryan at the end of the movie, being dragged away from France so he can return to the U.S. and live a happy life.

Teaching Junior English is a bit of a battlefield these days, with all the state testing that happens to them. I told my principal that I felt my new teaching assignment was abandoning my friends and colleagues, and he empathized, but felt that I am needed in these other classes more.

So, next year’s schedule:

AP Language and Composition
English 11
Popular Culture Studies
Journalistic Writing

I’m excited and terrified, but I won’t be alone (a good friend is taking over yearbook and we’ve promised to pull each other out of the fetal position if it gets to that point).

Back to the poetry: this is one of my favorites. So beautiful.

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