Friday, July 26, 2013


So there's this school...
Most of its students are on free/reduced meals.
Many of them live at poverty level.
A lot of them don't speak English at home, so schoolwork in English is difficult.

Most of the thirty-six of the fifth graders last year worked extremely hard. Scores haven't been released yet, but the regional director of the schools in the state said their standardized test scores were up 20%-30% from last year.

Which means their teacher did her job.
Which means she had a good relationship with most of them.
They were wonderful.
She grew to love them and was proud of them.

But the future of this school is uncertain. It is quite possible it won't be open past this school year. And unlike last year, when she'd shared responsibilities, this year she was the only fifth grade teacher. And the class size for this year had grown to thirty-seven at last count. She knew she couldn't do justice to that many at once.

On Sunday, a mere five days ago, she found out about a fifth-grade opening at another charter school nearby. Although she had not applied anywhere else over the whole course of the summer, she felt she needed to apply for this job. So she mailed her application and resume on Monday. She had an interview Thursday morning. And a couple hours later she had a new job.

She'll be making more money.
But will she be making friends like she had at the other school? Women she shops, hikes, and has good conversations with?
She'll have a more secure job.
But will she have the same impact on a very different demographic of students?
She'll have a smaller class.
But will they win such a large part of her heart?

Only time will tell.

The reactions she got from now-ex-co-workers ranged from the bitter:
"I can't believe you're leaving!"
"I'm going to miss you!"

To the sweet:
"You'd better call me."
"If someone else wants you, it means we did the right thing in hiring you. Congratulations."
"Good for you!"

When the interview was taking place, she was asked why she wanted to leave her current job.
"I don't want to," she responded.
And then she explained why not but why she was seeking other employment.
She didn't know if that was wise. But it was honest.

So the school she loves is now looking for a new teacher.
And she feels more than a little guilty.
And not a little protective.
Will the person they hire be able to love those kids like she did?

The principal at her now-old school, who is new, who she had not even been officially introduced to until she resigned, told her, "Well, if it doesn't work out there, let us know."

Her now-former-co-workers, many of them friends, are now in meetings without her, and she gets another week of summer.
There is an unknowing, which makes her somewhat excited and somewhat nervous. 
There has come a moving on - something that a week ago wasn't even on her radar. It's hard to know how to feel about incredibly fast changes like this.

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