Newtown Tragedy

It has been a while since I’ve posted, and I feel terrible for posting because of a tragedy, but I also feel that this is a post I must make.

I’m sure anyone viewing this page already knows this, but on December 14, 2012, there was a horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. A shooter got into the school and killed 20 students and 6 teachers. These were young children, babies really, none older than seven years old.

As a teacher who works in a K-8 school, I felt I needed to express my feelings. First towards the unexplainable violence shown against our society’s most vulnerable, and also towards the acts of heroism exhibited by the teachers who risked their lives to save those of their students.

As a teacher who lost a student last year, I know a bit of what the other teachers must feel like, however I know I do no understand the true enormity of the grief they must feel. I am not a parent, however, I do feel like a parent towards my students whom I refer to as my kids.

That someone would want to harm those who are so young and innocent bewilders me. It angers me. There is no sense in the act. Hundreds, if not thousands of lives are forever changed because of this.

As for the teachers, they truly are heroes. Too often we are told that we are overpaid and underworked. That our jobs end when we leave the school. But that is not the case. More and more this is becoming a dangerous profession where we are put at blame for falling test scores and problems that occur in the home. But at the same time it is an incredible job, and I consider myself lucky to be a teacher. There is no greater joy in finding a book a child loves to read and talking about it with them. Forging that connection with a student through the power of literature.

Though I’m not particularly religious, may God bless the little angels who have joined Him in Heaven, and the hero teachers who sacrificed their lives to save the children they were responsible for during the school day.

The Next Seven Days…

This week I feel like I’ve been terribly forgetful. In fact, I KNOW I have been. There’s just been so much on my mind that it’s hard to focus on any one thing, and as a result, a lot goes out of my mind!

Yesterday was the final tryout for my Odyssey of the Mind teams and after much deliberation and careful consideration, I was able to narrow down the 18 to my final 14 students. It was hard. All the kids that tried out were great and could bring different things to the program, but I can only have up to 7 students per team, and I’m already insane to take on two teams by myself.

Today we had field day. It was a BLAST. I cannot tell you how much fun I had. At my old school, field day was for some students, while the others and teachers just lounged around and watched. Not so here. At OCS, students are put into buddy groups from grades 5-8. There were 11 stations at a park we went to, and the students got about 10 minutes playing each of the games. I was in charge of the Capture the Flag field. CRAZY! Our section of the field was soaked by yesterdays rain and near the trees. Students from every team slipped in the slick grass and fell into it, but they had so much fun. I laughed so hard and got great pictures for the yearbook. I also nearly lost my voice from yelling and cheering so hard the entire time we were there. Oh, and don’t worry, I got soaked too. The water went up my jeans before I realized what was happening. But the fun was worth it!

My book was chosen as the October read for the YA LGBT Books group on Goodreads.

This weekend I’ll be working at the consignment shop and since it’s a sidewalk sale, my boss is setting me up to sell my books. Exciting! That’s this Saturday and Sunday. Monday we have off and I promised my students I’d go to the Book Barn to get more traditional fantasy books. I agree – not enough.

Tuesday I have a book talk at CCSU after school from 4:30 until 6.

And then Friday I’ll be heading to P-Town for Women’s Week!

So much coming up, it’s really no wonder I’m losing my thoughts!

End of the year… ups?

So my last post talked about the end of the school year and how I’ll be losing my job as well as some other things.

Well!

I have some FANTASTIC news on that front! Less than a week after school ended for me, I was offered a job! I’ll be working at a charter school in Manchester! I had my second interview on Monday and they later called to offer me the position. I’m thrilled! The school looks amazing, the curriculum is great, and everyone I met so far (even if I don’t remember everyone’s name… sorry!) has been so nice! My classroom is almost as big as the one I left, which means I don’t have to worry about my crazy book stash! I also have a CLOSET in my room to store materials! *sob*

The room does not have windows, but you know what that means? MORE WALL SPACE TO DECORATE WITH STUDENT WORK!!! And book and movie posters. WHOOO!!!! I am going to be a decorating FOOL when I get in there! I love it!

Having the school so much farther from home (35 minutes versus 5 minutes) means yes, I’ll have to get up earlier, but I can decompress on my way home and rock out to music, which is something I missed about having to drive.

I’m really looking forward to meeting my new bunch of kids. 🙂 It’s going to be an adventure!

They say when one door closes, another one opens. Well, that was definitely true in this case. I’ve been on cloud nine since Monday. And I’ve already started thinking about what I’m going to do with the kids! AHH!!