2 days until school starts, and I’m actually excited. Last year was a tough year, and there are so many things that I regret. There are a two things that I deeply regret. And yet, we move on.
I returned to my school this year with the intention of seeing my 8th-graders off. I taught them 7th grade last year, and because of our school model, I’ll be teaching them this year. As I try to explain, no, it won’t be easier this year. I won’t get to reuse my material. I’ll be teaching a brand-spanking-new curriculum (ELA 8, Algebra, US History, Physical Science), but at least, my class will be the same.
In my mind, I felt that all behavioral issues had been resolved. I keep on imagining that because I returned, students will know that I want the best for them, and in return, they will work hard and stop challenging me. But as the day nears, my heart sinks a bit, because you totally know that 8th grade is super screwy, and who knows what the hormones will do!
And yet, I’m still optimistic. The administration is turning over a new leaf and for the first time ever, I felt respected and positive about how I was being treated. Even though the workload is pretty much the same, I want to do more. I feel supported. It’s amazing!
In terms of prepping for class though, it sucks. Charter schools have to use our funding for our building along with salary and supplies. I’m expecting some small bonuses this year, so as a result, I’m buying a bunch of things for class. One of my colleagues says that he doesn’t mind working extra since we get paid more than OUSD and we get a few days off a month. I flat out said, “Dude, the days off makes up for the 3 weeks we have to come in the summer. And we work way more than OUSD, we should be getting paid a bit more. It doesn’t match up.”
I feel a bit measly that as a teacher, I’m beginning to really clamor about pay and benefits, but it does sort of stink. I remember telling someone, if I wanted to work 80+ weeks, I would have been an I-banker.
This year I bought a few things for my kids:
Taiwanese pens/notebooks/erasers/chess set/rubics cube = ~$50
Physical Science / US History / Inspirational Posters + 2 Maps = ~$50
College t-shirts (to raffle off) = ~$30
A leopard gecko, its food, its habitat = ~$100
Blue tape, Expo markers, bookmarks, special notebooks = ~$40
AAA Batteries, VGA Adaptor (for my mac), a remote (for my mac) = ~$60
So far, I’ve spent over $300. In taxes, I think I should get that back. But I definitely spent more in the last semester too. I’m not too bummed because there are some things I could reuse, and I want this year to run seamlessly.
And yet, it is a bit sucky. I’m on DonorsChoose, trying to get a bulk of my materials, but I wonder if I’m being extravagant. Maybe they don’t need extra, fun books. Maybe they should go to the library to access computers. Maybe my procuring for them school supplies is coddling them (this year we’re not allowed to give mandatory supplies lists, only suggestions. But that sucks because I like specific notebooks/highlighters/pens for taking notes). Okay. If it’s written out like this, of course my requests make sense. But when I think about the money involved, the effort, I just feel overwhelmed.
Anyway, the main point of this was to record the cash I spent this year just in the beginning. I am tooting my own horn. Maybe just to remind people that I’m putting my money where my mouth is, and that I’m walking my talk.