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The last post was the 21 things I KNOW at 42. At the end I said I'd consider writing 21 more things to make it 42 in total & then ...


Shoe Personality of the Week: 8/23/2010

I’m in a state of quiet flux. Tomorrow marks the beginning of yet a new journey in my life, ushers in a new experience & opportunities to teach & learn. Tomorrow I blast off into a whole new world. For some reason, I’m not antsy or anxious. I am calm & secure in my seasoned novice. Oxymoronic? Yes, but true for me. This will mark the 4th in a string of firsts, making me expert at nothing but how to be new. It’s a state most resist & 1 I’m beginning to wonder if I just don’t have sense enough to resist too. Somehow along the way, I’ve gone from totally resisting change—clinging steadfastly to things I knew even when they were dysfunctional—to welcoming the shake-up to see what settles once the dust clears. I am a snow globe, constantly being passed around for the next person to shake & watch the flakes fall. Little time is spent at rest on the table.

Despite all the newness, I have tried to create a warm & inviting environment for my students tomorrow. This batch of babies comes from my time spent during student teaching. They were the “special” group giving the blues to the teachers who were mentors & later became colleagues. Their reputation has not changed & I’ve been heavily warned about what’s coming to me. I will work my hardest for them, because they deserve it, but because behind them comes the group that was my 1st class, giving me an opportunity to bask in their budding greatness once again. I look forward to the challenge of making the present group love entering my room despite themselves, despite their desire to hold on to preconceived notions about teachers & school. It will not be easy.

My fears exist but have not come to roost yet. I’m entering the realm of testing grades *shudder*. This world is completely foreign. My compass is used & cracked, donated by a school system that talks a good game in public & then turns its ass up at the people who work for it. This compass is not to be trusted. Instinct & cries for help are the only things in my toolkit today. Shouldn’t I be scared?

As I walk into the unknown, all I can do is bring things with me that will help me to be sturdy. Sturdy in purpose & resolve. I must prove to myself & those watching me that I am durable. I am determined to be successful at this thing too & my approach to my children will be vigorous & full of lofty expectations, hopefully pushing my children to want more of themselves. 6th grade English will become a Lust for Literacy. Bring it on.

Watch me move.


  1. I truly wish you godspeed. I am and forever will be a middle school teacher at heart. I remember sixth grade because it was the year that my life was rocked upside down when my beloved Grandma Winkie died and I could no longer be shielded from the crushing reality of my father's addiction by her warm embrace. So I relate to those kids because I know how hard it can be, navigating life when your compass has not even been set yet, let alone cracked. You will do well by them. My first group of 6th graders was my student teaching class as well and they came with a reputation as hell-raisers (they did not disappoint), but they were and still the brightest group of students I've ever taught. My prayers are with you.

  2. 6th grade was monumental for me too. It was my 3rd year in public school, but the 1st year to finally make a connection with a teacher who truly cared for her students & went out of her way for ALL of us. She was my English teacher & for the life of me I can only remember her last initial. The space shuttle, Challenger (?) fell out of the sky that year too. & my crush on Richmond was taking a major toll on my logic & reasoning skills. 6th grade is in my heart as 1 of the best year of school. i want my students to have a similar experience.

    i'll take those prayers. every little bit helps.

  3. Oh yeah, the upside was the I was skipped to sixth grade but because the private school I went to was so small I ended up in class w/all of my 5th grade friends (all 4 of them). We baked cookies to learn about fractions, we kept an aquarium to study habitats, and most fondly, piled into Miss Winsome Teresa Blair's (fab name, burned into my cerebellum) burgundy Hyundai Excel to go to the Baltimore Harbor for our end of year trip.

  4. I don't wanna go!!!!

  5. Hey Girl Hey,

    I'm gonna be honest, 6th grade I don't remember it much outside of the fact that it was a the first school I ever went to in Philadelphia. I do remember eventually getting placed in academics plus (AP). This was the class for the advanced students. All the "smart" kids were in AP. It was a way of reducing the number of kids skipping grades.

    I wish you all the luck in the world. Outside of parenting, teaching is the biggest responsibility in the world. You have so many little minds to shape and influence.