Friday, June 17, 2011

The Load Out

So here we are, at the end of another school year. All the kids get ready to move on to the next grade, with all its attendant curiosity and apprehension. Teachers get ready to send them along, hoping that the one hundred and eighty days that they spent together were sufficient warning for what was ahead of them over that next rise. We listen to yet another group of fifth graders who insist "I ain't never comin' back here," and we all know that they will.
As much as things will stay the same around here for us teacher types, we know that it will be different in the coming year as well. Budget cuts have taken away our nurse, our attendance clerk, and our assistant principal. While it's hard to fathom how any one of these losses will impact day to day operations, we know that eliminating positions might save money, but somebody's going to have to hand out the band-aids and ice packs, calling when that sore throat looks like strep. Someone's going to have to print those reports that teachers need, always at the last minute, and to answer the phone when everyone else stands there and watches it ring. And someone is going to have to do all those things that an Assistant Principal does, but it would have to be more than one someone, since keeping track of the discipline, afterschool programs, teacher observations and a million other significant details would take an army.
We have all benefited from the experienced, competent, assured way these women did their jobs, and all of us, kids and grown-ups alike, shiver in anticipation of what the future holds, but most of all, we'll miss the people. These hard-working cogs in the machine of public education are going to be missed for their personalities as much as their hard work. We couldn't have made it through the year without them.
And yet, next year, we will. But I won't be happy about it.

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