narrated by: Lucy
For the first time in as long as I have worked at Longfellow, which is quite a many years, we have a reduction in students. Census shows that we don’t have any surges in our populace for at minimum the next four years. So our classrooms are less occupied, and the students are getting more one on one attention. All of those things are good. It’d be even better timing to train a replacement principal for myself, while the classes are controllable. I turn sixty-three this year, and imagine I’ll go until I’m sixty-eight or so. Unfortunately I don’t know who to pick, Miriam or Oliver, and then I need a replacement teacher still. I’m putting it off despite knowing I shouldn’t, hopeful that some great teachers will be graduating EU shortly.
I like watching the students file in for the school day, and seeing how they mingle and interact with one another.
Oliver has quite a few nieces and nephews attending Longfellow right now, that he gets quite the bit of admiration in the morning.
Even Logan is a big fan of Oliver, and they aren’t related. He’s a pretty easy teacher to like though, and I always find that male teachers are a focus for great admiration from elementary kids.
My students are on their way to the junior high level of the High School, so it’s my job to get them prepared to the extra school work and social responsibility. It is really my perfect age for teaching, I like that they know all their basics, and we are just adding to their pool of knowledge.
There is rarely much in the form of discipline with my class, though I know that this age is not above trouble-making. I keep a firm control of my pupils, which my other teachers cannot always claim for themselves.
So when there is a big disruption, there is usually an underlying reason for it that has nothing to do with my classroom or teachings. I heard Isla whispering urgently to Nolan but wasn’t sure what it was about.
I didn’t have to wait long to find out the cause for her concern, apparently he was on the cusp of a full blown tantrum in the middle of our History studies.
Isla tried talking to him to make him feel better, but I quickly took over so she could get back to her studies. I’m not always aware of things happening at home, especially if there is marital strife without a pending divorce, most parents don’t share those details until it is a done deal. But I knew of Nolan’s Grandma’s passing.
I called his parents in to discuss his emotional turmoil. While I know that Julia is his real Mom, as she had gotten pregnant when Bekah (my best friend) was her principal and teacher. We stick to the given knowledge at these types of meetings, and I don’t share what I know with them or with Nolan who has not been told.
I always try to lighten the mood at these types of meetings, especially when the student is not in trouble academically, but I’m concerned.
Unfortunately, I can’t make it completely light, and we dive in to the heart of the issue. Nolan is not adjusting well to the loss of his Grandma, especially since they all lived in the same home together. He is finding every moment at home one of turmoil, as she had been the one to make after school treats, and a big breakfast on the weekends.
Grant admitted that he himself struggled with the loss of his Mom, that he hadn’t probably done enough for Nolan.
They both seemed plagued with guilt, Leah’s seemed more related to not having a strong relationship with Norma.
We spoke beyond the morning recess time, that Oliver had to take over my class while we finished up. I suggested that they seek out counseling for Nolan, and perhaps themselves. Only when they asked if I had any suggestions did I feel okay to lend them my daughter’s name. I told them Alice was my daughter, but also skilled for speaking with children.
We ended the meeting on a high note, at least Grant seemed better with having a game plan for Nolan. Leah seemed to continue to struggle with her inner insecurities, but I didn’t have any solution for that. I felt better returning to my class and hopeful for Nolan to find a way to properly deal with his feelings of loss.
Meanwhile on the main floor, Miriam is still teaching the youngest students. She continues to shine with their bright personalities and with a gentle touch for those that are anxious about school. She always has a personal touch for each of her students, and knows just the right amount of silliness to add without making her class hyper.
Most of her class is not bookwork, but there is enough to teach the basics.
Coming with two friends, has really helped Mavis jump right into the school setting though. She tends to be rather shy, but with Dax and Evan at her side, she seems to have settled right in.
There is an odd number of pupils this year for her class, so Miriam tends to pair up with one of the kids. Hatty and Diego tend to be the ones left out, as they didn’t come to school with friends already.
Miriam’s class heads to lunch on the first bell, which allows them to find their seats and get their food before the bigger kids plow through.
Then the rest of the students come down. In the past we have done assigned tables for each class, but have opened it up this year to allow all ages to interact. It’s especially helpful for those that have siblings in different grades, and I’m glad I made the switch.
Naturally there is always the one that causes issues, and in this instance, it was Isla throwing food at poor Diego.
Otherwise it goes really well, I like to see big kids hang out with the younger ones too. I think it can help them have someone older to look up to, and see their good behavior to mimic.
Nolan spent his lunch break discussing his Grandma’s recent passing, and I think it really helped that Mavis shared about her own Grandma dying and then a second Grandma dying, though she didn’t know the second one very well. Seeing how Mavis was getting on with this, seemed to help Nolan.
Outdoors we all head. As long as the temps don’t dip too low, we go out even in the snow. I’d rather stay indoors for recess, but find that lunch break recess really requires all three of us teachers on duty.
I find that Evan Holmes may be a bit of a troublemaker as she destroyed the snowman that I made with Nolan. She seemed pretty pleased with herself as well. I haven’t heard of this behavior from Miriam at all, so I’m hoping it was just a one time mistake on her part.
Dahlia and Rita Popper became fast friends, and were having a blast making snow angels.
Marisol gave first grade, Tyson Siew some pushes on the swing, and was directing him how to pump his legs. It was all rather impossible though, as the snow was nearly up to his knees when he was on the swing.
We don’t hear a single complaint from the kids about the cold. They all seem to really enjoy themselves.
I personally wouldn’t mind a snow day myself, and hope that the kids are right with their wager. My mother-in-law, Myra has been especially down with the passing of Norma much like Nolan, and could use the company.
Little Mavis attempts to jump out toward the bars when she finally gets a turn at them. They are the most popular equipment for recess, and I can never understand the appeal, give me a slide and swing any day.
After recess, Oliver takes his students to the library for checking out books and lessons on the computers. The Mac lab is in need of more computers, but I don’t see that happening any time soon, so us teachers have to finesse the way we do lessons on them, and what we do with the students waiting their turn.
Most of the kids love having time on the computers though, it is one of their favorite days of the week.
Sometimes Oliver doesn’t keep his waiting students quite in line, Tillie does handstands, and Miriam’s art class can hear her thumping around above them.
Thankfully Oliver jumps in with some reading after the other kids are set in their lesson. Domenico Pacelli tends to be a quiet, and sweet boy, generally studious. He is a welcome treat from his older sister Gemma, who was quite a handful, and I hear from Bekah, still is.
We all take turns with the art room as well, Miriam’s kids make the biggest messes and I’m always glad they pick that up after themselves.
It really gives all the kids a great sense of accomplishment, and they love having easels to paint on instead of sitting at a table with a sheet of paper.
By the end of the day, we are all ready to head home, but unfortunately us teachers always have work to finish up before we can.
Grading paperwork, I think we can all agree, is the most tedious part of teaching.
Notes: I don’t know who will replace Lucy, I’m thinking 68 would be a good retirement age for her, give or take. But I’ll have to see who is most qualified, and go from there. Miriam has the experience, but Oliver has more education. I really don’t want to make my elementary school be understaffed, so I need a teacher replacement as well. Here’s hoping there is another teacher in my high school or perhaps college that I have overlooked (in the way of a pnpc).
All of the kids really do adore Oliver, and I know when I was in grade school, we all loved the few male teachers. I really hope I can get another male teacher at some point soon as well.
And there is no surplus of kids headed to school. There are only five babies/toddlers in my hood right now, six if you count baby Jagger.
Unrelated to the update, I’m feeling very frustrated with wordpress compressing my photos that are uploaded to my own servers. The pixel quality is really dampening my enjoyment of blogging right now. 😦 And I’m not having any luck with finding a solution. I have my own domain (a .info one) so not really great, I got it cheap for photo uploading/sharing. I could move and host there, but setting up wordpress seems like a pain that I don’t have time for, so I feel stuck and I hate that feeling. If anyone has any ideas for a solution, I’m eager to hear them.
Thanks for reading!
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