Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer break is over

I have 4 days left of Summer break. On Monday I head back to school. July 31. No one is happy about the encroachment of the school year calendar into July, but with all the other mandated and preferred "must haves" during the year, this is the way it turned out.

We have 4 days of pre-planning and then on Friday, August 4, the kids come. This year I'll be stationed in the second grade level and mainly in one second grade classroom for 95% of the day. I only have one segment in first grade, helping out another teacher who will be working with first grade students. My home spot where my desk is and where I put my purse and eat lunch etc. has changed too. I used to be at one extreme end of the school and now I'm at the other. This will be really convenient because my new spot is in the second grade area and it will save me a lot of time and steps during the day.

In the last 6 years I've never been stationed in one class or dedicated to one teacher as much as I will be this upcoming school year. I used to go somewhere different every hour. I traveled with the kids instead of the kids coming to me. Being with one teacher is like a marriage. The para-professional is a helpmeet, supporting and helping the teacher in any way that will help her be more effective for the kids. In being with one person all day, I hope I don't annoy my teacher too much! At least when I went somewhere different every hour the teacher knew that they only had to put up with me for a short time and then I'd leave, lol!

I'm looking very much forward to this year. I like the security of the job (as secure as these things can be) but also look forward to the small changes within the job because that means it never gets boring. I used to be dedicated to kindergarten, this year it will be 2nd grade. I used to travel the building, this year I'll mainly be in one classroom. I love the teacher I'll be with so that is a huge forward start.

Our school is really good and the Administration is excellent. It has a positive and friendly climate. It is a good place to work because of the collegial support and encouragement. The work environment is physically comfortable. The high-level professional quality of my colleagues and especially the Admins is all good. I am really blessed to have a good job with a steady paycheck, regular hours, and is fulfilling because it is with kids.

As a result of our good school's climate, we have a low amount of people requesting transfers away. Employees come, and they stay. We have historically had the largest amount of 20, 25, and 30 year workers in the system. The downside is that these long-term workers are starting to retire now. I'll miss them- they were good people. We were given funds to fill the positions for those who left. That, plus the blessing of receiving funds for some new positions, means that this year in our building we have ten new faces!

What I'll miss about summer break at home:

The warm glow of the kitchen curtains as the sun rises and filters through the lace

Savoring coffee slowly first thing in the mornings

The green grass outside my window

Hearing the birds in the morning, along with the Wayward Rooster (who crows a chortled crow at all hours not just morning!)

The quietness of home

Snoring kitties

Eating at odd times

Going to the bathroom whenever I want! (You teachers and mommies know what I mean).


Surfing the net all day


Not having to talk to or see people

Not having a schedule


What I’m looking forward to at school:

Having a schedule

Seeing the children

Kids' bad knock knock jokes


Helping children

Serving my teachers

Feeling useful

Being a good employee

Not being able to eat whenever I want to (phew I ate myself out of house and home this summer!)

Being part of a team that makes a safe place for children to come to and be loved

Actually earning the paycheck that comes through the summer

Seeing my principal and assistant principal do their work because they are so good at what they do

Coming home at the end of the day

Rainbow at dawn over my school a couple of years ago. EPrata photo


Elizabeth Prata said...

As far as earning the paycheck that comes through the summer when I'm not working: it's a sensitive subject and I want to be clear. I live for 12 months on a 9-month salary. The System just divides the gross by 12 and sends same the same amount each month whether I'm in school or in summer. I earn every penny. It is a talent and a task to stretch single income, 9-month semi-professional salary to 12 months and have some kind of quality of life. But it still does feel strange to receive a paycheck when the biggest accomplishment I'd done that day is get dressed at a reasonable hour and feed the cats!

Eugenie said...

Throughout my son's school career, the para professionals that have worked with him have been a huge blessing to the both of us. Thank you for doing a very hard, stressful, emotionally draining job with very little pay. The love, support, stability, and prayers you offer up for your students has a far reaching impact and I am sure they are greatly blessed by your influence.

Elizabeth Prata said...

Thank you so much Eugenie! Your comment is so very kind!!!

Grace to You said...

I can't believe you're going back to work in 4 days and the kids are back in school on August 4??!!! I'm especially sorry to hear it because I finally packed up some art supplies and am leaving for the PO in 10 minutes to ship them to you, but you won't even get them before your summer vacation is over. I'm really sorry about that, but hopefully you'll have time on the weekends to do some creative stuff.

I didn't have as many supplies to get rid of as I thought - I did a huge purge when we moved here and I got rid of almost everything, apparently - but there are a couple of kits that might be fun.

Elizabeth Prata said...

Hi Grace To You,

No worries, I'm so blessed that you even thought if it! I will have plenty of time to bookbind and have fun, plenty!! Labor day weekend is coming up ;) THANK YOU so much!

Anonymous said...

Where did the summer go????

Totally understood what you meant by how a teacher's pay works. Yes, you get paid in the summer, but it's for the work you did the previous school year. :) So glad you are able to have a job in such a good district.

Sounds like this year will be a new adventure. Second grade, a bit more self control than Kindergarten. LOL! Emphasis on "a bit". That age range still resembles "herding cats", as you once put it.

I teared up at GTY's sweetness and thoughtfulness, in sending you some art supplies...


Elizabeth Prata said...

Thank you for your comment! I added the paycheck comment as a general afterthought to the original post. I went back and re-read after I'd published, amazing how things come across AFTER you hit the publish button, sigh. Yes, herding cats, they still wander, fall down, go astray at age 7-8 as well as 5-6!