Cautiously Approaching the Vortex

The Welcome Back from the principal email has been received with the attached schedule for the teachers Pre Planning week. Time to ease back towards the edge of the Vortex. I am determined not to be sucked in. It is inevitable that the crises problem solving methods that seem to arise in this profession will touch me—BUT I do not have to let it inside me. I cannot control the decisions outside of my classroom or the school building—I can set the stage within my sphere of influence. As I sit back and watch the flurry of preparation that happens prior to the opening act of the The 2012-1013 School Year, I keep the summer in my heart, and embrace the changes that are looming in front our island school district.

This has been a good summer, quiet, lazy and slow. Days of doing absolutely nothing have been accomplished. My body is programmed to go to sleep at sundown and awake at sunup. I have paddled countless miles with Turtles, Dolphins, Rays, Lobster, Seastars, Manatees and good friends in this Paradise of my island home. I am rested and ready for the curtain to go up o this show!

Calm at the edge the Vortex

One of my summer friends

As a seasoned teacher, I am grateful I do not feel the apprehension of moving onto the stage of  a new school year as much as some of my younger colleagues. The passion for teaching is bubbling in my heart, but not I am in any hurry to move out of the wings, I savor the preparation time it takes to get the stage set, costumes ready and lighting just right. My years have taught me to treasure the peace of these Pre School days—the quiet of a classroom that has dust on the desks speaks to me.

In those quiet moments, before the computer is hooked up again, the phone is reconnected and contact is made with the district office, parents and staff, my purpose is determined. Each year, I determine a personal goal that I want to see accomplished, a legacy of sorts. This is not a professional development goal that is measured by administration, rather a strong determination that comes from reflection on the needs of our island youth. This year I am going to focus on including Special Olympic Sports into the school district Sports Programs.

Most educators in our district do not know that Special Olympics has FREE resources to help educate ALL youth, special needs and non special needs—– not only in the sport specific skills, but in life skills—working as team, tolerance for others, physical self care—-By June of 2013, my goal is to have brought awareness of Special Olympics school based programs to our district level administration, enlist them in developing a district wide Special Olympics Program that will allow our island youth to come together on an equal playing field!

Many times I hear “I am not in sports–I do not fit in” or  “I wish I could play with the team”—- I am so sad when I see my students sitting on the sidelines watching their peers compete in a sport, when they know they CAN– swim, run, bike too–but are excluded due to slower performance and processing skills.

Our education system tends to spin on an access, sweeping everyone involved into a crises thinking. Each year I determine to dodge the spin cycle and emerge with an accomplished goal—a legacy that will remain on this island.

Monday at 8 am I will meet you in the High School Auditorium for the Superintendents opening speech to all staff.

Let the games begin!


4 thoughts on “Cautiously Approaching the Vortex

  1. This will be the first year for a very long time I’m not in some classroom days prior to the reporting day. I enjoyed getting in during the true quiet time and taking a bit of time to just sit and soak in the feeling of the classroom. Every year brings on new challenges and new joys. There is the kid you don’t know yet but after this year you will never forget him or her. My years teaching ranged adult leadership classes to kindergarten – it is remarkable how many similarities there are between the two. I still have my kids in my heart and I know you do also Ruth – it is the one thing that makes teaching so unique and special to those that truly understand the job. Enjoy the calm days between here and there and then the excitement and challenge of the year.

  2. Max– you are entering a whole new phase of life—your legacy will live on—enjoy the fruits of your labor and I am sure we will see you volunteering in some capacity soon!

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