My school year is FINALLY over. It was such a bittersweet day. This is by far the hardest year teaching I have ever had, and I have had some HARD years, especially in the beginning of my career. I received some of the most beautifully written notes from some parents that I will cherish forever. I thought I had done such a crappy job this year, but I guess the parents feel otherwise. My class for "next year" is filling up, and they are now talking about capping it, which means not letting some kids enroll, which is killing my boss, I know. She would take them all because of the money.
J and I have decided that I will take all of June off (I am leaving Wed. for Florida). If I have not found a job by the end of June, then I will stay where I am. A main reason I feel so much stress in my job is because I took over the class in October because the teacher became ill and could not teach anymore. There were very few materials for the kids to work with, the closet was full of junk (and still is), and I was never given time to make the materials I needed, organize a calendar, get my head above water (unless I had been willing to do it at home, which I refused to do). I wouldn't mind bringing work home if it was because I ran out of time, but I was rarely given any planning time. So if I have July and part of August to make my calendar, put the materials together (three moms have volunteered to help and one is buying me a file cabinet), and drag everything out of that stupid closet and see what I even have and what I want to toss, then I will feel so much more equipped to do a good job. I did not feel I could make very many changes to the classroom since the kids had already had things a certain way. Keeping their routine helped them get used to me. Also, if I stay, there are things that I want put in writing on my contract that were not there before: 1) I must get my planning time each day, which means, also, that I must have time to have parent/teacher conferences at least twice each year. 2) I must have an assistant at all times. There has to be consistency in these kids' days. 3) I am paid for December break (my boss still owes me a lot of money from last December). 4) I will not do child care before or after school!
My one big concern about going back next year is my possible coming out accidentally. Most of the parents I know right now would probably not have a problem with my sexuality, but I fear that my boss's religious beliefs might really make it difficult in my situation. I really don't think she would fire me during the school year, but I feel that she would lose her respect for me and be even more difficult to work with.
I have learned this week that I have more control over my work situation than I originally thought. I have learned to be more assertive with my boss, and I eventually get my way. I AM RUNNING THE PROGRAM. She really is relying on me to make all the decisions, even though she tries to make it appear that she does.
I will still be looking daily for a new job, but I do not feel the stress of "Oh, no, what if I can't find another job?" going on inside me. I don't know. It could be because my year is over and I have a month off. Maybe I will feel differently the closer to the end of June we get.
Thanks for listening to all the rambling during the year!