On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Friday, May 9, 2014

Listen for the Harmonious Song

My chemistry students threw me a surprise farewell party today.  Pizza, pecan pie, soda, and gifts! I am so blessed, loved and honored.  Did we get in any review for the exam next week?  Nah... ok.  I think we covered about ten problems from last year's exam and maybe made a joke or two about entropy, phase changes as the ice melted and some discussion of pressures of gases in the soda.  That counts.

Good thing we still have Monday for review. 

Mug - "you are a gift, you make everyday a present"

The card says, "Dear friend, in case you're wondering, I notice how much you give, never expecting something in return.  I notice that you never forget to listen or laugh or simply look on the bright side...and in case you're wondering, I notice how incredible you are - at being a cheerleader, a therapist, and still finding time to be an amazing friend to me.

gifts included:
flowers, mug, two new scarves, headbands, earrings, decorative box and starbucks
(I'm an easy person to know how to shop for.  These are all perfect!!!)
Signature in the card: "I can't express to you enough how fortunate we all have been to have you as a science teacher throughout the years. You're one of the strongest people I know without a doubt.  Nothing can make my day more than hearing your VERY loud laugh that leads to tears!  It's going to be so weird and upsetting without seeing you and your uplifting spirit.  You'll definitely be missed!!"

Selfie in my new scarf and headband

Signature: "you are amazing.  I love you."

Signature: "I love you more than anything"

Signature: "thank you Ms Jennie!  We'll miss you!"

 Didn't intend to take a grumpy full selfie
I have a sinus infection but really, I'm so happy!!!

Signature: "thanks for teaching us this year.  You are an amazing, wonderful person and dont' ever forget that!  it'll be OK" [1]

Talented artist, Nikki Ackerman drew me in the TARDIS
Signature: "best wishes to you in all future endeavors.  Good things will follow you wherever you go.  You will always be missed at ECA."

Signature: "It won't be the same without you, friend. I'll be sure to see you on our next trip to PA!"

So much love and light.  When I go about my day, doing what I do all day long, I stay in the moment, never thinking too far ahead because it overwhelms me, in particular during this journey of grief I've been on.  I never think that I am giving off so much love and light, let alone that it would be reflected back.  I only think wow, I sure do love teaching!    I love my students, I love being in the classroom, I love learning and I love science.  There are days they drive me crazy but I hope that even on those days, there are teachable moments even if it isn't about science. 

There has always been something about Chemistry class though.  I've never been able to put my finger on it.  My major was in Biology and Physical Science is like candy to my brain (really - i just love love love teaching 8th grade physical science  - god's honest truth!).  But Chemistry?  Maybe it's the age of the students, mostly juniors and seniors?  Maybe it's the content?  Maybe it's the fact that it's the last class of the day?  I don't know.  Haven't done a scientific investigation to determine which is the dependent variable in the equation but the product is always a fun class.

Of course, I've been thrown a party but I have yet to sell my house or find a job.  So far there have been no offers on the house and I have had only three interviews, two already confirming that another candidate has been selected.  All of the other resumes have been rejected.  I know I'm a good teacher.  No, I'm a GREAT teacher.  It is a strength I'm proud of.  I can't imagine doing anything different.  So I am sad that in order to move, I might have to contemplate something other than teaching.  What would I do?  *shaking head*  It's in me, in my blood, in my DNA.  Teaching is who i am and what I do.

I will miss my school.  I've taught off and on for 17 years at  ECA.  The staff has always been flexible when it comes to the issues that pop up with my kids, in particular this year because Sissy's EBD program ends at 1:30 so she spends last period in my classroom every day.  My Chemistry students have "enjoyed" having her.  LOL - at the very least, they have a true appreciation for why moving to a state where we can get better resources is vital, despite the fact that they will miss me next year - and I, them.

So... I don't know.  it remains to be seen yet.  Which, admittedly, drives me crazy.  I have no control over a house selling or another school choosing to hire me.  I can't use students as references. ;)

Every day I process a little more of my pain and sorrow.  Today I wrote on my hand a reminder to recite when the ennui creeps in (and it does, many times a day, and sometimes it overtakes me and the tears just drop like rain without warning)


I am overwhelmed once again, as my students and my school have affirmed that I am light.  I am love.  We create harmonious songs together.  Thank you.  All of you.  xxoo


[1]0K for chemistry students means absolute zero or zero Kelvin, an ongoing joke we had in class
[2] Tosha Silver - "Anyone you mesh well with has a complementary vibe.  A harmonious song is thrumming in each of your souls"


schnitzelbank said...

Keep the faith in the job market! Lots of postings haven't gone external yet, too soon. For example, a large district near me (Portland Public Schools) hasn't gone to external candidates yet- I'm told by someone who works there, to expect 350 openings in the next few weeks. They just passed a bill to support smaller class sizes, so they need more teachers. FWIW, I live and teach out here and I love our peaceful city- I would say that this is a beautiful city and wonderfully accepting, kind, easy-going. You would like it here. I also used to live and teach in MI. Teacher salaries there are terrific, and it's not too far from western PA (about 5 hrs from Detroit to Pittsburgh by car).
Don't fear to widen the circle. Consider all opportunities, stay patient! Things are happening!

Jennie Skrobisz said...

Thank you, again schnitzelbank. you stay so positive. it helps.