What a Year

Today marks a year since we moved from Arizona to Virginia. Last summer was a whirlwind. Setting up the house. Taking a trip to South Africa to visit family. Commemorating Mom’s passing on July 30. And then I started a new school year.

Today marks the day I complete my one-year stint at a city high school. It was a bad fit right from the start. I have never worked at a school where chaos ruled. There are pages I could write, but they are mostly negative, and I don’t want to go there. Who’d have thought I would have a panic attack at my age? It took all my strength to endure the school year. I felt like a phony with a pasted smile and scratching my head at how the faculty and staff loved the school so much. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

The top four reasons why I could not stay: loud profanity, no accountability, seven lockdowns, sudden fights in the classroom, and no way to stop the addiction students have to their cell phones.

What good can I say?

I grew to care for all of my students. It took until February. Even the loudest, scariest students looked me in the eyes and talked to me respectfully. We learned to relax around each other. The AP Literature students were the brightest 60 students I ever had in the twenty-three years I’ve been teaching. My colleagues were nice to me. The historical building is beautiful that is respected by the community.

I suppose if I stayed, I would grow thick enough skin to endure the craziness. But at 60, I know I need a school that is smaller, quieter, and more stable.

The next step? I was hired at Liberty High School in Bedford where I live. Instead of a 40-minute commute, I will have a four-minute commute. I’m excited to gain back time.

As I leave classroom S108 for the final time, my feelings are mixed. It was the first time I ever worked only one year at a school. Let’s just call it a bad fit and move on.

I keep saying I’m going to post and write more, but I’ve been emotionally stuck. I hope this summer I can find my footing and catch my breath. I feel like I’ve been holding it for months.

31 thoughts on “What a Year

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    1. Wow, what a year indeed! It’s great to hear from you again and what you are up to. It’s sounds like you made the best of a difficult situation. I love hearing both the positive and the negative, and some people can’t get through the negative to find the positive This is a great post thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Gosh, Cindy, sounds like a needle and pin year for you.
    I rewatched Blackboard Jungle recently. If the kids don’t have a good foundation at home, it’s almost impossible that even the best teachers can help.
    Break a leg.


  2. I enjoyed teaching at college level matching minds with students who tested the legitimacy of their teacher at the beginning of each semester. Hit them with a load of work and projects for the semester in advance and survive the first day of smart guy challenges and they see you mean business and settle down to work and take things seriously. However I’d never attempt to teach high school. You are a brave person indeed.


    1. Hi Ian. I hope you are well. Thanks for your comment. Teaching college is a dream job! I wanted to be in your shoes, but alas, I was destined to be in the secondary classroom. I’ve met some very special students along the way. 80 percent of the time, I don’t mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It makes teaching sound almost comic, but a job shouldn’t be like that. Little or no respect and counting down the days to go.
        And every teacher over fifty is doing it!


  3. Hi Cindy, I admire you for sticking it out for a year. Unfortunately, all the rights people have now seems to have also resulted in a total lack of discipline. I don’t know why, but that seems to be the truth. Everyone has a right to be different, a right to speak out, a right to dress as they please which is all well and good, but it has the side effect of undermining other peoples rights. It is a strange circular reference.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like it’s been a tough year and posting for you, but you’ve really made a connection with your students, and I’m sure they have grown as individuals with your teachings. You’ve done an amazing job.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad to hear things are better. Yes, a good walk is a great way to clear the mind of troubles. Thank you and enjoy your Sunday as well, enjoying some lovely weather here in the UK atm. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. A fellow teacher here. Just finished year 22. It sounds like you had one heck of a year. It’s so hard to get up and go every day when things are that stressful, but you did it! You’ve certainly made a positive impact on many. I hope your new position is wonderful as you deserve it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post Cindy πŸ™‚ Always great to hear from you πŸ™‚ Whatever you need to do get rest, post a blog entry whenever you feel like it πŸ™‚ Speaking of which, I will have a new blog entry up by midnight tonight in my area πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cindy, I am with you on this post. My heart swells on the good that happened, albeit taking until February to make a connection. When you have tough students, and make a difference, please know that sticks with the student. What you did from February to June may have changed a child. That alone is huge. From one teacher to another, thank you!


      1. Cindy, when you connect with children, it’s like magic. Next year might be that year of magic. Really. This year the new teacher at school clicked with the children, and it has been so very wonderful for her. Being a new teacher can be wonderful for you and for the children. Really. I’m your cheerleader, here.πŸ˜€


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