Tomorrow I start my 21st year teaching at Crawford. I am now not only long-past-legal in human years, but also in teaching years. And this year, I'm feeling it.
I had a sad back-to-school in Fall 2009. My kids I'd had for four years had graduated, we had lost half of the CHAMPs staff, and my husband had joined them in moving to another school. I cried on the way to school. But in the end, it was a great year. Emma came to stay with us, Scott's new job gave him more time at home. In the end, it was fine.
This year, CHAMPs is gone. Not just staff, but the actual school. We are now back to being one big Crawford with two "learning centers", each comprised of half of the remnants of each of the four small schools. Instead of starting tomorrow with the kids I taught in the spring, I will walk into a classroom of 40 students, 2/3 of whom I have never met. Our secretaries are gone, our school is gone, key staff members have retired, and once again, my husband is gone (but just across the street this time).
I am trying really hard to be positive, to cling to the fact that the kids will be awesome, as they always are. But a part of me wants to quit. They killed CHAMPs. In spite of all of our successes, in spite of the kids in college and the 1.6 million dollars our seniors earned in scholarships last year, they killed CHAMPs. Which just proves that, no matter how much you succeed in this district, they will always find a way to kill your dreams. And it's not about kids; it's about money.
But at the end of the day, I am still a Colt. My students are still Colts. And I have some great kids to work with, many of whom I haven't met yet. Tomorrow, when the kids are there, I will be fine. But tonight I am sad. Sad, but legal. Again.