It's been a long, LONG time since I've connected with y'all via this medium. I don't know anyone who had a stellar year last year. There were some pretty specific things that made my year one of the worst, and a very concrete way for me to measure that.
My program has been going through some changes over the past couple of years, and I can't say I'm happy with them. Last year the specials' teachers did not have enough time in the schedule to see each class from each grade (we had three classrooms for each grade except for first). So, the solution was to create two groups, A and B. Each class was split in half, and one half would join one half of the other two classes. For example, we had three third grade classes: 3J, 3K, 3M. Half of each was put together to form Group A, and the other halves made Group B. So while classroom teachers had between 15 and 18 students, we had upwards of 22. 23 sixth graders in one class, 23 fifth graders, 22 kindergarteners. Suffice it to say, it was a nightmare.
We did manage to do some fun and productive things in the 2021-2022 school year, despite the challenges!
I tried to plug through, but it was exhausting. How did I know I had lost my motivation? By the amount of English I was speaking. The less energy I had and energy I wanted to expend meant that I slipped out of what I consider good teaching. I know my students learned something, but it was NOT my best year.
IF you've known me for any amount of time, or have read my blog, you know that I have struggled with depression for a very long time. And when I come out of a particularly difficult time, I always have the same realization: I didn't know how bad it was until it wasn't bad anymore. And that's exactly how I felt during the first few days of school this year.
So I'm putting last year behind me. I did what I could with what I had, and while I'm sad it had to be that way, I'm not dwelling on it, nor am I beating myself up. It is what is is, and I'm just gonna keep on movin' on.
Come back soon to see posts about my first couple weeks of this BRAND NEW YEAR!
Allison Litten, the 2019 VFLA TOY, teaches French at the Marion Cross School, a public PreK-6 school in Norwich, Vermont. This is her twenty-third year teaching, and twentieth at Marion Cross.