little ray of sunshine

We’ve been in the building full time since May of last year, and now this year. School began on September 8th for students, so today is Day 12.

And each day I think, “Whew, one more day I don’t have COVID, or at least a breakthrough case that I know of.”

And that is our educational/teaching lives now. If we don’t have the means to take a sabbatical, retire, or tap into our heiress funds, we go back to work. I do need to take some time and journalistically chronicle the events of the past few weeks, but today I’m going to share a little bit of good news.

This is the third year I’ve been in my building, hired as a full-time EL/ML teacher, and concurrently, I started at the district with a newly minted EL endorsement, but thirteen years of other ELA, etc. experience. First year, great. Worked with teachers, was told the building was lucky I was there, all good things. Second year, during the quarantine: not so much. But undeterred, I kept contacting students through weekly letters, I did home visits, and my colleague who’s the family liaison and I kept working closely together. She is an incredible young woman. Had many students walk on graduation.

Yesterday, we had a staff meeting and the superintendent was there, and our on-time graduation rates have skyrocketed, and mostly with Pacific Islander/Hispanic populations. We have mostly Hispanic/Latinx and Marshallese students. And I looked at my colleague and said, this is because of the hard work we did last year– yes, it takes a team, yes, many teachers worked their asses off, but for once, she and I took a victory lap because it was her and my work, and the support of admin. I thanked the superintendent for hiring me so we could put these resources towards these groups of students, and he completely acknowledged and validated our work.

And now I’m motivated because I know that what I do matters for my students. I see the data. The entire school saw the data. If folks want to collaborate with me and our other colleague I mentioned, great. The door is open.