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.