For a time of transition, it comes along very suddenly; a gust of wind blows in and BAM, it’s suddenly time to pack away your flip-flops. The mornings are colder and darker, the deer are out in force, gorging themselves while they can, working their way into town and wandering around in the city park as tame as puppies. Overnight the leaves turn from the light green of late summer to such vivid reds and gold that it almost hurts the eyes. I drove past a particular maple that was such a shocking shade of red that it wakes me up more than coffee just looking at it.
I worry that I have bitten off more than I could chew with this year. On top of teaching, I have been trying to get gifted and talented programs running during our intervention time. One day I am running around with science kits explaining how transistors work to eager kids; the next I’m brewing pots of Raspberry Zinger tea for my ‘book clubs.’ I have to work extra hard to make sure that my grey-area students—the ones that slip through the cracks—get the help they need with their new math program. I worry about them falling too far behind, and this worry led me to going in the lunchroom last week and having students review math problems for jellybeans.
I also found out at the beginning of the year that our after-school program needed a new director. Kid’s Club is held two nights a week and serves as a chance for enrichment and homework help for students who don’t have programs like sports to take part in. Kid’s Club had been run for years by a teacher who retired last year, along with lots of other teachers across the state—my own father included. This is the program where I got to know most of the K-3 students by name, where we built the best snow-fort in memory, and where I taught kindergarteners to fish. I feared that without its former director’s sheer force of personality, the program would not run.
So I applied for the job.
Now, along with teacher, gifted and talented coordinator, blogger, and tech coach, I can add Kid’s Club director to the list. I used to make fun of my father, a teacher of 30 years, because he coached, ran a technology co-op for the school, taught math, and had a million other little jobs in the district. I used to think that it was because he was a workaholic and had to be busy. Now, one happy obligation at a time, I think I see how my father got so busy.
(Photo: Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock)