Being Ms. B

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Jul 15 2013

In which there is peace in our times

It’s been a tumultuous summer to be a teacher in St. Louis.

For those not living every moment of our educational soap opera, recent court decisions have made it possible for kids in unaccredited districts like mine to be transferred to fully accredited schools, on their home district’s dime.  Naturally, this is turning into a hullabaloo of massive proportion as the people who are going to flip their lids and say inappropriate things say them, and the rest of us scramble to figure out what it means for us and for our kids.

That said, or maybe in spite of all of the “dramz” in the STL,  it’s been a peaceful summer.

Looking into year 3 (same school, same subject, same classroom, same chalkboard, same everything) some of that CRAZY TEACHER ANXIETY has faded away.  Or, if it hasn’t entirely faded away yet, it’s at least respectfully retreated into the background until a later date.  I go back to professional development next week, and I find myself calmly anticipating seeing coworkers, rather than frantically trying to have the school year planned before I talk to anyone.  I perform the requisite back to school display freak out dance in stores like Target and Walmart, but it’s mostly theatrical rather than genuine.  I haven’t had any first day of school nightmares, I’m not losing hair by the fist-full, and I don’t walk around giving myself motivational speeches.

Confession: I spent the better part of two years composing a SCREW YOU, TEACH FOR AMERICA blog post in my head.  It was to be published on the last day of year 2, and it would have been beautiful.  Poetic even.  But when the time came, I didn’t write it, because I didn’t want to.  I won’t ever forget, but I guess in some ways I have forgiven (don’t I sound magnanimous?)

Maybe, just maybe, all of this means that I have grown-up teacher syndrome at last.  Perhaps it came when I logged on to the state of Missouri’s website and saw my final certification for the first time.  Mayhaps it arrived when my MTLD handed me my TFA alumni induction certificate (if you were wondering, said certificate lived in my car for 3 weeks while I moved, and it hasn’t yet been unpacked).  By happenstance, it could have commenced when I realized that I no longer had to invent, or reinvent, the wheel of my classroom.

There’s a small, tiny, minuscule chance that perhaps I’ve become a calmer, more mature, increasingly level-headed human being as a result of the experiences of the last two years, but we won’t linger on that.

I might feel differently in a few weeks when I’m set on by a raging hoard of adorable and aggravating eleven-year-olds.  Don’t hold me to this enlightened and elevated Ms. B persona or anything.  For now, though, I’m enjoying my peace, however temporary, and almost, almost, almost looking forward to a brand new year.







A note on future blogging – I have no idea how much I’ll write or if I’ll write.  I can probably guarantee that the best and worst moments will send me flying to my keyboard, but when that will happen is impossible to say in this topsy-turvy sixth grade universe.

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    Teaching by the arch

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    Middle School

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