Yeah, yeah, yeah...I've neglected you.
But last year, well, it just sucked. Between dealing some more with my Dad's estate (finally, finally, finally finished that up a week ago), and the absolute amazing amount of stupid crap that is rolling down our way from the Federal Department of Education, the State Department of Education, to the District, to The School, and so forth...well, last year was the first year I thought "Maybe I should just say the hell with it, quit, and go get an office job somewhere."
It Was That Bad.
Our District and Our State are just OBSESSED with test scores. And sorry, but I didn't go back to school at 38 to become a teacher so that I could administer Very Big Deal Government Mandated Tests to kids.
That Is NOT Why I Do This. At All. Very Big Deal Government Mandated Tests are a two hour block on one day out of one year in a kid's life. It should not define the kid and it shouldn't define the teacher. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening. And It Pisses Me Off.
My kids are not a data point. They should not be defined by one test score. Hell, I don't think they should be defined by any collection of tests scores. But that is exactly what is happening. (And if there are any parents out there reading this, wake up! Because NOTHING will change until the parents get pissed off and start complaining...teachers and our opinions are not respected in this current political climate.)
So, that, in a nutshell, is why I didn't post much last year, this summer, and so on. I was just so angry, disillusioned, and pissed off.
And then Stoopid Boy found me again. I posted earlier this spring about Stoopid Boy and his best friend Skater Squirt who both tracked me down and who I was able to reconnect with now that they're both adults (gosh, 21 years of age! ACK, I feel old!) My husband and I actually got to spend quite a bit of time with them over the summer, especially Stoopid Boy.
It turns out that during his Junior year in High School, Stoopid Boy's parents purchased a house Right Up The Street from me. Which means for, oh, about 5 years he's been driving past my house several times a day and never knew it. So, whenever he's in the area to see his folks, he drops by. He invited me to come see him play in the band at his church, and Mr. Bluebird and I enjoyed the church and the people so much, we have started to attend regularly. And I have become very good friends with his mother, to the point that Mrs. Eagle and I have spent some nice summer afternoons hanging around, doing lunch and sitting by her pool. (It is nice to have a friend with a pool.) Skater Squirt has been very, very busy with work, but we have managed to have him over a few times as well. Mr. Bluebird commented the other day that it's like we suddenly had two nice young men as sons without the aggravation of having to raise them.
And I was venting the other day about how depressed I was to be starting school again, how they have taken the joy out of teaching, and how I just didn't have it in me, and Stoopid Boy looked at me and said, "But you loved on me and I turned out okay. Those kids need you to love on them."
And he was right.
So tomorrow, when they show up for the first full day of school, I'm going to remember that my job is to love on them.
And screw the test scores.