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Monday, May 20, 2013

... And I'm Never Getting a Job in this District...

Friday was last day of school for my senior students. They were excited, a little nervous, and ever so ready to be done. So, so ready. In fact, my Speech class finished giving their final speeches on Thursday, and asked if I was bringing treats on Friday. And could we eat them outside? If it was nice? Please!? It was their last day! I said sure, and made a mental note to make brownies for my Speech class of 15 teenage boys. Lots of brownies.

Friday rolled around, the brownies were safely stashed behind my desk, and it was nice out- nice enough to grant my gentlemen's wish of going outside for Speech class seventh hour.

Second hour- one of my students brings in hot dog buns and "Mrs. Adrie, could you put these behind your desk, too?" Umm, sure.

Fifth hour- one of my students waltzes in with charcoal and a bottle of lighter fluid. "Mrs. Adrie, where can I put these?" I begin to realize that this whole "going outside and bringing treats" thing has gotten a little out of hand.

Seventh hour- I take attendance of a group of buzzing 18-year-old boys. "We borrowed the FFA grill! Let's go outside!" Oh boy.

They had planned and executed a tail gate party in the parking lot. The grill was going, the hot dogs were sizzling, and they had seriously thought of everything. Napkins, paper plates, condiments, a cooler with cans of Coke sitting in ice. I was, to say the least, very impressed. They can't remember to bring their homework, but this? This they've got down.

The hour winds down, and I've got a class to teach 8th hour. I start them cleaning up, and ask what the shop teacher said about cleaning up the grill.

"Oh, I've got it," says a confident young man. He sounds like he's talked to the shop teacher.  Okay then. He's an adult now, anyways. He can handle it. And the shop teacher wouldn't have let them use the grill if he didn't trust them.

I head back into the building with the majority of the class, say goodbye to my senior students. Eighth hour begins, I start teaching.

One of my daydreaming students, looking out the window, says absentmindedly, "The garbage is on fire."


"The dumpster. It's on fire."

"No, it's... Oh. Yes it is."

The dumpster, the big one by the school wood shop, is completely engulfed in flame. I call down to the office to let them know. She makes an all-school announcement that the dumpster is on fire. The students are now plastered against the windows, watching as the custodian douses the flames, looking, as the principal said, "like a Russian orphanage."

All I could think was, "Oh no. The grill." And I was right. The student who so confidently told me he was in charge of caring for the grill apparently shoveled the hot coals into the dumpster for the wood shop, setting wood scraps and sawdust ablaze.

And that's why I'm never getting a job in this district.*

*Just kidding. No one got hurt and nothing was damaged... I still have a chance. Maybe. They just won't ever let me supervise a grill.

Monday, May 6, 2013

When Things Don't Go Our Way

I've been long-term subbing for about three months now, and the school year is almost over. These three months have been... wow. I've learned so much about my teaching style- my strengths, my weaknesses. I've been so frustrated with my students, I've been so proud of them, I've hurt for them, and I've laughed with them. These three months have stretched me and grown me. My time as a high school English teacher is quickly coming to an end. Sixteen more school days with my terrible, wonderful high school students... and then what?

To be completely honest, I'm not sure.

I feel a little like I'm back to square one. My plan for the year was to sub, and hope that a full-time position came available soon. The long-term subbing job was a big surprise and a wonderful blessing, and I thought, as we Christians (or at least me-Christian) tend to do:

Well! God's opening a door! I'll get my name out there, do a great job subbing, have an awesome experience to add to my resume... God's got a full-time job for me soon!

We're three weeks to the end of school... and there are no job openings. In any of the districts nearby. 

And at first, I was confused. I mean, God's opened this door for me- now what? Isn't it His will that I teach? Isn't that what this long-term subbing experience was supposed to show me? Then I got crabby. I did all this work, adapted lessons to fit the needs of my students, stayed up late grading, worked my tushy off to get done with my college classes so I get my full license... for what? After all this, doesn't God want me in a teaching job??

Maybe not. Maybe this great experience was just that- a great experience. Maybe I was supposed to do the stretching and the growing, but a full-time job isn't the plan for me, or at least it's not the plan for right now.

And I have to be okay with that. Things don't always go my way, as much as I wish they would! In the midst of this time, I have to believe that God's plan is bigger and better than my own, that He's got it under control.

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