I know that a lot of people are mourning the arrival of August, and I'm not exactly eager to dive into the new school year, but in many ways I won't be sorry to bid this summer goodbye.
Despite the fun of Aunty Camp and some interesting professional development workshops, this summer has overall been really difficult.
For starters, we've had and will have no vacation, which sucks. I've become a huge believer in the importance of getting away somewhere for a week as a real psychological life saver, and I'm bummed that lack of money and time have contrived to keep us here in Adventure City for the whole dang summer. (Well, I went to Exeter for a week, but that was hardly vacation-y.) We must arrange things so that this isn't the case next summer!
Also, summer school has been its usual drag. I'm grateful that I get paid as well as I do for three weeks' work, but those three weeks completely wipe me out. It's the only time that I dread teaching and that I watch the clock during class. Fortunatley, only one more week to go! Also, D. has been teaching for the same school for six weeks this summer, but she got stuck at the last minute teaching math -- 6th-grade math, to be sure, but definitely not her bailiwick. She did get to teach one English course and enjoyed it, but the head of the program scolded her for being "too experimental" because she let students follow their own interests in choosing what they were writing. And then he observed her math class and told her that she was teaching it at too high a level, even though the students were all doing well on quizzes and homework. Oh, he also told her that she needed to write on more of the whiteboard, even though she explained that she'd dislocated her shoulder this summer and that the space in the middle of the board was all that she could work with comfortably. He's an idiot, but it's still been discouraging, especially since she'd been hoping that he might write her a letter of reference for her ongoing job search.
And that ongoing job search has definitely been the hardest part of the summer. She's had a few interviews but no job offers yet, and it's hard to keep up spirits -- both hers and mine. She keeps applying to jobs that pop up -- independent schools, public schools, and charter schools -- because we don't know what else to do other than keep on keeping on, but it's hard not to feel that all of her effort may come to naught. Worst-case scenario: She continues to sub at FGS this fall and gets on the substitute roster at some other schools, and she applies for mid-year positions that arise, and she does the full Carney-Sandoe push this year (she did finally get accepted to Carney-Sandoe in June, but they're not much good other than December through April). As worst-case scenarios go, that's not bad at all, but it's also not particularly attractive. At this point, she's hoping that a part-time job she interviewed for last week comes through; it would be a couple of courses, no benefits, ridiculously low pay, but it would be a fine starter job, a foot in the door and real experience and another letter of reference. So fingers crossed on that front.
In fact, the only reason that I want summer to stretch out for a little longer is that it will give D some more time on the job market before the school year starts for good. Otherwise, I've had enough of Summer 2013!
Still on the docket: Working up some enthusiasm for the 2013-14 school year.