Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sometimes a heart breaks all at once, sometimes a few pieces at a time...

The kids' last day was yesterday, and it was incredibly intense, in the best of ways. But today we had a staff meeting, and I'm a mess, wondering what to do and where to go...

We rescheduled an all school event, impacting my classroom and my school in a couple of ways next year. I will not be publising a "Best of My Blog" book with my third graders. And I will probably not be running the Earth Day Groceries Project at my school. The rescheduling of the school event precludes both from happening. I have no idea if I can even keep running The Earth Day Groceries Project on the Internet. Timing is everything. And this is bad.

One might think I'd be excited about having less to do, but that's not the case here. My heart is heavily invested in these things. Both are central to how I build the school year for my third graders. One is a chance to grow up and mature, doing things at the edge of their reach - I love giving them that in the Earth Day activity. The other is the culmination, or focal end point, of a year long process of growing and maturing as writers – on their blogs. Do I care about blogging with my kids? Ahem. The Internet project, I don’t even know what to say.

It breaks pieces of my heart to say goodbye to these things, but there is no choice. A decision has been made. I will move on.

A couple of other decisions were announced/made today, both with program wide implications. One I can live with, the other leaves me speechless. Everybody has their important things, and priorities differ, no question. Compromise is an art. So is negotiation. But I am so tired of leaderless decisions quickly made, based on selfish thinking. That’s how I see it anyway.

This has been the most difficult year in my 29 years of teaching, without a doubt. I figured I had a 50/50 chance of actually making it through, so I’m a little proud of my resolve, and thankful to those who let me lean on them along the way.

I am, like most teachers on the last day, totally spent. I have some decisions to make this summer, to take care of myself. I’ll wait for the return of some energy, and maybe, some perspective.

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous


Lani said...

Hi Mark,
I am so sorry. You make a such difference with all you ro.

Hoping it's ok to share words that help to sustain me in times of trial:

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it--always." Mahatma Gandhi


Mark Ahlness said...

Lani, thank you. It is tough to find the tyrant in this situation. I do know the responsible party, but it's not so dramatic sounding as tyrant, and it's not something I can change. I am left like Ghandi, waiting for "in the end..."

It just breaks my heart, the damage happening in the waiting...