I have one more day of school. The stress level is just about as high as it can get right now. I think I am living in the twilight zone. This morning was the closing Mass for my kids' school year. It is a big deal if you are the parent of an 8th grader, so I had arranged weeks ago to take the morning off. I made sure I had my camera - with batteries charged - and some kleenex.
My 8th grader was supposed to wear his 8th grade shirt, which he does not like. He had it on and then took it off before we even got out of the house, saying he would just put it on for the 8th grade part of the ceremony. By the time we got to the car, he had misplaced it. He went back in the house to look for it. Couldn't find it. Could it be in your booksack??? Umm, yeah.
Then he tells me that he left his folder of Social Studies tests in my classroom yesterday. Why yes he did. I saw them there when I went last night for awards night. Did I remember to bring them? Of course not. So first we stopped by my classroom, so he could get the folder because they were worth extra points on his exam. And then I thought, "MEDICINE!" Oops, medicine is in the other car. We are certifiably ADD here! So I dropped them off and went home to get his pill. Made it back in time for Mass.
I'm taking pictures of dear 8th grader and some of his friends before Mass when my camera says "Internal Memory is full". Uh - remembered to charge the batteries, but forgot the memory card. I managed to dump some of the pictures in the internal memory, and ended up having more than enough room. It is not really optimal to take a picture all the way across the gym, and when they turned off the lights, that was the final word.
The sound system started acting up right before Mass. Apparently our pastor has many talents, as they motioned him over to make it cooperate. It took him a little while, but he finally got it to behave - a special prayer for sound systems?
Mass proceeded without too much drama until I got a text from a co-worker about back-stabbing co-workers. I shouldn't have read it. I didn't reply and dropped the phone in my purse where it wouldn't be a distraction. Father told about lakes that he had seen in Ireland. One lake empties into a larger lake at a lower altitude. The small lake is consumed by the larger lake. And that is what we are called to do. We are called to empty ourselves into God. To become Him. That is how we are to "be holy as He is holy"..
After Mass had concluded, the "torch" was passed from the 8th grade class to the 7th grade class. And then.....The Candle Ceremony... This song plays:
As it plays, the kindergarten "munchkins" appear with candles and process to the front with their 8th grade "buddies". Their candle is lit. The girls start crying - and sometimes the moms, too. Today there were technical difficulties with "the clicker". Our pastor was one of the candle lighters. He ended up just standing there with a handful of matches and lighting the kindergartners' candles off of the altar candles. I didn't cry. Just a little mist.
After this, the rest of the school was dismissed and the eigth graders sat while the kindergartners read them a story based on "I'll Love You Forever" (more tears) and sang a song to them:
They visited for a little while longer and more pictures were taken.
Finally the party broke up - the 8th graders having exams to take.
I asked for prayers from everyone I knew, my pastor included. Never have I worked in an environment this hostile. Then I went to school.
My supervisor hadn't showed up yet to check us out. I finished putting my folders together. Honestly, I did my best, but it is just daunting. Every year there are more i's to dot and t's to cross. I prayed as I worked. Seriously. I thanked God for giving me the time to finish and I thanked Him for all the aggravation and asked Him to show me the way.
My supervisor showed up about an hour before school was out. She is probably more stressed out than we are. She sits down to begin going through our records with a fine tooth comb, when we told her that the gates are locked at 5:30. She starts making lists of every box not checked and form not attached. All of these documents have been accepted by the state. Why find mistakes now? They can't be easily changed once they are finalized and accepted. I think it just gives someone a job to go from district to district as a "monitor" to look for mistakes. Most certainly you will find some since the forms are SO tedious and the computer program so horrid.
It sometimes amuses me how much emphasis is placed on our paperwork and how little is placed on our actual teaching. I don't think more than two hours of my teaching were observed this year. But my paperwork has been scrutinized by multiple people for many hours. So you tell me what is important??
Tomorrow is my last day for the year. I guess she will be done finding our mistakes. I need to clean my classroom. That has been put on the back burner for weeks. I know that at some point tomorrow must end, and then they no longer have any hold over us.
I'm the wife of one ancient man and the mom of two teen beings with Y chromosomes.
I teach middle school special ed, and I'm slightly "touched".
I've always been Catholic, but in recent years my faith has become much more important in my life. Now I'm a "Happy Catholic."