Saturday, August 18, 2018

One week down

I slept almost 10 hours last night, and woke up at the newly-late hour of 9am this morning. It was the first week of school for all teachers and staff members, and I had a really hard time falling asleep before midnight every night. Next year I'll make an effort to start going to bed early a couple of weeks prior to our start date, because I was increasingly tired as this week wore on. I slept like a log last night and felt so much better when I woke up today!

It was a fun week even though we all worked hard. The students in this district don't start school until this coming Monday. This week was devoted to late registration for office staff like me and the guidance counselors, and meetings, workshops, and classroom prep for the teachers and administrators. Our school has almost 1000 students, and we're one of three public middle schools in Florence, so the amount of work it takes to get everything ready for the new year is considerable. Still, we had fun. Our APT (parents' organization) provided us with a nice lunch one day, a nearby church (that some of our students are bused to for an elective religion class ) sent over a couple of sweet little old church ladies to cook us a wonderful breakfast in the school cafeteria one morning, and our new principal and a couple of the male teachers grilled out yesterday afternoon. We had a picnic of hotdogs, potato chips, baked beans, coleslaw, watermelon, and lemonade. New staff t shirts and collared shirts had been made for us all, and everyone was in a good mood and excited for the new year.

The last few days of this week the work really amped up for me and the rest of the office staff, as well as our two wonderful guidance counselors. So many parents waited until the last minute to come get their kids registered, and there's a lot of necessary paperwork to be dealt with, particularly if the student is new to the district or needs to be assigned to a bus route. Then there are the schedule change requests, which too many people waited until the last minute to address and must be a huge headache to the guidance department. Those ladies earn every cent that they make!

Speaking of guidance, the 8th grade counselor is my favorite of the two. She's been in education in this district for almost 40 years and she's really good at what she does. My major in college was Human Services, and I've always had an interest in social work. I've been watching Ms. Long for over a year now and I've been incredibly impressed by her skill in interacting with middle school kids. I also admire her compassion for them, even the troublesome ones, paired with a good dash of practicality and humor.

Yesterday afternoon, Ms. Long actually asked my advice about a situation with a student she was grappling with, citing my experience as a Guardian ad Litem. I was incredibly flattered! We sat in her office for a half hour at the end of the day and talked. It was a serious situation which involved her role as a mandated reporter, and she wanted another opinion about the course of action she was planning to take. It had never occurred to me that my experience in helping see minors through the family court process might be valuable at my job at the school! I'm really glad to know that I have something small to contribute beyond my role as receptionist.

Monday is going to be a busy, tiring day. I'm going in an hour early, because the first few days are always chaos. This weekend is going to be devoted to catching up on laundry, shopping for and prepping food for lunches next week, and a whole lot of relaxing.

One week down, thirty seven to go!


23 comments:

  1. I continue to be so glad that you have found the exact right spot for you. It's like your whole life has led up to this job where you are so important to so many with just the right skills and abilities. And you like it! And that is the very best thing of all.

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    1. Liking my job has been a turning point in my life.

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  2. So happy for you and the school is lucky to have you !
    I remember all paperwork before the starting of school each year. The early sleep times is a good idea.

    cheers, parsnip and badger

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    1. I wish I had started going to bed earlier weeks ago, but I'll know next year!

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  3. What an exciting time of the year it must be for you and your co-workers.

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    1. It's been a pleasure to re-experience the fun of the beginning of a new school year!

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  4. How good your GAL experiences have been noted and you gave your insights to the counselor. That must be a bit hard to change your sleeping habits from summer time to school time.

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    1. Just by chance, the situation involved a student whose parents are strung out on opioids. Two of my three cases over the summer involved babies born to addicted parents.

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  5. We're about a week behind you -- our students begin a week from this coming Tuesday. I've only worked two days so far and I already know what you mean about being tired!

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    1. It just got worse for me all week, Steve! I'd be so tired at the end of the day, but when I tried to go to bed at an appropriate time my eyes popped open and all of a sudden I was wide awake until after midnight. By yesterday afternoon I was dragging.

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  6. How good it was that you found a place like that.

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  7. No need for a countdown. What a rewarding job you have! Isn't it nice to be respected?!?

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    1. After several years at my last job, I still almost can't believe how much respect I get at work these days. It's wonderful! :)

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  8. I'm so glad you could be of assistance to the guidance counselor. A second opinion can be so helpful. Thank you for spelling "bused" correctly. "Bussed" drives me crazy.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Correct spelling and grammar and punctuation are important to me, Janie. If I had gotten it wrong, I would have welcomed a correction. :)

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  9. You make me a little homesick for my teaching days!

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  10. The lunch arrangements during the preparation days astonished me. Having been a schoolteacher for a total of 38 years, I can say with certainty that no local community or organisation or indeed kindly members of the teaching staff ever made me an unexpected free lunch. Amazing but laudable too.

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    1. We had three free lunches and two free breakfasts--all very good! Our parents' association is wonderful, very active and supportive.

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  11. I am impressed your school has a functional kitchen. Ours all have meals delivered and reheated. No one likes them!

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    1. Oh, no...that would stink! Our cafeteria has several old school lunch ladies and they keep us well fed!

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