Notes from a Weekly Meeting

Drowning. That is how I feel in this meeting. I come up for air and am hit by another wave.

Test scores. High school recommendations. CSE meetings.

Drowning. The air is sucked out of my lungs and the chance for words is gone. I just focus on breathing. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Grades. Late work. Missing work. No work.

Drowning. I can see the other heads bobbing around me. A few go under.

New schedule. Building construction. Layoffs and resignations. Details I am privy to because?

Drowning. Drowning. Swimming feels too hard. Giving up is tempting.

Veteran teacher. Union representative. Lone workshop wolf in a flock of standards sheep.

Drowning in the words that fill up the air in this room. Drowning in the words that are missing.

I slowly begin to release and allow myself to drift away.


7 thoughts on “Notes from a Weekly Meeting

  1. I so know this feeling. The list – staggering. The obligations – overwhelming. Collegiality – strained. A colleague said to me this morning that she’s so tired of people (translate – district, state) trying to act like things are normal. They are anything but! I, too, am a lone workshop wolf, and it grieves my soul; you are singing (howling) my song. Yet – I draw strength from your words!

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  2. As glad as I was to see the change in government, the edict that testing must go forward made me feel as you so eloquently depict here: drowning. I want to cry,”but…but…but what about?” All spitting in the wind. Better what tack you take:”I slowly begin to release and allow myself to drift away.” (And the line “drowning in the words that are missing”? Pitch perfect.)

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  3. Drift on down to my classroom. We can stand in the shallow end and talk writing workshop, poetry, music, good books, and the thing that will keep us right where we are, the kids. I know that I floated down to your room in late December and it made a big difference, so I owe you one.:) Also, beautifully written – it was sad and true (and unfortunately, perfectly accurate).

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  4. Drowning is an image I feel like I hear a lot from teachers, but in your writing, it feels even more powerful. The alternating between metaphor and reality makes it feel so heart-wrenching. I hope writing this month can come to feel like a life-preserver, rather than an ankle weight. (And I also have to share that I loved this phrase: “Lone workshop wolf in a flock of standards sheep.” I’m going to smile to myself and think “standards sheep” when I’m feeling alone among my colleagues.)

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  5. I’ve felt those waves of extra work and expectations coming my way all year. Just when I get a handle on requirements and expectations, something new is added to the mix. No wonder so many of us feel like we are drowning! This powerful piece captures the mood of this school year.

    Liked by 1 person

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