I looked up to find my idolized and adored SPED head standing in my room holding the master schedule for next year's classes.
"We've got a problem," she announced.
My heart flew into my throat but I nodded calmly and said, "Okay. How can I help?"
She unfolded reams of paper until she found the sheet she wanted. "Look. You have no planning period for next year."
Ah. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and felt not just a little gratification. I HAVE A JOB NEXT YEAR! Hurray! Yippee! Bravo! Fantastic! I'll be doing just what I like with kids I adore and a staff I enjoy working with!
"Well, I know there's a problem first semester but second semester I thought I'd just take the third block that you had originally allocated . . ."
Her head was emphatically shaking. "No. No. You have a class third block."
We bent over the schedule -- and there I was, inked in teaching Senior English first semester and English 1 - 2 third block second semester. No one had told me about that.
"For these new courses that just got approved we needed someone strong in content area and able to handle new situations. I knew you were the one for the job."
I was inordinately pleased but I tried not to blow up like an overstuffed helium balloon. I did my best to act humble.
We looked at my schedule for next year. "Well, there really is a problem if you insist I have a full planning block. I need to be co-teaching second block with Ralph both first and second semester, if we want my kids to cope in collaborative classrooms. And I need to be with Lindsey first block both semesters. And I have the Study Skills classes the second part of fourth block all year. That only leaves a half block for planning . . . and if I carry a full caseload, too -- well, you guys will have to be patient because that won't leave a lot of time for writing IEP's."
Our eyes met. She knew it was important that I not abandon my kids who have been doing so very well in their collaborative classrooms. I knew that this woman always put the kids first in her own life so she would understand completely.
"We'll work it," she mumbled as she gathered her papers and left my room.
I did a little jig (very little, I'm not agile enough to actually hop up and down) when she had gone. I had been chosen, from all the staff, to teach two new, innovative English classes for next year. The curriculum was mine to create, the benchmarks were in place but open for interpretation, and all the content would be based on my own personal selection. Sweet!
Even better, having these classes would ensure that my own students would have an English program in place that would offer reasonable and realistic content to meet their needs AND I would be assured, at the end of next year, that I would have my job secured within the school.
I am truly blessed!