This picture is one of my "happy" places. I took this picture at Aspen Mirror Lake, Duck Creek, Utah, last summer. Whenever I feel stressed I mentally picture this spot. My family has been going to the Duck Creek area on Cedar Mountain for generations. I love it and think of it as my home away from home.
The water flows eastward out of Aspen Mirror Lake (the top right of the picture-out of the shot) and filters down through large rocks and fallen logs into this stream. In early summer the stream is full, as shown here. The water gurgles and flows by, birds chirp, and breezes flow through the forest trees. It is a peaceful haven from the stresses of life.
If you know me very well, you know this school year has been hell. There's no other way to say it. (I hate to swear, but in this case, no other words will do.) I teach in an inner-city, Title 1, middle school where education is not valued by 80% of the students I teach.
If that's not frustrating enough (trying, begging kids to learn because it will make them better people), we are going through our eighth year of (probably) being non-proficient in the CRTs. (If you don't know what that means, just know it's bad. Very bad. We'll probably have to be rehired or find jobs elsewhere in June. It means more meetings, more statistics from tests we give, more tests to give, more state intrusion, more stress.)
We have 2 interim principles while the school district hires a new one. (Our principle took a job in another state in December.) They're good people who are trying to keep our ship afloat. Luckily my 7th grade English co-teachers are a dream. I can't think of two better people I'd like to work with. Between the interim principles and my co-teachers they all keep me going this year when all I want to do is give up and quit.
I'm whining. I know it. I'm sorry. It's one of my many faults. You may ask, why not leave that school and go elsewhere? I have a 5 year goal of staying at one school. It will help pay off my student loans if I stay where I'm at for 5+ years and I think it looks better to stay in one place for a while. And I'm not a quitter! (I may be a whiner, but I'm not a quitter.) Plus I really like the kids. They are humble. They are funny. They are amazing in many ways. They have lived through things that would break your heart or destroy me or you, but they live on. They survive. They don't give up. I just wish they valued education more.
So bear with me while I gripe and day dream about my happy place this year. I need it.
Copyright 2011 Corrina L. Terry
Photo credit: Corrina L. Terry