Category Archives: Making money

September

I have now been back at work for five days. And I have been bloody EXHAUSTED at the end of each of those five days – even though on one of them, the kids were there for only an hour! I know lots of people begrudge us teachers our summers off (which is without pay, by the way, unless you join the twelve-month payment plan. Then the school board keeps part of your salary each of the ten months that school is in session, and pays it out to you in July and August. And in return, THEY keep the interest that has accrued on YOUR money during those ten months in which they didn’t pay your your full monthly salary. Quite the scam they’ve got going there, isn’t it? I didn’t sign up for that plan. I want every penny of interest I can get these days!), but even those people have to admit that it’s hard to get back into your regular work routine after as little as a couple of days off. It’s REALLY hard after eight or ten weeks off.

But I’m always happy to go back to work in September, as I’m one of those odd people who actually enjoys her job. Like most teachers, in September, I’m generally full of enthusiasm, energy, and bright ideas. I find the kids endlessly fascinating, and I have lots of patience with them in September. I mean to make this year the best year ever for every kid I work with, and in September, I’m looking forward to making a positive difference, either big or small, in each of their lives.

Yeah. In September.

So, come talk to me in June. It just might be a different story then.

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Hanging out on the corner

Like most schools in Canada, every September my school does what is known as the Terry Fox run to raise money for cancer research. The run takes place during that month because when Terry Fox had to stop his own run in September 1980 because his cancer had returned, he said that although he had to stop, he expected all Canadians to pick up where he left off and to continue raising money.

This past September, however, BC schools were closed most of the month due to the teachers’ strike, so there was no run. However, my school made the decision to do our run this month, because Terry began his run back in April 1980, so we thought it made just as much sense to do it in April as it does to do it in September.

There are a large number of new people working at my school this year, including our administrators, so we had a staff meeting to talk about how we would do our run. We ended up deciding to run our usual route along the streets of our neighbourhood, inviting parents and caregivers to come along with us. Non-enrolling staff members (like me) and teachers who can’t run or even walk with their students for various reasons (like the late stages of pregnancy) are asked to stand at a few corners along the route, ensuring that everybody goes where they are supposed to go.

I was actually the person who brought that last point up.

“And any staff members who can’t run, plus us non-enrolling teachers, we’re stationed at various corners along the way, to direct the kids and make sure they run along the side of the road and not on peoples’ lawns,” I said. “We’re the – the corner workers!”

The room erupted into laughter. I didn’t get it right away.

One of our teachers with a VERY quick wit then clarified it for me: “And you’ll be wearing your mini-skirt and stilettos?”

Ah. THAT’S why everyone was laughing.

“No, no,” I sputtered. “It’s an auto racing term! You know, corner workers! The guys who stand at the corners of the race track with the flags! The guys who come running out if there’s a crash or a car needs a push or something!”

imagesNo one seemed to believe me.

Don’t ANY of my colleagues know ANYTHING about auto racing?!

Apparently not.

So, the afternoon of my school’s Terry Fox run, there I was, standing at my corner in my yoga pants, hoodie, and ever-so-stylish fluorescent orange vest, directing and encouraging the kids as they ran or, in the case of many of the younger ones, walked by. And when that teacher with the VERY quick wit came past, there was another comment tossed my way: “Getting any business there?”

Uh – no.

I guess I wasn’t showing enough leg.

Mmm, mmm, ha ha

Actual quote from the writing of one of my students this morning:

“I like pigs because they are funny and tasty.”

… uh … at the same time … ?