June 23, 2010

Lake Street - Echo Park

This is my day job and today was the first day of my summer break. This year was different for me and I'm not sure if it's an indication that my teaching career is coming to an end or if it was the nuances of my class this year. Instead of a feeling of accomplishment and joy, I felt mostly relief and some sadness. In any case, I'm glad I'm on break and that I can use the summer to reflect and rejuvenate.

I am VERY lucky to work at this school. I remember the day when Sally (see Loose Family post) and I made the decision to go to Lake Street and leave our current placement. Sally, though she wanted to stay, told me that she would do whatever I was gonna do. It was so stressful that there were tears. 

We were scared that we had to start all over again when we had just gotten used to being teachers. We had to teach kindergarten on a year round schedule and that meant no summer break. We moved into a dirty bungalow and had to get to know new staff members. We dealt with bees flying into our classroom the first two months of school. Neither of us had taught kindergarten and it was more than draining. Regardless of all those seemingly big challenges, I can confidently say that it was the best decision I made for my career in education; mainly because I got to work with the awesome person in the last picture. 

I've had the privilege and honor of working with Julie for the last 5 (!) years. She has been an exceptional administrator who has showed me the meaning of professionalism, dedication and perseverance in the workplace. The first few years at Lake were no smooth ride but Julie persevered with professionalism to create a caring, accepting and responsive school environment for both students and staff alike.

I can't imagine what it's gonna be like without her next year. She's my mentor, confidante and friend. Her new staff are the luckiest people in LAUSD and there is no doubt that her new school will succeed. I wish her the best.

Thanks for everything, Julie...and happy birthday!

Canon AE-1, Kodak 400bwcn

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