Another Legacy (What Am I Going to Do – Part II)

Posted on August 14, 2014Filed Under First Job | 6 Comments

Ok so… Now (in the story, not literally) it’s a couple of weeks into the summer this year, and we are interviewing for a new full-time English teacher to replace a vet who bolted to Colorado in February and got married to her long-lost childhood sweetheart. Now (as a sentence starter, not as a statement of time) full-time English positions are as rare here as they were in the district I spoke of in the previous post. Rarer. I think the last one was almost 15 years ago.  This is a big deal and we need someone who kicks booty. We are probably going to have to live with them for a long time.

We had five interviews that day.

We liked Number One a lot. The rest had a tough act to follow.

By the time we got to Number Five, all the doodles and talk balloons on my interview sheets indicated that Number One was going to be the one. Colleen and I were on the same page on this.

Number Five was fresh. This would be his first full-time gig if he were to get it. We hadn’t seen fresh in awhile.

Number Five liked junior high. My inner seventh grader (who is the final decider in cases like this) liked him. He could picture sitting in “Ken’s” class and NOT getting bored or S&R*. I doodled a picture of him. Too bad we can’t hire two…

Colleen and I looked at each other while he was answering someone else’s question. She raised her eyebrows and mouthed, “I like this guy.”

I nodded and “Me too’ed” and doodled. Then she passed me a note across the table. Her inner seventh grader was there too.

The note said: “We need this guy. I’ve just decided I’m going to retire.”

What the…?! This was going to be her 42nd year.

I waved my hands questioningly and mouthed, “WHAT?”

She just nodded.

I wrote: “You mean so we can hire both?!”

She pointed at Ken, pursed her lips, and nodded.


Ken finished his interview, and our principal followed him out to say goodbye, and Colleen followed him out, and I followed Colleen out.

Outside was a jumble.

“How do I do this?”

“Can she do this?”

“So we’re agreed on the two we like?”

“You better call personnel.”

“OMG. What?”

“What am I going to do next year?” (me)


“My husband will be surprised.”

“No way, really?”

“I better get ahold of personnel.”

More hugs.

“Can we really do this?”

“You better save that note for Ken!”

“What am I going to do next year?”


So… 20 years after giving me my shot, Colleen has done it again for another promising rookie.

What am I going to do? I have gone through five principals, but there was always Colleen.

Thanks for everything.


6 Responses to “Another Legacy (What Am I Going to Do – Part II)”

  1. Mrs. M on August 14th, 2014 3:39 pm

    Thank goodness you are back! I was starting to wonder . . .

    My “Colleen” retired two years ago, and it was incredibly hard. Mostly because I have had to admit that *I* am one of the “old ones” now. We had one newbie start in our dept. last year and another one will start this year. It is unnerving to shift into that mentor role. But it is interesting to see teaching through those fresh eyes again. I think rookies today have a harder time–so many standards, guidelines, rules, etc. When I started, I was literally told, “Teach whatever you want!” The good old days. 🙂 Your new folks are lucky to have you for guidance.

  2. mrC on August 20th, 2014 7:39 pm

    Thank goodness YOU are back! I figured I had lagged so much even the die-hard(s) was(were) gone.
    My noob principal has been “encouraging” me to “share” my “experience” more often.
    I am thinking that a little blog renaissance might be a significant part of that.
    Got my 20-Years-in-the-District pin today. Yay! Only 22 more to catch up with Colleen. I will only be 75!

  3. Mrs. M on August 21st, 2014 4:22 pm

    Thanks to my feed reader, I can keep up with your posts no matter how far apart. 🙂 Congrats on the milestone!

    Here is a first . . . I missed the first day of school for the first time in 24 years. Instead of being at school yesterday, I was in surgery having my gall bladder and appendix taken out! I will be out of school 1-2 weeks. I have no idea how the year will go with the kids having started with a sub for so long. It feels very surreal. And painful, both physically and mentally!

  4. Heather on September 8th, 2014 7:57 pm

    Yay! You’re back!

    My department has been solid since my second year teaching, and this is our most veteran teacher’s last year. I really like the way your district does interviews with the department getting a say in who is hired! Now that I’m on our super-fancy “planning committee” I may have to suggest that to the higher-ups.

    Also, I’m getting a college-student intern this year and I’m not really 100% sure what to do with her. Any advice?

  5. mrC on September 19th, 2014 5:49 pm

    @ Heather and Mrs. M: D’oh! I have been so busy lately, I didn’t even see these. The old WordPress used to send me an email when somebody commented, but I guess the new one don’t…doesn’t.
    @ Mrs. M: Wotta bummer. By now you must be back. It must have driven you crazy! I hope all is well now. If you hafta have shtuff removed, those are a couple of good choices for non-essential equipment. Make the kids do EVERYTHING now. You shouldn’t hafta lift a finger. And they better be bringing the get-well snacks by the bushel.

    Back to @ Heather: Like I said, around here jobs like this don’t come up often… I would have pitched a fit if we hadn’t had any say. And as the Hulk’s alter ego, Bruce Banner says, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

    @Advice for Slave: Get her to enter grades, xerox handouts, circulate and help with warm ups. Heck, train her on a rubric and have try to grade short papers. If she’s good, pile it on baby. She’ll thank you later, really. Make her bring donuts on Fridays. Give her keys to any tests/quizzes and make her grade the late ones. Put her to work. Whatever you don’t want to do and can explain to her how to do fairly quickly… ummm, duh. Make her bring bagels on Mondays.

  6. Mrs. M~ on September 23rd, 2014 12:29 pm

    My recovery took longer than expected, but I have been back full-time for about three weeks now. I still don’t know a lot of names (or even faces!) but I am getting there. It was kind of a blow to my ego to see how smoothly things ran without me, although I had to do a lot of “corrective instruction” when I returned. Things are back to MY normal now, at least in class. I wish I could say the same for my body and my brain. 🙂 I think I need Heather’s slave to come and help me out!

    Giving the final test over The Outsiders today. Jhonny count is up to 6 so far . . .

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