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Sunday, February 21

Thoughts on my profession.

Where to start? This school year started out pretty rocky; I was completely biased and comparing my students from last year to my current 9th graders. Many of my old students have come back to visit me--and while I love seeing them--it's evident that they are not my students anymore. I'm not with them every day anymore. But I do love hearing about their high school adventures and driver licenses and all that good stuff. It makes me happy to know that they are finding out what they are good at and being successful.

I have really come to enjoy my current students and their unique personalities. It can be a challenge to adequately give 36 students the opportunity to be heard and express themselves in 50 minutes but I do my best and I think they can tell that I really do care about them.

Some of you may have heard about the 30 million dollar shortfall that the Jordan District is trying to deal with for next years budget. The school board opted to not raise taxes and to instead cut teachers and programs. This has left us educators completely baffled and shocked. There is a chance that I may lose my job next year. They are waiting to calculate enrollment and registration for next year before they begin letting teachers go, but it's looking like anywhere from 7 -12 teachers at my school will be gone next year. The average class size will be 40. While I would be the first Spanish teacher to be let go (this is based on the hiring date of myself and another Spanish teacher who was hired around the same time as me) I am feeling that next years Spanish enrollment will still be quite large. In fact, at the beginning of this year I had a few classes that were 38-40 which freaked me out because I only had 35 desks.

A few funny stories. I still have a few students who say the most random things to me. I won't get into all of the details but I'll just say that I laugh every day at the ridiculous things these boys say to me. Let me share with you the words from a Valentine I received from G, the same boy who wrote me out a personal check for L-O-V-E instead of money. And I quote the Valentine:
"To: Mrs. Spravzoff
I love you in every single way. everytime you say my name I hear it in my heart for the rest of day. Your eyes remind me of a toilet full of love and some poo. I heart U."
Here's my embarrassing story of the week--I had seen this kid around school quite a bit. He was Polynesian kid who seemed awfully quiet but had a sweet disposition. I will often stand outside of my portable door if the weather is decent because it also means that the kids are more prone to rough house and goof off out there. I will often say hi to kids that I know as they pass by, greet my kids or yell at kids throwing bark dust at each other or what not. I noticed that this kid took French 7th period in the portable next to mine. So one day I decided to compliment quiet/nice boy. I called out from the steps of my portable as nice kid walked slowly by me (but not really paying attention) "hey, you sure seem like such a nice boy." While a few other kids nearby heard me and looked at me to see if I was talking to them, nice boy didn't acknowledge. So I said even louder and more pointedly, "hey you, yeah you, you seem like such a nice boy." Nice boy stops this time, looking at me confused for a second and responds softly and slowly, "I'm a girl" and walked off to the French room.

I wanted to die. I felt so horrible. More than anything because it's not like I thought, "wow, I not sure if this kid is a boy or a girl so I'll tell them they're a great kid" I 100% thought S was a boy. There was no doubt in my mind in fact. Moral of the Story: Sometimes a sincere compliment turns out just to be an insult--so compliment carefully.

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