I went back to the classroom today... there were a few other teachers there that I haven't seen all summer. Usually the first day back is a more happy occasion, with everyone catching up on summer vacations, family stories and school-related news. Today had a different feel. Tensions were high and morale was low. Our new K teacher (who was formerly Pre-K) is trying to adjust to a new classroom, new materials and a new curriculum. On top of that, our pastor wants her old classroom completely cleaned out so that our Director of Religious Education (DRE) can use the old Pre-K classroom as her office (she's part-time, so she'll only be in the building three days a week). Last week, Principal argued with Pastor that Mrs. S. had more important things to worry about than sorting through the Pre-K supplies, and asked him if we could use the back of the room as storage until Mrs. S has time to deal with it. Pastor agreed. Principal left for vacation on Thursday (and won't be back until tomorrow). When we walked into the building today, everything from the Pre-K classroom was sitting in the hallway. Bookshelves, storage bins, toys, chairs, CDs, baskets, books... you name it, it was on the floor. Apparently the DRE and our custodian (plus a few helpers) were asked by Pastor to get the room cleaned out. Mrs. S. was understandably upset and overwhelmed when she saw the mess. Her new room is filled with K supplies and there isn't much room to store all the Pre-K supplies as well. And since some of the Pre-K supplies were things that belong to Mrs. S., she has no choice but to sort through the pile before her things get lost or misplaced. I felt really bad for her. If I get my own classroom together early, I'm going to see if I can help her with anything.
In addition to that drama, some of the teachers found out today that we're not getting an art teacher this year. That didn't go over too well at all. It was fuel for the fire, at that point.
On the bright side (and yes, there is one)... I saw my good friend Miss W. (second grade teacher) today. We always say we're going to keep in touch over the summer, but it never works out. Usually we're traveling (this summer it was Mexico for her, Australia for me), working (she did camp, I took the summer off), class (although not this summer, since I graduated this year) and of course, hanging out with our own friends. So the first time we see each other in August, we spend no less than an hour catching up. We always pick up exactly where we left off. Today we talked about books for quite awhile. We both read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows over the summer, and there was much to discuss. And we're both in a book club, so we shared what we've been reading (Eat, Pray, Love for her; Night for me). That hour of conversation was uplifting in the face of all the morning's drama.
Sigh. I'm hoping tomorrow is a better day.