Time to Upgrade that Armor

Well. I made a decision.

I’ll be staying at my current school. This drop of mocha isn’t going anywhere.

And you know what? I’m okay with it.

At least, I am now.

The hour or so after I got a call telling me that the best they could offer me was .5 ELD at this new school, and to take a .5 leave (meaning I would also be taking a $15,000 pay cut), I broke down. Like, full sobs on the floor, snot running down my face, shuddering breaths kind of breakdown. I think at one point I even uttered a, “this can’t be happening,” sob, which is so trite and cliche.

In that hour, I felt like I was being forced to face down the bullies for yet another year, and I didn’t have an ounce of fight left in me. Not that night.

The next day, I was in a daze for most of the morning. I stood in the shower, wanting to just pound my fists into the tiles so that something other than my heart hurt. I cried again.

Then.

A student and I hummed “Low Rider” together. For no reason other than it was fun.

Another student came up to me and handed me a crumpled piece of paper with a smiley face drawn on it in green marker. “I made you a smile,” he said.

My 7th period and I broke down Justin Beiber’s terrible Spanish skills and wondered whether it was appropriation. It was a great, hilarious discussion.

Lastly, my student leadership group had its biggest meeting yet. Over chewy granola bars and fruit snacks, we discussed a week’s worth of events that they want to put together to celebrate National LGBTQ+ Month, National Hunger Awareness Month, and National Student Safety Month.

And as we took a dance break to groove to “El Sonidito” (aka, most annoying song in the universe. I listened to it over twelve hours ago and it’s still stuck in my head) I realized that I the decision to stay at this school was a good one.  I didn’t want to trade all of this to sit in some stuffy office and be broke, too.

Sure, outside of my classroom, it is absolute chaos and discrimination. I can’t deny that. But, over the summer, I plan to get an equity catapult, to go with my battle axe,  so I fling my equity work over the heads of the ignorant admin and straight into the heart of my district office.

Go big or go home, right?

I know that I felt like I had zero fight left. I felt defeated, rejected, and overlooked.

But I can get stronger. I shouldn’t have to, but I need to. I am going to do everything I can to make this school better, because my students are determined to make it better, too. I can’t leave them in this fight alone.

So, prepare yourselves for more posts from the mocha battlefield.  Catapults make everything more interesting.

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