When I left teaching I thought I was leaving for better pastures. Only later did I realize I was going through a major desert. It took me a long time to admit that I had made a mistake and that I should return.
Now I tell you that because I'm faced with the EXACT same issues now as I was back then. I'll even venture to say that some of the issues in a particular community are even more dire than 7 years ago. But this is the kicker, I'm really different. My perspective has changed so much that the yuck that I see doesn't affect me as much as it makes me want to be better to deal with it. That's a major change for me. The younger Jason would never have asked "What can I do to make this situation better for this kid that doesn't care one bit about what I'm saying?"
What? Am I saying that I can make a difference by my approach to a problem? That's just to much for even me to grasp. And I'm the one who said it. I'm starting to see that I can really change the way an issue blossoms by having the right attitude and perspective. It's sad that I've heard that 99 x 98 times (got to put it in 4th grade math format), but I never understood it until recently.
This week has been fantastic. I've had time to see the kids with their current teacher and get an idea just how they'll treat me when I start running the ship. I have my classroom just about where I need it and I start running the class on Monday. This is going to be a real, fun adventure.