One letter can sometimes make a huge difference.
Something I have been waiting for a long time finally happened on Thursday morning. It has been almost exactly 6 years since I started teaching in my own classroom as a D contract teacher. Since then I’ve hoped and wondered how long I would be waiting before I got a permanent contract and now, as of Thursday morning, I have it.
I have a B contract.
My students were a little confused on Thursday why other teachers kept rushing into our room and giving me hugs and congratulations. “Are you pregnant?” they asked. So I told them that we were excited because I got a permanent contract. That was met with blank stares.
“It means that when you’re at middle school next year and you come back to visit, I’ll be here,” I explained.
That they understood.
I’m still figuring out what this really means for me:
It means that in April I won’t be stressed out about where I’ll be next year and can focus more on my students.
It means that in June I can leave most of my teaching stuff at school rather than carting it home to my basement.
It means that I can change things around in my classroom with a view of keeping it like that for years to come.
It means that when I talk about things we can do in our school to improve things, I can have a longer term view and know that I can be a part of that change.
It means I can stop thinking of myself as a “new teacher” – since I started supply teaching 9 years ago and teaching in a classroom 6 years ago, I’m no longer new, but I can still be innovative and looking for new ideas.
It means that I can take on a student teacher at some point if I want.
It means I have one less thing that I need to worry about in my future.
It doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop carrying about being a professional and working my hardest as a teacher to make sure my students get the best education that I can give them. It doesn’t mean I’m suddenly going to get lazy or rude for sure. But it certainly was a wonderful early Christmas present.