The Long Good-bye

This was scheduled to post over Thanksgiving week.  For some reason it didn’t.  I’m trying again to see if it will post.

Last week was so fun…you’ll find me saying that again and again in blog posts this week.  I think any momma loves when all her little ones are home and “in the nest”.

This kiddo, Karl, has an extra special spot as I don’t see him very often.  Karl is a teacher in Houston, Texas…he left for Houston in July and this was our first chance to see him since then.

Karl will admit that he’s not the best at always keeping me up to date on his daily happenings.

This time coming back and forth he had a fellow Iowa teacher riding with which made me worry so much less.  In the past he’s had car trouble…he went down last year just weeks before hurricane Harvey hit and then he ended up back home again.

I know he’s a man now and momma’s aren’t supposed to worry so much but him, I still worry about…in a good mom worry sort of way.

Several blog readers have asked for an update on Karl…Here it is…
He is teaching in a rough part of Houston.  His school is 99% non white with a high poverty level.  The entire school gets free lunches.

Teaching has been challenging.  He is used to the Iowa education system.  Kids who have special needs or behavioral problems have aides in the classroom with them so their personal issues don’t spill over into the classroom.  In Texas, it’s not that way.  He has kids that NEED a personal aide and they are simply thrown into the classroom and the teachers need to try to deal with them.

The problems aren’t a fidgeting child.  The problems are kids who will flip their desk over.  It’s sad…it’s not the best experience for a first year teacher.

He started out being told he was a fourth grade math teacher.  When he got there he was told nope…5th grade math instead.  The class was intentionally disrespectful.  It was a challenge.  There was also HIGH pressure on Karl to get these kids to pass tests as the school was on a warning list.  With the pressure and rowdy kids it was hard.

He has since moved mid year to 2nd grade.  It’s better but still A LOT.  Coming from Iowa classrooms and moving to Texas classrooms has made Karl understand how Iowa is so highly rated for education.

Karl hasn’t LOVED this experience.  He does feel he’s learned a lot though.  It’s made him put on his thinking cap and try to decide what he wants to do next year.  Texas pays better…but he misses home.  I can’t tell you how many times I said, “when you go home” to Karl and he IMMEDIATELY stopped me and said HOME IS HERE.

and with that…he was off again.  I miss that boy already.

He is the kindest guy I know…and ladies, he’s single.  Anyone have an awesome daughter..or granddaughter that’s 25ish?

Luckily the next time I see him is Christmas and he’ll be here for two weeks-ish….PERFECT!

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10 thoughts on “The Long Good-bye

  1. Carla

    You are so funny, Jo. If I had an appropriately aged female around you can bet I’d throw her that way! Alas, only sons over here.

  2. Jane Kuchuk

    Not sure where you find it but have him watch ‘Paper Tigers’. It’s kind of a documentary on a school similar to the one it sounds like he works in. I work at a school and the staff watched it. It was very eye opening, touching, thought provoking, inspiring…….can’t pinpoint one emotion!

  3. Brenda C

    As a retired teacher, I can tell Karl that the first year is ALWAYS the worst. You tend to get the worst class and you haven’t yet developed the skill set to deal with it. Please hang in there. It sounds like these are kids that really need a leg up in life. It will be a rewarding career once he gets over the first couple of years.

  4. Sherry Whalen

    I like his shirt!! I have a son who teaches 1st grade in Byron, MN and DIL that teaches 3rd grade in Rochester, MN. Even between schools there is quite a contrast and I know they have struggles as well but I know the are fortunate to teach in Minnesota.

  5. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Teaching is such a difficult profession, especially now. The paychecks are not why teachers teach…it’s the look on the face of a child who has struggled to understand a concept and it finally clicks. I loved teaching, but I taught a self-contained special ed class for students with cognitive deficits (K-6 & 11-12). Loved them all, especially the high school kids (total shock to me that I loved teaching them as much as I did!). I miss the kids, I don’t miss the paperwork and the politics of the school. Karl will find his niche and feel more competent in dealing with all aspects of the classroom. One thing that saved me big time…I made sure to reach out to each student’s parents the first month of school to report something positive about their child. Sad to think that I was the first teacher ever to contact a parent about their child (17 years old) and tell them something positive about their child. It paid off dividends later in the school year when I had to call them about something not so positive! The high school I taught at was similar to Karl’s school and the fact that I would take the time to reach out to the parents also told the students that I really cared about them enough to take my “off the clock” time to call their parents and that paid off with the students wanting to please me and not disappoint me. Kids don’t get enough legitimate praise and it was a pleasure for me to be able to give it to them and their family.

  6. Claire Bonnstetter

    Well, I’m a 22 year old Iowa girl that quilts and has two teachers for parents… ;)

  7. Carol Lorraine Stearns

    My son is a HS teacher in NC with similar students. Teaching is a second career for him and it is too bad he is in a school where the kids dont care. But he is in his 4th year. Maybe Karl can get a job in Iowa next year.

  8. Bobi

    Please tell Karl to check out working in Maryland or Virginia! The pay is high, the schools are ranked high and there are counties from rural to metropolitan! And lots of singles! (Speaking mostly about metro DC area.)

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