Life would have been easier if I could have shut my eyes and just taught my classes. Teaching was always the easy part. I got good results and I got along great with the kids and their parents. I even got along with the administration. If only I could have left well enough alone.
I have never been the kind of person who can sit back and just accept things that are not right. I've spoken up to school superintendents, principals and assistant principals. I've expressed my opinions in newspapers. I am not a shrinking violet.
Even with my mouth, I never had a problem until Principal Suit came to town. He could not take any kind of criticism. Whenever he wrote me a letter, I wrote one back. Mr. AP asked me to stop, but I couldn't. When his address to Arista contained remarks that were hurtful to kids not in the honor society, I spoke up (privately, in his office) He was not happy. And, when one of my students was assaulted outside the trailer, I really bitched and threatened to go to the newspapers. He again must have imposed on Mr. AP to get me to shut up and when he did not succeed, he must have started taking out his frustration on poor Mr. AP because that was the beginning of my troubles.
I think back on my last few years at Packemin. They could have been easy. All senior teachers before me had great programs with classes they had taught many times before. If only I just kept my mouth closed, put on blinders and taught. But, that is not me. I have no regrets and would do the same thing again if I had the opportunity to start over.
I look back at my life at Packemin with pride in what I accomplished, not only in the classroom, but outside as well. I know many of my actions made things better for others. I wish I could say I left others behind to carry on. I'm not sure this is so.