My wife, Diana (Charlie) AuBuchon retired after 30+ years of teaching. Most of that time
was spent as a full-time language arts teacher at McFadden Intermediate School in Santa Ana, California. She also taught in Orange at both Yorba and Portola, middle/junior high schools. She also worked as a substitute at both the junior and senior high school levels.
As a beginning teacher, raised in England, she was assigned an American History class at Yorba and wore a red coat to her open house. As seems to be the habit in the U.S., she was given a half-dozen preps her first years–you know, history, English, French (two levels). Our administrators seem to try and break beginning teachers rather than trying to give them assignments that may encourage them to give their best and stay in the profession.
(As an aside, my first year consisted of a wood shop class and a metal shop class in two different rooms–my principal said they were both industrial arts classes, and, therefore, they were a single prep. Yeah. I also had four ninth grade history classes–two in the library and the other two were in Spanish classrooms during those teachers’ conference periods–after the department chairman had cherry-picked the students he wanted for his six ninth grade history classes.)
In addition to her American history class, Charlie was given the cheerleaders–they don’t have cheerleaders in England. Like I said earlier, give the newbie assignments that will break them. Don’t believe me? Look up how long the average new teacher actually stays in the teaching profession. Also, look up how many people have teaching credentials but are not teaching.
I have never met a more dedicated teacher than my wife. Her dedication really hit me in the face in the two and a half years since my own retirement. In that time I watched her plan and correct and grade student assignments again and again and again. She spent more time on her students than she did on herself, her cats and me combined. In spite of her health issues these last several years, her devotion to her students and her profession never flagged or wavered.
Being forced to retire has hit her hard. Life without teaching has left a void that will be difficult to fill–if that is even possible. But we will try.
We had seventy or more people at Saturday’s party. Charlie and I had a good time, and, so I believe, did everyone else.
Commercial Plug: food, chairs, tables, servers, bartender and etc. were handled by West Coast Event Productions. http://wceventproductions.com/
Photos taken at the party can be found on my Flickr page:
Any of you out there handicapped? Don’t you love it when
- someone without a handicapped plate/sticker takes a handicapped parking place,
- someone with a handicapped plate/sticker takes a handicapped parking place and remains in the car while the non-handicapped driver/passenger goes into the store,
- someone blocks access to a handicapped ramp or other access.
At McFadden Intermediate School in Santa Ana the Special Education buses block access to the handicapped ramps (and the drivers refuse to move when asked).