Changing jobs, moving boxes

Wayne MitchellStanding in the garage and looking at the stacks of boxes piled high, I was thinking about how changing jobs is going to be hard work for our son Joe and me. And we’re not the ones making a change.

Much of the stuff in the garage is left over from when Jenny taught second grade in Muscle Shoals, Ala., before the family moved to New Albany four years ago.

There are boxes of books and supplies for second graders and a double-sided easel with a whiteboard on one side and felt on the other.

A large reading tent of white-net material that hung from the ceiling of one of her classrooms is there, too. And there’s even more stuff in the attic.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), we’re going to be moving it this summer because Jenny is changing jobs. Well, sort of.

She’s still going to be teaching in the Oxford city schools, but she is moving from fourth grade to second. And second grade is at a different school.

It all started when the principal who hired her four years ago to teach fourth-grade language arts and social studies decided to retire. About the same time, an opening came up for a teacher in second grade. After much discussion of the pros and cons of moving to another school and starting over in the district, she decided to apply. Last week, she learned she got the job.

She’s excited to be returning to second grade. Joe and I are happy for her, but we know what it means. The personal stuff in her current classroom – bookcases, a chair and lots other things – will have to be moved to another school.

She and her helpers (that’s Joe and me) will have a new classroom to decorate in some theme she selects.

At least, we’ll get some of the boxes out of the garage. And the good news is she says she’s not going to bring her fourth-grade stuff home; she’s going to give it away.

Jenny’s move to second grade is bound to lift my spirits a little, too. She often asks me to help proofread her language-arts assignments and tests before she runs them through the copier.

It can be demoralizing. I have no idea how to write a “mentor sentence,” and I wouldn’t know an “appositive phrase” from a “demonstrative pronoun.” I don’t recall fourth grade being so hard.

When Jenny used to teach second grade, I was helpful at proofreading tests because I could figure out the answers. And I was pretty good at helping count out coins, paper clips and those little snap-together plastic cubes for kids to use in their math lessons. Golly, I hope they still do that.

Am I smarter than a second grader?

Maybe. We’ll see.

T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by email at  

About Wayne Mitchell

Publisher of the New Albany Gazette