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See You soon

Susan Collins Education, Life in the Classroom

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Hang on, we’re almost there!

Schools in Arizona are in the chaos of the end-of-the-school-year that hits in mid-May every year.

Secondary schools are prepping and reviewing for exams. Determining who is exempt, holding academic awards nights, and recognizing graduates.

Elementary schools plan for field day, holding “graduation” for kindergarteners and those moving on to middle school.

EVERYONE is experiencing spring fever. The weather in northern AZ is warming up, and we want to be outside; central and south AZ are warming up and pushing people inside to the air conditioning.

I have a few phrases that I use this time of year:
Flip-top head season: describes the behavior that looks like one opened their head and left their brain at home.
May-Brain: the condition of being so overwhelmed and exhausted that one cannot remember simple things or problem solve anything.
My personal mantra: Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not get bent out of shape

Two years ago, none of this happened because we were shut down due to COVID.

Last year, it was very different. We were back at school but had been through multiple changes to learning formats and had simply had to “pivot” too many times.

This has been a challenging year, but it feels the most “normal” since the global pandemic began in early 2020.

This is also my last end of the school year as a classroom-based educator.

I am transitioning into a new adventure in the non-profit sector. It is a change that I welcome but was not expecting.

Simply put, I have had enough. Enough of politicians micromanaging schools and classrooms. Enough of the rhetoric that paints teachers as anything other than caring experts that want to guide the next generation into being responsible, contributing members of society. Enough of the uncertainty every time education funding is discussed.

I want to be in a place where I am secure in my ability to provide for my family. I want to nurture the building of solid adults as they journey through the process of growing.

My professional journey has been a vast village of teachers, administrators, and professional organizations who have grown me in ways I never envisioned. Thank you to those who walked through difficult and dark seasons and celebrated when the clouds broke, and the light shone through.

Thank you to the families and students I have had the privilege of knowing in my years in the classroom.

In my new role, I get the honor of supporting teachers and helping them to bring new experiences to their students. So although I’m leaving the classroom, I’m still helping shape the next generation into responsible, contributing adults.

I will continue to walk in the advocacy role I took on a few years ago. Arizona schools need every voice available to speak for their needs.

This is not goodbye. It’s more like “I’ll see you soon.”

New adventures await.



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Susan Collins began her teaching career in 1991 in rural Mississippi. She served in 4 different communities in central and north Mississippi as a music educator, mostly elementary general music with one year as a middle school band director. She stepped out of working full-time in the classroom for 9 years when her children were very young but never left teaching. She set up an early childhood music studio and taught music from birth to age 5 (with an adult caregiver). Susan moved to Kingman in northwest rural Arizona in 2016 where she teaches k-5 general music. Susan achieved National Board Certification in the fall of 2016, just after moving to Arizona. She has served as a 2017-18 Arizona Hope Street Group Teacher Fellow and a Candidate Support Provider for National Board Candidates. She is passionate about advocating for the needs of rural schools and ensuring that every student receives an excellent education. When she is not teaching, advocating, or writing about education issues, she is outdoors hiking, reading, and going to musical performances. She can often be found off the grid pondering her next writing piece!

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