Tag Archives: student council adviser

My Final Prom #SOL2015 Day 17

I am in my last two months of my ninth and final year as the student council advisor. I have organized nine homecoming weeks, not quite 27 pep assemblies and spirit weeks, 18 blood drives, countless fundraisers, and 8 proms. I started as the advisor when my sons were in 7th grade and 4th grade; they are now a college junior and a high school senior. And I decided two years ago that my younger son’s senior year would be my last (I teach at the same high school my sons attend).

People–former students, my mom–think that I will miss it. They insist on every facebook post–I have a running list of “This was my last (fill-in-the-blank).” I have each event down to a science or a well-oiled-machine or any other cliche that means systematically organized. I am not retiring from teaching nor leaving my position, so my knowledge will be present next year but just not after school hours.

I will have to work hard to avoid the “that’s-not-the-way-it’s-done” thoughts, but I don’t expect it to be difficult to walk away. I am losing the stipend, but I’m also losing all the stress and I’m gaining a lot of free time. I look forward to reading In addition to lesson planning and grading, but, more importantly, I look forward to spending time with my family–my partners, my husband, and my two college sons. I’m not sure that I need to make up for nine years; I just know that it’s time to move forward. 

I will dance my last dance, and when the clock strikes midnight, I will neither leave behind a glass slipper nor turn into pumpkin. I’ll just live happily ever after.

A Blood Drive Expert #sol2015 Day 13

I got so busy with teaching, a grad class, and a diy project that not writing one day turned into almost a week! 

Today was my 18th and final Student Council sponsored Red Cross blood drive. After nine years as the Stuco adviser, I have resigned (effective at the end of the school year) because my younger son I graduating from the same high school, and I just cannot get excited about planning one more homecoming or prom.

I knew when I took over the council that I would have to supervise my students working at a blood drive once each semester. I had no idea what that really meant or what I would learn in nine years.

I consider my real job at the blood drive to be bouncer–I run the kids out that have spent too much time at snack table or who appear to be wandering wore no real intention of donating. And I’m pretty proud of the fact that the nurses thank me for running a right ship and that the majority of high schoolers know that they won’t get away with sneaking into my blood drive.

My other official job is to motivate my members to work–we have an army at school 30 minutes early to unload the trucks and set up the gym. This same army reappears at the end of the day to break down.

But I have learned more about the myriad aspect of blood drives than any English teacher should. I send students to the cafeteria to get breakfast or lunch before donating to avoid passing out. I know that the shorter the girl, the more she has to weigh (ages 19 and under) to again make sure it’s a positive experience. I know that the heat in the gym absolutely must be turned off, even in winter, but that the exhaust fans must be turned on to keep the temperature cool (and prevent the passing out).

I know the different shapes of pale that morph into waxy to determine who can go back to class, who should wait a little longer, and whose parents I should call to send them home. I know that drinking lots of water should prevent clotting during the donation. I know that if a pint is collected but then clotting occurs, then we have to ask a donor for permission to stick their other arm to fill the testing vials.

I have held the hand of the toughest girl on school, the most athletic boy, and the most scared teenager. I have locked eyes with a student or jabbered about the most inane topics to keep them focused on me and not on the needle. And I have dealt with a student worker having a full-blown panic attack, and a student donor who had the strangest reaction to donating that I can only describe as intermittent catatonic. 

And while not every donation was successful or positive, I think I’ve done my job well. Each school year we collect between 170 and 200 units of blood. And some alumni come back to donate during a high school drive just to let me know that they are still donating.