Retreat – My work had a all day quarterly meeting off-site at the the Baltimore Museum of Industry and Little Havana in South Baltimore. I was especially happy because these spots are only minutes from my house. My regular commute to the office clicks in at 15 minutes or less by car but I could have walked there today in about the same time. I was nervous in the morning because I had a 15 minute presentation in front of the group but once that was over I was able to relax and enjoy the waterfront views and cool exhibits. I learned all about Baltimore’s industrial past ranging from colonial times to more recent industry-related times including looking at old machinery of all kinds. After our time at the museum, we had happy hour at Little Havana and spent some time outside in their back patio enjoying the waterfront breeze. I don’t drink alcohol so I wasn’t tempted by the open bar but I did eat some vegan options from the spread. I had chips and salsa, both pineapple and mild, as well as guac, crudités (cringe reminder of Dr. Oz reference), hummus, mixed greens, and pita. I forgot to mention that my work ordered me a separate began sandwich at lunch time. The best part was that I was only a few minutes from home after a long day.
Teacher Shortage – The national teacher shortage, which is exacerbated in high poverty jurisdictions like Baltimore City where we live, hit home today. I found out my youngest daughter’s class will be without a certified teacher for the second year in a row. Last year, my daughter’s teacher left before Thanksgiving and never came back. The class was managed by a long time assistant. I chalked it up to the pandemic at the time and things actually seemed to worked out in the end because my daughter was very happy in the class. That said, I was looking forward to a new school year and a new certified teacher to guide my youngest. Her formal school experience has been rough because the pandemic started towards the end of her preschool time and her Kindergarten year was entirely virtual. Now things seem pretty bumpy for the start of her second grade year. My kids have always been very happy at the school, which is in an inner city, citywide charter school. They all started when they were 3 years old and they have a lot of roots and camaraderie with the staff and fellow students. I’m going to try and have a positive attitude and keep an eye out for any signs that my daughter isn’t making good progress with math, reading or socially.
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