I have four cows.
To many of you, you might think “ok, so what?” Cows are totally new to me. When I grew up, we lived on a 5 acre little place, and we had a petting zoo of farm animals: horses, sheep, chickens, pigs, gunineas, cats, and a dog. But never a cow, not once. So when we decided last year to let our daughters show brown swiss in our local 4-H fair, I was nervous to say the least. While brown swiss aren’t the biggest cows, they are cows, 1,000 pound animals that if provoked, could run through fencing like paper.
Well, as we got into this last year, my fears eased as bit as I found these cows to be very gential, and quite frankly, like big dogs. The two we got last year run up to the fence when we come home, they love to be pet and rubbed, and when they finally go (one is a steer, the other we are “borrowing” and really don’t want to milk) it will be a sad day. Of course, because those two will be leaving in September, we had to get two more. These two are different because one is nine months old, the other about two months.
I’ve been stepped on, rubbed on (try letting a 900 lbs animal rub on you, and you’ll know what I mean), kicked at, and licked. I’ve had to give shots, hold animals down for others to give shots, and helped with various parts of farming I never dreamed I’d be doing. All of this change, totally forced on me, but yet, I’ve adapted and grown from it.
As I look at our school, our community, change is coming. We are a district where the main job is agriculture, and there just aren’t many jobs, period to hold families here. Next year will be uncomfortable, the following probably more so. My daughters, one will be in high school with a schedule that hasn’t been set yet. The other will have many new teachers because of changes to who will teach what. Heck, I’m not sure what we’ll be teaching because we’ve shortened our third grade from two sections to one, and I’ll be possibly the only fifth grade teacher. Change is coming, and it won’t be easy.
However, we have many districts around us in that same boat. The students aren’t there, so something has to give. The scores aren’t there so we need to try something different. We are talking about staying “self contained” or possibly going to a departmentalized way of doing things. Multi-aged classrooms are an option, but not next year. Honestly, it scares me to death. I love what I do, but I also one absolute about myself: I don’t like change. Yet, I know it’s going to happen, and it won’t be easy, but it could very well transition into something way better then we have right now.
What’s a guy to do? It would be easy to say “buck up and deal with it” but it’s hard for me to do. It’s hard for me visualize the amount of change that will take place, and even harder to imagine my spot in there. But I have to. My own attitude will color that change, right or wrong. So, I’ll be there, bells on, positive attitude, ready to change, but it won’t be easy.