Looking at the next two weeks, in which I’ll finish working with NC Green Schools, I’m thinking about all of the administrative items that I need to finish before I leave, and also about the other projects that will be ongoing. I have a computer desktop filled with a myriad of various documents and spreadsheets that I need to reorganize so that everything that I’ve put together, including contact lists, lesson plans, other resources, and grant drafts, can be used effectively.
North Carolina public schools start their academic year this Tuesday, so it feels like I’ll be leaving right when the program will start to see more active involvement from the school community than what we’ve experienced over the summer. In general, it’s a hard time to be working in education in North Carolina, due to drastic budget cuts made this year that have resulted in increased class sizes, decreased teacher pay, and the withholding of teacher pay raises, among other measures. Now that most teachers are back at their schools to prepare for classes to begin, I’ve been able to drop in to see some teachers that I know, as well as to main offices in order to leave our organization’s updated information where most of the employees will be able to access it. I’ve also spent time this summer editing and updating the organization’s website and newsletter system, both for layout and content that is more user-friendly, but distributing some information in person as well seems to be a positive way to establish contacts within the school system, and is especially welcome within rural areas. While the current state of NC’s education system is fraught, I still think that NC Green Schools will be able to see growth in the coming academic year, but it may not be as accessible to teachers and schools as it would have been in the past few years before these cuts were made. That aside, the organization is restructuring because of this to become more of a resource for schools and teachers this year, available to assist individual teachers with smaller classroom projects even if the school has not formally committed to working within the NC Green Schools rubric system.