Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Explore our coverage of government and politics.

Beaupre: School Budget Nerves

This is the time of year when schools are in a state of waiting. It's budget season and there’s always a certain amount of anxiety that accompanies the days leading up to Town Meeting. This is democracy in real time and it’s one of the reasons many of us love living here. But it can be tough on teachers.

Teachers are planners and they like to know what to expect in order to feel settled; so you can imagine the worst case scenarios being conjured up in staff lounges all across the region right now. If the budget passes, there will be x amount of resources and y number of jobs for next year.

Principals make it easier by reminding everyone that we can and should try to remain focused on the work still to be done in the present school year. It helps for someone to put things into perspective so we can reframe the situation.

The reason teachers become anxious is because right about now, they’re engaging in active reflection. Teachers aren’t typically considered scientists, but they are; and those who are most effective are always in some stage of mental action research.

At times, I have to remind myself that I am a professional, let alone a scientist, because so many strange things happen when one is in a room with small children for days on end. I’ve had kids come in with marker drawn all over their bodies, boys wearing enough cologne to make them flammable, a girl who shaved off one eyebrow - just one, and kids washing their hair in the bathroom sink.

In downtown Boston, my best friend has a secretary and an expense account.

In my classroom, we sang karaoke on Valentine’s Day, danced to Happy with a disco ball and stuffed our faces. We laughed a lot.

That weekend I spent hours correcting and planning for the week to come, but I was surrounded by loving cards written in uncertain cursive with cornball jokes and lots of candy.

No, I don’t have a secretary, but I do have a teacher’s helper, line leader and a filer to hand out materials.

Maintaining focus on this school year helps me remember how lucky I really am to be trapped in a room with people who make mustaches from construction paper, who still love band aids with cartoon characters and still pass notes asking if a certain someone likes them.

I do, and the future will take care of itself.

Originally from Somerville, Massachusetts, Debra Beaupre has lived in the Upper Valley for 20 years. She is an avid public radio fan and readily admits to knowing next to nothing about pop culture. She has been teaching for 20 years in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Her work has appeared in The Valley News. She reads real, honest-to-goodness paper books as often as she can and will watch any drama involving people with British accents.
Latest Stories