Happiness is catching up on sleep to start out your break ... and also having lunch with friends and reading books and doing crafts and baking. I hope all teachers everywhere have a rejuvenating break.
I happened across a bookstore yesterday (and by happened I mean I zeroed in on it and ran inside), and found a book another teacher had recommended to me, "The Courage to Teach", by Parker Palmer. I've started to read it, and I see what all her fuss was about.
I'm also resting easier because I know my plans for next year. Daily, still, I'm frustrated by what's going on at our school, but now it only solidifies my resolve not to be in this situation in the future. In January I sent out my resume, and now it looks like I've secured a great job for next year. It's in the same district, which is a plus, but it's at a more sane-seeming school. All the people I interviewed with seemed like great people to work with, and they had intelligent things to say about teaching math. We clicked.
I'm also excited because I'm going to NCTM in D.C. this year. This will allow me to get great ideas for next year. It looks like I'll be teaching algebra 1 and geometry to begin with. I haven't taught geometry for a few years (after 7 years of teaching it), so I'm eager for fresh ideas. The school I'm starting at is just building up their high school component by adding a grade each year. That's also exciting to be in on the beginning of new traditions.
I also found out last December that I passed my National Board Certification, so, Yay. All in all I'm thinking, that if it hadn't been such a rough year, I wouldn't have looked elsewhere for a job, and maybe I wouldn't have happened onto a better situation (if that's what it turns out to be).