Thursday, May 31, 2012

Reached the Halfway Mark

The weather today is absolutely beautiful. I'm sitting outside on the front porch watching the kids play - and it's barely 70 degrees. Almost a little too chilly to be out, compared to the weather we've had the past few days.

Being that today is almost over, I can finally celebrate reaching the halfway mark through my parent's vacation - and my time having to babysit. I've endured two weeks, and have only two weeks left. It's been rough, I'm not gonna lie - but I know that if I can make it this far I can make it the rest of the way.

The hardest part through all of this has been the arguing among the kids. Six children - that aren't used to being around each other - can be hard on them. It's even harder on me. The little kids are always bickering among themselves, and the older three are just plain mean to each other...the two girls versus the one boy. It's like Wrestle-mania with words all day long. Nasty stuff. If they would just get along, my life would be easy sailing.. but when does that ever happen?

The past two days, I've been able to spend some time at home. My home. That's helped ease some of my tension - but gosh I can't wait until I can sleep in my own bed again next to my honey. That's something I've dearly missed - and will miss for the duration of this time. Another down side has been that today I said goodbye to my dog, Asia. Hubby and I made the decision that she needed a better home - one with a fenced in yard. I found someone who seemed very nice - and someone that will give her a good home. Tough on me, but better for Asia.

Today I also got all of the stuff needed for my MO license in the mail. That's one stress off my mind. Now that's all taken care of, all I have to do is wait until I get the notification that I'm licensed to teach in MO. No more tests to complete, thank goodness. It's sad to think that I didn't even get a chance to use my AR teaching license in AR, but I will get plenty of use out of my MO teaching license.

Tonight, I'm going to curl up on the recliner and watch some TV and just relax. I deserve it. I have a couple of movies to watch, and I'm just going to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Tomorrow, one of the kids are going away for the weekend - so that will end some of the fighting between the little kids. Saturday, I get a day/evening out with Hubby. He and I are going to a wedding - and the kids will be staying with a friend of mine. It will be so nice to have some alone time, even if it is only for a couple of hours.

Alright, I've had enough... I'm actually cold - which is a great feeling. Time to get inside and relax!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Stuff That Can Change in 9 Days

Nine days ago, I sat in the exact same spot I'm sitting in now typing the last entry I made to this blog. Nine days ago it was a Sunday...the Sunday right after getting out of work for the summer, the first Sunday after arriving at my mom's house, and two days before the interview that would forever change my life as I knew it. Yet, it's been nine days since I've come here to talk about it.

That's mostly because I've written so much about it on my other blog, and in my private journals. Sometimes I forget about this blog...until times like this. It's 8pm..I'm sitting outside enjoying the summer evening, and I don't have anything else to do - so I think about coming here and writing. All of my other writing seems to take place in the morning.

Dinner has been cooked - by me. The dishes have been cleaned - by me. And now it's time for me to take a few moments to myself. No children. No noise - except the sounds of nature. Just me and the blog I often forget about.

The last time I wrote on this blog, I was talking about how calming and relaxing it is being at my parent's house. That situation has changed drastically. It didn't take very long to realize that taking care of 6 children all by myself is anything but relaxing. There are a lot of responsibilities I have to take care of. I have my own children to tend to, and three children that are not my own. I cook, clean, and run all over for appointments and errands. When I'm not doing that stuff there are usually arguments or bickering that I'm tending to. Occasionally, like tonight, I shut myself away from it all and take a few minutes to myself.

The last time I wrote in this blog, I wrote about how I still didn't have a teaching job yet I had an interview lined up the following Tuesday. It was the interview in Missouri. I went to the interview. I met a principal that had never met me before. She had only seen my online application. She had only spoken to me for about 5 minutes before meeting me in person to discuss the interview. She was not alone in interviewing me, she was with her assistant principal, another elementary principal, the superintendent, and a 4th grade teacher. She asked me questions. She listened to my responses. The whole thing took less than 30 minutes. Yet, in that 30 minutes that principal saw something in me that no other principal seemed to. She was the one I've been waiting for all this time. The one principal that would give me a chance to show her what I could do - and that I was born to be in the classroom.

A miracle happened that day. After answering the questions, being myself, laying everything out on the table....she offered me the chance. She asked me to be a 4th grade teacher in her school - right there on the spot. No "thanks, we'll let you know". No "well, we're interviewing a lot of people". All I heard was "I'd like to offer you a 4th grade position". A part of me didn't even believe it was real.

For so long I've been asking for that one principal that would do that very thing. I worked for an entire school year in a school district thinking that would be the key in making some contacts and getting my foot in the door for a teaching job. I was wrong. Even though I did get an interview - it wasn't the position I was supposed to have. I wasn't supposed to get a teaching job based on who I knew... I was supposed to get a teaching job working in a school that wanted me based on what I believed, my passions, and my ideas. And all this time I've been told that wasn't possible. HA!

I have many times described how I think that everything in life happens for a reason - even when the reasons make no sense at all. There was a reason I didn't get a teaching job last year. I didn't know what it was the whole time I was searching and coming up empty. There was a reason I took a teaching assistant position. However, the reason I thought I took that job wasn't correct. You see, this whole time I just thought I didn't know the right people. I didn't have enough connections in "the teaching world" in order to get noticed by someone. I thought that the TA job was the step I needed. I was wrong.

What I've now learned is that the job I've performed this past year served a very different reason - a far more important reason. I wasn't supposed to get a teaching job last year because my ego was too big for my head. The TA job was to teach me what teamwork really meant, it was supposed to give me more experience...and the most important reason I got that job was because I was supposed to discover how much I love working with diverse, economically challenged kids. The kids that don't have much - and need much more than a teacher in front of them.

The school in Missouri has a very diverse, low-income population. Walking in to that interview I already had an upper hand because I'd spent an entire school year working in a school that had a very similar population. The job I've done the past year was to prepare me for that interview. It was to show me the type of school I wanted to work in. And that was the school that finally hired me.

So, even though the past year has been tough, I now know the reason for all the heartache, all the let-downs, all the rejection. It was because I was supposed to wait for this opportunity. And when the opportunity finally came - it all made sense...every last bit of it. If that's not a sure fire sign of believing that everything happens for a reason - then I don't know what is.

I will be at my parent's house until June 15th. At that time, my summer can start. I can start making all the preparations I need to make to walk in to my classroom and start making it my own. I can box up all of the books, posters, anchor charts, and lesson plans I've collected over the past 5 years - they will now all have a home.

This is the moment I've been waiting 25 years for - and it feels fantastic. I couldn't be more happy...and now I know that my dream has just begun.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

School's Out For Summer

Can you believe the last time I updated this blog was the week before Benchmark? And now, school is out. It's been over a month. How quickly I let my blogs slip through my fingers - but that's what happens when you try and keep up with 4 blogs, private journals, and everything else I've got going on with my writing.

I wish I could say that I've managed to find a teaching job, but alas - no such luck just yet. I've had two interviews. One interview was a district wide interview, and the other was at one of the schools in the district I'm working in. It's a job I'd love to have - a small, quaint school, but a part of a huge district. The best of both worlds. I interviewed a little over a week ago - but there's been no word as of yet.

I have another interview scheduled on Tuesday morning - in Missouri. It's right over the state line, and not very far from my house. While I don't want to leave the district I'm working in now, I don't want to limit myself either. I have to expand and branch out with my search. I'm positive that I'll end up where I'm supposed to be.

The minute school got out, I gathered the kids up and traveled to my parent's house in Oklahoma. I'll be here for the next two weeks. I'm house sitting/ baby sitting for my parents while they are on vacation. In a way, it's a vacation for me. I'm out in the country. There's lots of open space for the kids to play, and the animals my brother has serves as a petting zoo to keep the kids occupied. I'm woken up each morning by a rooster or a turkey or goats or geese or ducks. The sounds of the country - got to love it.

Even though I'm suffering from the worst allergies, I'm a gluten for punishment. I'm sitting outside typing this. The weather is absolutely beautiful, and it's just too nice to sit inside. I don't even care that I have to stop every thirty seconds to blow my nose. The runny nose is tolerable - and this glorious evening out-weighs the annoyance of sniffing and sneezing.

Being here is definitely helping my stress level. A few days ago I was a panicked mess. I was at that stage I was in last year - tearful, depressed, wanting to do nothing more than curl up with a bag of M&Ms in the fetal position. But there's something about my parent's house that brings a calm over me. Being here tells me that everything is going to be OK - and everything will work its self out. Spending the next two weeks relaxing and soaking up some sun is definitely what I need.

This year, things are better. Worst case scenario is that I don't find a teaching job - but I have a job to go back to after the summer. I didn't have that little luxury this time last year. And worst case scenario isn't the best way to say it. Even though I want a teaching job more than anything, it definitely wouldn't be bad having to spend another year working with the people I grew to love this past year. I deserve a classroom, but if that just doesn't happen for me again this year - life will still be just fine.

I've spent some time writing today. I've updated my other blog, written in my private journal, dabbled with some poetry - and now I'm here. I have a feeling there will be lots of writing done over the next two weeks. It's what I do to help me relax. It's my meditation tool. I don't share most of the stuff I write with the world - but I enjoy sharing some of it. I've downloaded some neat journal apps on my iPad, so I'm all set to write as much as my little heart desires.

I feel really good right now. Better than I have in a long time. I don't feel like the world is against me. I feel like I just have to be patient and let my life's plan play out - my time will come...and until it does, I'm going to enjoy the moments in between. Relaxation is what it's all about right now...and relax I shall.