2 months and 2 days.
2 months and 2 days since my last post.
When you last heard from me, I was doing this:
See the smile?
I was incredibly unaware of the beauty surrounding me when this picture was taken. I was not living in the moment. Not at all.
You see, midway up Jay Mountain, I received this text from a coworker I greatly respect:
Yep. I was actually considering changing teaching positions two weeks before school started.
Crazy, right? (Oxygen deprivation may have been a factor.)
In order to demonstrate the full scope of my insanity, I’ll need to back up a few months.
This past summer was a different kind of summer for me. For the first time in my teaching career, I taught summer school.
Two summers previous, I participated in the Fox Valley Writing Project, and it changed not only my writing life, but my teaching life as well.
As a result of my experience, I felt compelled to provide the same opportunity for my students. So, I took the plunge and offered the class to middle schoolers.
The timing seemed perfect. I was about ready to embark on my 17th year of teaching. And for the first time ever, I would be teaching a 4th year in the same subject, at the same grade level, at the same school. Kind of a big deal.
So in June, I taught summer school.
July was devoted to curriculum writing and moving to a new classroom. (We had a bit of a shakeup at school.)
By the time I left for vacation, my newly located classroom was ready to go. I was ready to go. I felt ready for the 2017-2018 school year!
I would be able to enjoy my vacation fully.
And I did.
But then, on our last day of hiking, I received that text.
To say I was a bit preoccupied on the hike would be the understatement of the year.
My husband patiently listened to me all the way up and all the way down, agreeing with everything I said, no matter what it was. (Smart man.)
I then had a little conversation with God. And I waited for Him to give me an answer. I was hoping for a message written in the clouds or words spelled out with twigs, but any indication would have been swell. (That didn’t happen, btw.)
But by the time we finished eating lunch, I knew.
I couldn’t NOT go for it.
I knew the following year would be challenging.
I knew I would be traveling between two schools.
I knew I’d be a ‘new’ teacher at one of the schools.
I knew I’d be setting up not one, but two classrooms.
I even knew I’d even be moving one of my classrooms for the second time in one summer.
I knew I’d be developing my own curriculum for two subjects (one of which I was not comfortable with) at two different grade levels.
I knew I’d come home exhausted more days than not.
I knew many evenings would not be my own.
I knew I’d have restless nights.
I knew many weekends would be dominated by schoolwork.
I even knew there would be moments of confusion, and frustration, and tears.
And I knew school started in less than two weeks.
Despite all of this, I wanted it.
And less than forty-eight hours later, the job was mine.
So here I am.
In the middle of October.
With six weeks under my belt.
And it hasn’t been easy. There have been challenging days. There have been moments of doubt. And yes, there have been tears. (Mine, not my students.)
But I have no regrets. I understand the bigger picture.
I continue to remind myself that this year will be like drafting a paper. It wasn’t intended to be easy. I’ll throw everything I know out there. It’ll be messy; it most certainly will not be perfect.
And I am learning to make peace with that.
I know that next year will be better. It’ll be like revising. I’ll be able to keep what makes sense, get rid of what doesn’t, add what is missing and organize it all so everything flows.
And the following year will be even better. It’ll be like editing. I’ll put the finishing touches on it. I’ll look at what I’ve accomplished and feel proud of what I’ve accomplished.
And so my friends, this is why it’s been 2 months and 2 days.