Sunday, November 6, 2011

This week

This week I finished my first report cards and had my first parent/teacher conferences. I have amazing parents. I was a little nervous at first. And I was nervous about my report cards too. But it's over now, and I feel pretty good about the entire thing.

After conferences, and working four 12 hour days back to back, I got my first "comp" day. Something I never got working at Private School. And as much as I loved working at my first school, which happened to be private, I love my new, public school about 100 times more. I have always absolutely adored my students, in every school I have ever taught in. That is not the issue. It is more that I have an amazingly supportive principal who seems me more as a professional, and not as someone who needs to be taught how to teach in a certain way.

I am grateful for my experience in private school. In many ways, that is how I learned to be a good teacher. But it was painful and exhausting at times. And kind of bad for my self-esteem.

I am learning now that there are several methods that can be used to teach the same thing. All can be equally effective. I strongly believe the main factor for any child to be able to learn is to just be in a compassionate classroom where students can safely take risks and not be afraid to learn. A happy place where learning happens because you are immersed in it. Where there is more to evaluating you students than just giving them tests. Where they can learn at their own pace, and be the very best that they can be.

I am still working out the kinks in how my classroom works, but it is moving along nicely, and I am loving every day.

Teaching is a hard job mostly because you are "on" every day. Every minute. Performing in front of the class. The hardest thing for me is just getting ready and starting. Then once I am in it, I'm there. And it's kind of like a high. The day zooms past, and the time is always short. I always run out of time. Which really is a good thing.

At first, I was trying to walk with one foot in both of my 2 worlds. Trying to hold on to everything I have built up over the past 6 years until everything changed. It was awful when Jeff lost his job. And the uncertainty of everything. Looking back, it is amazing how everything has slowly fallen into place. And I feel so thankful to Heavenly Father who knew where I should be headed all along. But I couldn't keep up with everything in both worlds. My home life has been stripped down to the bare minimum. My Martha Stewart experiments and neighborhood parties have been put on the back burner for now. My house will get clean maybe once every 2 weeks...but the upside is that no one is really here anymore to mess it up.

This long weekend, which included my "comp" day allowed me to re-connect with some of my old hobbies...spending a few hours on Facebook and Pinterest, watching the kids play in the snow and taking tons of pictures...staying in my sweats all day and not doing my hair and make-up was so nice. I looked awful when I went to Target, but just really didn't care. But most of my free-time was spent researching how to help some of my kids read better and understand money. Figuring out what kind of party I can have when we study fairy tales in February...thinking of what I am getting all of the sweet kids in my class for Christmas...finding music for our holiday program...and cutting out patterns for our next art project. I am now almost "in" with both feet!Oh yeah, it was Halloween too! It's been 15 years since I actually bought a Halloween costume for myself. Clint was The Riddler, and pretty much put that whole costume together himself. Pretty cool. Derek had an assortment of superhero costumes to wear and decided to go with Iron Man...he is my personal favorite, after all.