Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bombs Away!

This is a picture of Jamie I stole from Jamie's youth group leader's facebook page. Jamie is jumping off a ledge one story in the air and getting ready to land on a huge inflatable "blob". This "blob" will launch the person on the end of it into the air and out into a lake once Jamie lands on it.  Jamie will then make his way onto the end of the "blob" where he will be launched by the next person in line.

This picture actually mirrors a lot of what I'm feeling/experiencing as I get ready for my first year in my new teaching career.  My schooling has been that long climb up the structure to get to the top of the platform, where I searched diligently for a teaching internship. I finally got one, so now it's my turn to take that jump to the new career. Let me tell you, it's a long fall from up here! But once I take the plunge on my first day, I know my training, the support staff at the school where I'll be teaching and all my many educator family members and friends will be ready to catch me. And by taking my jump, I'll be launching someone else's career to come work in my old profession as a secretary.

Yeah, I know this post was pretty hokey. Originally, I was just going to post this pic of Jamie at camp. But the more I looked at it, the more I drew parallels to my career change.

Incidentally, with Jamie away at camp, the house has been waaaaaay too quiet. I'm so glad I get to go pick him up tomorrow. I miss the little (well, relatively speaking) booger so much!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Changes and Adjustments

I'm going to apologize in advance because some of this post is whining, while some is humor and some is all out excitement. Please forgive the emotional roller coaster you are about to read. Jamie is at camp this week (thank you, Jesus, for scholarships and wonderful youth group leaders!), so I'm just that much more emotional due to missing him.

I am very excited about my new job - but I'm also kind of nervous, scared, anxious, etc. This new position will mean a lot of adjustments for me, both big and small.  Also, it doesn't help that I still don't know what grade level I'll be teaching. And the fact that they are requiring me to take the PPR exam before the school year starts and there's only one Saturday exam available at the end of July, which means if I don't pass it I won't have another opportunity to take it before school starts (which means potentially they'll revoke my contract) and that I don't have the $120 registration fee for the test anyway (at least, not if I want to buy groceries and put gas in my car).

And then there's the $59 I need to pay for the fingerprinting and background check plus the $50-some odd dollars I'll need to pay for my probationary certification. All before I can start teaching. Which means I don't have it to spare. And we won't even get into how much I despise the fact that my life's focus has been on money so much for the last few years. Every thought, every deed, every action I take centers around the thought "But how much will it cost, and do I have enough money to cover that?" This job would certainly help with that. I'll make a couple of hundred bucks more a month than I do currently. Which would certainly make life a little easier for us because it would almost cover how much back child support I'm not receiving because they can't find the jerk. But that's another blog post. But, in order to breathe a little easier and get that extra money a month, I need to pony up cash I don't have. It is such a vicious cycle.

On a funny note, I read the staff handbook last night. 90% of what I currently wear to work as a secretary in a pretty casual office is not suitable for my new position. No sandals or open toed shoes (dude, once the temperatures reach about 80 degrees in March through about the middle of October, all I wear is sandals and open toe shoes!). No capri pants (again, those are just about all I wear because it's so durn hot!). No heels. No jeans.  This of course means I'll either have to wear long pants (too durn hot!) or skirts. I am not a skirt person, most of the time. However, I was able a week or so ago to get a bunch of nice things for the new job. Most of them were skirts. So I've been freaking everyone out at work by wearing skirts several times a week. I figure I better get used to them.

Speaking of getting used to things. I'll have to be at work each morning at 7:30 a.m. (ugh!). I am NOT a morning person. It takes around 12 minutes to get to the school. This means I need to leave the house at 7:15. Jamie's bus does not come until 7:45-ish. The school at which I will be teaching is in the opposite direction of Jamie's school. Jamie is going to have to wait for the bus at his friend's house to make sure he gets to the bus stop in time to catch it. I'm shuddering at the thought of how early I'll have to get up to get ready for school in time.

Another thing I'll have to get used to is not treating all the kids like they are my own, as I do with Jamie's friends. I can't tease and rib these kids like I would Jamie and his friends. Of course, I don't mean teasing in a bad way. But I will need to monitor myself a little more. I hardly think the parents would appreciate it if I stopped in the middle of what I was saying, sang out "Punch buggy!" and tapped the student closest to me. I don't really think that would be professional behavior, do you?

Well, I guess I'm done. I just wanted to let you all know how things are going. I'm kind of a nervous wreck, but I'm glad I'll have almost two whole weeks of training before school starts to help me become accustomed to the way things are done at my new school. I'll also be assigned a mentor teacher to help me with lesson planning, learning the best ways to manage the classroom, grading scales, and all those other things you hear about in school but can't really practice until you are in your own classroom. For everyone who sent up prayers, positive thoughts, good energy or whatever to help me get this position, I thank you very much from the bottom of my heart!

Friday, June 17, 2011

I Better Get Used to Being Called "Ms. H___________"...

…because I got the teaching internship I’ve been wanting. This means I will begin teaching in August and will be the teacher of record for the entire year. This means I will get paid a teacher’s salary, rather than doing a free student teaching assignment. This means, in short, I can continue to feed the ravenous monster that is my son!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Update on Internship Search

For those of you not on facebook, I just wanted to post a quick update. I heard today from "Charter School B". I did not get the position. But really, I'm okay with that. I don't think I would do well as a first year teacher in such an unstructured environment. Besides, I do have a job now, so it isn't as though I will die right now if I don't get an internship. I'm also still pending with "Charter School A" and "local ISD", so there is still a possibility I'll get an internship, just not at School B.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Tomorrow I'm teaching a fourth grade reading class as part of my interview process for a teaching job at unnamed charter school. It would be an understatement to say I'm extremely nervous. I'm thinking of doing a lesson on poetry/reading comprehension, which will involve group work, some question and answer time, taking apart a famous "poem" (a currently popular song that most of the kids should know), taking apart a not-so-famous (to them) poem, and writing a classroom "text message poem" on a centralized theme. I am SOOOOO nervous. Both because this is the first time I've formally taught in a school classroom, and because so much is riding on my performance tomorrow.

Please think of me tomorrow. Pray, if you are so inclined, or send positive thoughts, or good kharma, whatever you feel like doing. Whatever it is, I'll appreciate it! I'll be in a class from 1:00 - 1:30 Central Time.