Thursday, December 8, 2011
At 6:29 this morning my dad texted me saying, "Good luck today! Hope you enjoy being back in your 'other life.'" I'll admit it...I was giddy. I was going back into the classroom for the first time since January 12, 2010. Almost two years ago I went into the hospital and you know the rest of the story....I never went back.
When I was a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up varied over the years:
-vet...I adored cats.
-architect...I would design buildings on my Etcha-Sketch.
-archaeologist...After studying dinosaurs in 2nd grade I decided Stegosaurus was my favorite
-teacher...My stuffed animals made great students and making worksheets was fun.
Once I applied to colleges (6 to be exact) I considered
-occupational therapy...After volunteering at the Rainbow Games I landed a summer job for a couple years as a therapeutic recreational camp counselor working with kids with severe mental and physical disabilities. Talk about putting things in perspective.
-nutrition...But then I found out how many science courses I had to successfully complete.
-teacher...Because I've always loved kids.
Once I got into Tech's (no longer existent) five year education program it was a done deal. Teach it would be. And to teach I would L.O.V.E. There's something to be said for driving to work most days truly looking forward to your job. Don't worry, there were the crummy days too with unruly kids, relentless parents, unrealistic demands from on high, and simply not enough hours in the day to get it done. But to actually get in there and teach and to watch kids grow and to get to know their quirks and personalities and to watch them apply strategies and tricks and concepts that I taught them...WOW.
So yes, I dearly miss the classroom; I still find myself thinking of ways to break down concepts and creating fun ways to illustrate them; and I love it when a mommy friend calls asking for help on her kid's homework. I love the smell of crayons and glue and restocking school supplies. Have I always been such a nerd?
And then my friend mentioned that her school is always looking for substitutes, which is how I ended up in a little slice of utopia today. I wasn't nervous about running reading groups or writing workshop...that came back like an old habit; I was more concerned with not knowing anyone and getting lost on campus! Today gave me an itty bitty dose of the working world, and although I came home and paid the sitter exactly what I'd just earned for the day, it was money well spent. It was a glimpse back into the old me that sometimes gets lost in gym pants and pullovers with snot on the shoulder. It was lunch with adults and students calling me Mrs. Watson again and sharing stories and answering questions with little minds that just want to do right by those that care about them. It's being a part of something and feeling like I had a purpose today.
AND it made coming home to my happy boys that much sweeter. Tomorrow I'll be back in gym pants and snot will certainly be on my shoulder(s) by 9:00am. But I've put my eggs in more than one basket and hopefully another job will call sooner rather than later because it was quite nice to take a dip in my 'other life' just for a day so I can appreciate 'this life' that much more.
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