Happy first day of school to all my teacher friends in this area! It is hard to believe the summer is already over and another year is beginning! (Although, I admit, I rushed the first half of the summer away waiting for Sam's arrival.)
There is something about me that just LOVES the beginning of the school year. Seriously, shopping for "school supplies" is one of my favorite things in the world. (I'm pretty sure it is at least part of the reason why I went into teaching.) Much like New Years to the rest of the world, a new school year always marks a fresh start --- a chance to get more organized, take better care of myself, and make changes. (Resolutions coming soon.)
Although I'm not officially going back to school until October 5th, this year is no exception. I'm already pining for new binders, page protectors, and color-coded folder dividers. BUT, more than that, this year will be a year of CHANGE.
Besides the obvious (I'm a mom now... And I have bangs), I have another big change coming up this fall:
I'm switching jobs! YES, you read that right.
This year, instead of going back to the English classroom, I am going to be the testing coordinator for my school beginning in October.
I've been very hesitant to share this on my blog, mainly because I feel like a bit of a sell-out to all of my fellow teachers out there. So, allow me to explain a bit...
When this job
came up fell flat in my lap back in June, I really felt like it was God's little gift to me. Since I first found out I was pregnant, I had been anxious about balancing my classroom life with my home life. I put SO MUCH of myself into my job that I worried I wouldn't have the energy to give my all to Sam in the afternoons after a long day of answering to 150 other kids - not to mention the piles of essays to grade, lesson plans to write, parents to call, etc. that come with the territory. In addition, I was very concerned about being out on maternity leave and having someone else start the school year. (Hopefully some of you teachers can understand this anxiety... I admit to being a control-freak; but, I think giving up control of your classroom at the very beginning of the year would be hard for anyone.) My new position will allow me to stay at the same school, work the same hours, and continue to interact with teenagers daily. It will also allow me to use my organization obsession skills and brainstorm creative and effective teaching/remediation methods. with my colleagues. While I'm not ignorant enough to think it will be "easy" or "un stressful," (hello - SOL week!) it does allow me more flexibility (no more substitute plans) and control over my own schedule. And, hopefully, it will free me a little to be a better mom when I am at home.
I sincerely felt like - in sending this job my way so completely out-of-the-blue - God was saying: Elizabeth, I know you are nervous about next year. But, I have a plan... I have from the beginning. Trust me. I'm going to provide for you. I will not give you more than you can handle.
No, I don't love standardized tests. (I believe they are a necessary evil - so, why not be apart of the "solution" instead of just complaining about them.)
Yes, I will miss Romeo & Juliet terribly.
No, I didn't get rid of ANY of my cute classroom decorations or organizational items.
Yes, I think this is the best decision for our little family right now.
All that said, deciding to leave the classroom was a VERY difficult decision. I absolutely LOVE teaching because of the relationships with students and the creativity involved in making lesson plans that teach skills while also making learning fun and relevant. I DO NOT think of my teaching career as over. It is my heart and my passion - and I think doing what you love DOES make you a better mom... I really believe (Lord willing) that I'll be back.
I still have six weeks of maternity leave before this all goes into effect. But, I'd appreciate your prayers and support as I get ready to embark on this new leg of our journey.
Here's to a wonderful 2011 - 2012!
*I know being a teacher and a mom can be done - my own Mom did it beautifully. To those of you balancing those two roles this year, I have so much respect and admiration for you... I applaud you sincerely.