Sunday, August 22, 2010

On the verge of an adventure

Well, tonight I sit on the edge of a cliff. Hopefully tomorrow I'll fly, and not crash somewhere miserably.

Tomorrow morning I head to my new school for the first time (well, since the interview), see my classroom for the very first time, and about a half hour or so afterwards, get to meet my students too! 6th grade orientation is happening, and the principal has assured me everything is taken care of and all I basically have to do is be a body in the room, but it's certainly going to be interesting. I mean, I've never greeted my students in a strange room, feeling completely unprepared before.

From talking with the principal, it sounds like everyone is going to be very supportive and helpful, and I'm convinced I'll get through this week (one way or the other). Tomorrow, after orientation, I'll go and officially sign my contract, have the rest of the day and Tuesday to set up things in my room & look at the curriculum for the first time, and then bright and early Wednesday morning (ready or not) is the first day of school.

So, yes, this year is certainly going to start with a bang! I'm saying prayers that I'm ready and that this position turns out to be the right choice. Right now I'm actually pleasantly surprised that I'm not completely panicking (although that still might come). Instead I sit here on the verge of this adventure, feeling surprisingly optimistic and excited. It's going to be a different way to start a year—probably a little more stressful than most—but as I said at the beginning: hopefully (fingers crossed) tomorrow I'll fly.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Excitement and a Bit of Panic too!

Wow, three entries in one day! That's probably a record, but after several days of being in mental anguish over what in the world to do, I made my decision tonight. I got a call from the public school offering me the 6th grade language arts and science position that I interviewed for earlier this week, and I accepted it! :)

It's almost funny how things work. Two days ago, my heart had decided to say no, if the job was offered, but after thinking things thru today, my heart began to settle on the idea that "yes" was the best option. I still someday want the adventure a position like Colorado would have offered, but my heart finally told me, I'm not ready for it yet. Instead, I'm going to teach where relocation isn't immediately necessary. My thoughts tell me: teach nearby, save up money (this position should be a significant raise), plan things out, and work on making the leap next year when it's completely on my terms—i.e. not an unexpected layoff and a scurry for last-minute positions. Where I really want be is abroad, and I think I'm going to work on trying to make that happen for the school year after this one.

Of course, I better enjoy this weekend. Monday will start an absolutely crazy week! Classes will start on Wednesday, and Monday will be my very first chance to get in the building, see my room and get a run-down on the curriculum. But honestly, in the midst of my panic, I think there's excitement mixed in too...after all, I do finally have a job! :)

Poetry Friday

I've always loved Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken. In fact it's come to mind several times this summer, including during the past couple days when I've been struggling with the decision that is upon me (or at least will very soon be upon me). So, for this Poetry Friday, I went searching for other poet's thoughts on decision making--honestly hoping to find a poem that would help me figure out what my path should be. I don't have an answer yet (as clearly evidenced in my other blog entry from today), but I will share two poems that I discovered on the way:

Decision Making by Tyrandra F. Impaler

Deep sadness fills the girl
It still beats, so she must be alive
The pain in her chest commands slow breaths
She can't make the decision
Why does she feel depressed so?
This emotion is proof by the tears on her cheeks
Just say the world
It will be all over, one word
Stop listening and follow
Just follow!
But, her fears stop her
Too many "what ifs"
(The poem continues here)

Making a Decision by Rita (?)

What causes us to act?
Do we wake up one day
and say
this is the day,
or is there a slow
with thoughts rolling around
in our mind
do this, do that,
make this decision,
make that decision,
no it’s too risky,
better not take a chance,
(The poem continues here)

This week's round-up is hosted by TeachPoetryK12. And I wonder (for those of you willing to pause to comment), how do you go about making a decision when there doesn't seem to be a clear answer?

So torn...

I'm waiting on a phone call. I interviewed with two schools earlier this week and they both said they'd try to let me know something by the end of the week. And with my old principal just emailing me this morning to say one of them (the one most ideal) just called her (she's one of my references), there's now this growing feeling inside of me that perhaps something might work out.

Of course, I'm not sure whether that would be a blessing or not. I'm soooo torn about what to do this coming school year.

There's part of me that says I should be grateful for a job and take the position (if offered). PROS: 1. it would teaching 6th grade science and language arts. 2. it wouldn't require an immediate move. 3. being a public school, it would be a higher salary. 4. for a public school, it sounds like a really good group of kids (i.e. principal said major discipline problems aren't very common) 5. the school seems really well-equipped (i.e. principal told me when I asked about tech resources, that basically anything I'd ever want, they have...including projectors mounted in every room). 6. Only basically 2 preps: three science classes and one language arts. CONS: 1. it would be a 30 minute commute to school each morning. 2. it would eliminate me being able to check out Colorado (see below). 3. it would require me to start teaching on Wednesday (only basically 4 days away).

It seems like a job I could live with (even though I'd hate doing the commuting), but I suppose what I'm really afraid of is that totally eliminates the possibility of anything else. For instance: Colorado.

I've talked with a private school in Colorado who seems really interested in me (i.e. they are willing to fly me out so that I can see the school and town first-hand!). It would be a 5th-8th language arts position, at a school that sounds awesome (has a great arts program, and even an outdoor education program that has field trips including hiking, camping, kayaking, etc.) BUT it, of course, has one major con: it would definitely require relocation. I'm not completely against living in Colorado—I think most of it is a beautiful place and there's a big part of me that's been seeking a major change like this. However, that said, I'm not sure I'm ready for a move right now, within the next few weeks. I'm increasingly thinking that could create more stress than what it's worth, but I don't know. I also sometimes wonder if that's just not the voice in my head that is scared to change talking: after all I distinctly remember telling myself that when I took the position at my old school, that it would only be for a couple years, then I'd move on, likely abroad. I ended up staying for 9 years.

Of course, there's a third option to consider, and that's not accepting any of them. It would be tight, but I believe I could manage taking a year off and substituting when possible, tutoring, etc. The big positive there is that it gives me a break...something I've been increasingly dreaming about the past couple years. Having time to get things in order, perhaps take a few grad classes, travel and relax a bit might ultimately be a really good thing for my future. The big con: it's probably the choice most scary.

So, again, I just don't know. I'm waiting on the phone to ring, while at the same time hoping it doesn't. I simply don't know what choice to choose. One moment, one feels the most right, and then a few hours later another does. As I said before, I'm just so torn...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


So, yes, I fell off my blogging yet again. I think February was my last entry, and that was actually still in the old blog system. There have definitely been changes since I last put my fingers to the keyboard and typed here: some which I know have been good, others which I'm still trying to come to terms with.

For one thing, I'm no longer at the school that I used to be at. Less than a month before school ended, I learned my contract wasn't going to be renewed...lack of enrollment meant that there only needed to be one sixth grade versus two, and I was the one chosen to go.

After many tears, my heart began to tell me it was ultimately a good thing. There had been growing issues there for awhile, and I began to view it as perhaps a shove in a direction that I wasn't willing to go on my own. After all, for the last 4 or 5 years I've considered moving on, but just have never had the courage to do it (I loved my students and who I worked with).

So, of course, a job search started...and as of this moment...a job search still continues. Lots of applications filled out, emails and resumes sent, and a couple interviews, but no position as of yet.

With a couple interviews just in the past couple days, there still is a chance for a full-time position, but I don't know what will happen. I'm not even sure if I know what I want to happen.

My love of teaching calls me back into the classroom; it feels odd to be at home vs. in the midst of setting things up. BUT at the same time, the last couple years have been increasingly tough; there's been a growing number of days when the energy to do lesson planning or other tasks tied to school (including this blog) has been almost nonexistent. I've come to realize that there is a part of me that truly hates how much of my life for the past nine years, has been tied up in my classroom. I have loved my students and what I have done, but it's come with it's price.

So that part of me, has begun to wonder if I should use this change as a break: i.e. take time to get things back in order, reconnect with friends, travel, etc. and hopefully return to the classroom the following year with a refreshed spirit. But, the main drawback to that plan is, of course, the idea of not having a full-time job this year is pretty scary.

I sorta hope nothing comes of my interviews (then the decision is automatically made for me), but my gut is telling me that's probably not the way it will work out. I'll be honest and say I've got a real mental struggle going on right now: if I have to make a decision, which way do I go? Do I go back to teaching this year (rushing to get a classroom ready to go in 2 or 3 days), or do I use this as a sabbatical of sorts? I really don't know....but at least my interest has returned to blogging... ;)