Monday, January 21, 2013

Becoming a TROJAN.

Jesus gave me a new big girl job.

Yes, yes, yes, He did.

In the morning of December 2nd, I received a phone call alerting me to the fact that a former colleague of mine had had a stroke and my expert substitute teaching skills were in need to take care of her children until a permanent solution could be found. Before dawn on December 3rd, I was up, showered, and on my way to Trojanburg.

For the last six weeks, the majority of each of my days has been spent planning, grading, and teaching at Trojanburg in this woman's classroom. The time I spent there served to remind me just how much I missed being a teacher, how much I loved it, and also gave me some perspective on how I could balance my life so that I could make myself an effective teacher but not lose my hair from the stress of it all.

These last six weeks have been a perfect transition back into the classroom.

Since I walked out of Wildcat Kingdom in June (my intuition telling me already that I wasn't going to be going back), I have prayed as specifically as I could about my teaching career. I told Jesus that I was going to take some time off to recuperate from my first year. He and I both knew that I needed some time to get my physical, mental, and emotional health back in order and we've used these last six months to do just that. While I've been taking my break, I prayed the following prayer almost every day:
"Jesus, You know how much I love my student children and you know how much I loved teaching. But we both know that I'd be okay with never going back into the classroom. My plan is to stay out of a permanent teaching position until You tell me to do so. Here's the plan: I will know that You're telling me it's time to try this whole teaching thing again when a principal calls me and offers me a position. Deal? Deal."

I've never applied for a job. Ever. Every job that I have gotten has started with an unannounced, unprovoked phone call asking if I would like to work for that company/family/etc. My dad and my grandfather both can claim this in their professional lives. I think that it is a true sign of God's provision and faithfulness; I also believe that spiritual gifts run in families so I don't think this is any coincidence. Knowing all of this, I didn't think it was too extreme to ask Jesus to be faithful one more time and allow me the security of being in His will for my career.

While I was teaching one day, the principal at Trojanburg came into my classroom and asked for my resume. I assumed it was to validate my stay as a long-term substitute. His response, "No, ma'am. We have a position opening in January and we're planning on giving it to you."

Jesus had decided it was time for me to go back to teaching.

You want to know the cherry on the top of this sundae of awesomeness? I've always wanted to be a Trojan. Always. Since I first walked into Trojanburg as a student teacher I wanted to be there permanently. If you had asked me at any point during my teaching career what my dream job was, I would have responded, "I want to go back to the Trojans and work with the 9th grade team."

Starting tomorrow, I will be the new 9th grade English and African-American Lit teacher at Trojan High.

Jesus is so, so good.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Years Goals!

Like probably every other blog that you read, I have decided to post my goals for the year of 2013. I wanted to write out goals that I could actually stick with -- you know, something other than "power walk for an hour every day." I wanted things that would benefit my life and my well-being in some way. Goals that fostered tangible results and productivity. After much thinking, pondering, reminiscing, and debating, I came up with this list:
Peaks, Pits, Praises, and Prayers. I saw this journal title while I was window-shopping at Barnes and Noble the other day. I thought it was cute. While I would love to have a leather-bound, gold embellished notebook to remember 2013 by, I didn't feel like spending $34.99 and I knew that if I crapped out on this goal, spending that money would make me angry. I also have an entire room in My Cute Little House dedicated to school supplies, so I knew I could dig up a snazzy notebook to record my personal history. My journaling has also gone to the way-side for the past few years because I would put too much detail into my stories and would be exhausted by the end of the day and couldn't manage another hour of story-telling. These four categories keep life simple and full of fragments that will remind me of the things that happen this year.
Continue the $5 Savings Plan. I'm awful at continuously saving money. I can clip coupons and fight the urge to go shopping until I get a bonus gift card to Kohl's for being a loyal customer...then I give my debit card cramps and I wonder where all of my coat hangers went (hint: they're in the closet holding all my new clothes). However, I found a simple idea on Pinterest one day about saving every $5 bill that you come across. That's it; put a $5 bill in your piggy bank and don't touch it. I was on a roll with this but then the holidays showed up and I wanted to shop. It's time to put my resilience back in to the game!
Blog 3 Times a Month. Simple. I want to record my life. I have a busy life, so every day isn't an option. But three times a month is! That's about once a week and that gives me plenty of time to find fodder for your entertainment.
Read One Non-School-Related Book a Month. This is for my own sanity. Last year, I got so wrapped up in my job that I forgot how to have fun (and how to breathe and eat healthy and a few other things...). Reading is a mental unwind for me and this goal is good for my personal health, my growth as an English teacher, and it can also help out my goal to blog three times a month when I blog about the books I've read!
Try Two New Pinterest Projects a Month. God Almighty, I love Pinterest. Crafting and cooking are also mental escapes for me, so this goal will again benefit me across the board: mentally, emotionally, and blog-fully!
Finish My Cute Little House's Decor and Organization. Yes, I have lived in My Cute Little House for over six months and I'm still not done decorating it. For the most part it's organized -- meaning that everything is in the closet it will be stored in, just not necessarily on the right shelf. Personally, I would love for these projects to be done by my birthday (May 21) so when I throw my birthday party, I can show off my Cute Little House in style. I have ten specific jobs that I know I want to get done.
a. Design and build a gallery wall for my living room.
b. Put in a shelf in the closet of my home office.
c. Hang pictures and the corkboards in my home office.
d. Organize the home office!
e. Finish the area above my headboard in my bedroom.
f. Do my subway art Pinterest project for my bedroom wall.
g. Create a jewelry hanger.
h. Finish the gallery wall for my bedroom.
i. Organize my hall closet.
j. Complete the large scrapbook frames that I have to hang in my bedroom and office.
There you have it! I hope to be able to read back next year and find all of these done and see all of the small blessings that I reaped from it.