Tuesday, August 24, 2010

1/2 days are the best days

One week down, about 39 to go! I am starting to get a little bit overwhelmed with how much I have to teach my kiddos this year, and I don't understand how to use some of my curriculum yet. It is pretty stressful. I know that feeling overwhelmed is completely normal for a first year teacher, and for all teachers at this time of the year. Thankfully my colleagues are taking care of me and calming me down the best they can. I just feel so inadequate for all I have to do for my kids this year. What were they thinking giving me a teaching certificate?? haha. I know I will get into the swing of things here shortly, but I've also heard that I will feel overwhelmed for the whole year. I certainly hope not, because I might have an anxiety attack if I do... ugh. I wish I had more time to hang out with my husband and to do the tutoring that I promised I would continue, but so far work is completely consuming my life right now. There is so much prep work that goes into what I am teaching, and since I don't have many materials, I have to make everything from scratch. I also have several online teacher's editions that I am trying to decipher and I need to start learning how to use my SmartBoard. Gah! There are so many things I need to do!

Thankfully, tomorrow is a half day for the students which means there is at least 1.5 hours of prep/planning time in the afternoon that I plan to make full use of. I have tons of copies to make and several things to get organized. I guess I need to work on not getting too overwhelmed when thinking about all the things I need to do, and just take it one thing at a time.

Ok, I'm just getting more stressed out when I think about all the things I need to do. I just had the first evening off since I started work and was really enjoying it until I realized what I needed to do. Thank the Lord for 1/2 days on Wednesdays!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

4 official days

I have been an APS employee for 4 days, officially, even though I have been working for the last week and a half at my school. I have 19 students in my class. 4 are legally blind and require special services daily. It is an incredible challenge and I learn something new every day from them. I am completely exhausted after only 2.5 days of teaching. I hope I'll be able to get into a routine sooner as opposed to later, but so far I am still having a hard time figuring out what kind of flow to have during the day. Thankfully, Monday will start pullouts and specials, so it will help break up the day a little bit more. I'm love working at this school and everyone is so supportive and helpful, even though I am sure I am really irritating several of them with all of my questions. It has been a good week, though, overall, and I'm glad that I will get a weekend to try to catch my breath and recover before next week.

That's all the news for now. More updates to come!

Friday, August 13, 2010

First year jitters

Yeah, they are starting to set in. It probably mostly has to do with not officially being hired at this moment. Yes, I got the call that I had a job on Tuesday of this week, but my background check still hasn't made it to the APS central office. Supposedly this was the fastest way to do it, but apparently I should have paid the $30 to just have my fingerprints taken again, because I might not get it in time to start on Wednesday. It is stressing me out! I'm sure I am not the only one that is going through this, but it is super frustrating.

My principal and the staff I work with are amazing. Don't get me wrong, I really miss my previous school's staff and will always miss them, but I feel so welcome at this school and everyone has helped me tremendously. I have so many more resources and materials than I started out with, which was NOTHING, so I'm very grateful for that. Several teachers have taken me under their wings to show me the ropes and help me out with these first few days of school. The school is wonderful with technology as well. Every classroom has 5 computers, I have a laptop, and my classroom has a document camera, a smartboard, and an LCD projector. It is wonderful!! I now have to learn how to do all those things, haha.

My class is going to be very unique. I have 6 ESL kids, 4 visually impaired kids, 3 gifted kids, and several "in the middle" kids. I am really looking forward to working with all these students! I have to teach in Spanish for 45 minutes each day and I have to give an ESL lesson every day for the ESL kids. It is going to be really interesting and I'm sure there will never be a dull moment! What a way to start out my teaching career.

Speaking of never-a-dull-moment, I am ready to go to bed. Have a fabulous weekend and I will do my best not to stress out over the weekend!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Job news

I got a job! 8th time's a charm apparently, because that is how many interviews it took, but I don't care anymore! 3rd grade bilingual... So excited and nervous and curious and all kinds of other emotions. Let's start at the beginning- what does one do on the very first day of school?? Anybody know?

New hobby

Just a quick job search update- still nothing. I have another interview today that I am extremely excited about, but I'm trying really hard not to get my hopes up. We will see what happens.

So, my new hobby is painting. I did my first one in a class in college (art for kids or something like that) and gave it to my sister. Then, this Christmas I made one that kinda matched it for her. She wanted to learn how to do it so that's when we made the one for the kids. She branched out and made one for herself but I designed it for her. I just finished my first one for someone that isn't my sister, lol, and it turned out so cute! I love doing these and they are relatively quick and easy to make, so it's a doable hobby. Anyway, here they are!

The very first one I made in that art class.

The matching one.

The one I did for Jordan.

The one Lauren made for Shelby. This was her very first one to paint, I think she did great!

The one my sister made for herself.

The one for a cousin's baby.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Waiting game

Yep, here I sit, still waiting for the job God wants me to have. I was so optimistic that I would get a ton of job offers after several interview and I would have my choice of where I wanted to work. Well, apparently God did not have that same plan for me. I have done 7 interviews now, including the one for kindergarten I did today, and still nothing has popped up. I got a call yesterday from HR asking if I still wanted to sub starting in the fall. It really hit me then that I might not be a full time teacher, but instead I will be making half that as a sub. Not that it is all about money, because we all know teachers don't make enough to begin with, but we have some things going on and having a salary would be a much greater benefit for me than just being paid hourly. I want a class of my own because I really rely on routines and being in a different class every day would be really difficult for me. Not to mention my slight fear of strangers and strange situations (which every day would be...). My wonderful husband is so supportive, and says amazingly encouraging things to me about why I haven't gotten a job yet. He tells me I am a great teacher and I would bless the lives of the kids in my class, that he knows I can teach anything anywhere in Spanish or English, and that God must have something super special lined up for me or else why would He have me wait this long? I could not ask for a better man to be by my side through this.

I don't really have anything new to say on the subject. I'm still waiting and there is nothing I can do about it. There are three openings in the school district that is closest to me, but they are going to wait just long enough to hire someone so that person will be classified as "short term" like I was and then that person will have to reapply again next school year. It is pretty crummy, but again, nothing I can do about it.

I am starting to get excited about my upcoming trip to Lubbock. I get to spend the weekend with some fantastic friends, and go to a wedding for another friend. It is going to be so nice that I am afraid I am not going to want to come back, especially if I don't have a job waiting for me.

I get to play soccer again this weekend. I haven't played in 6 years, except for once in Honduras and two or three times in Peru a couple of years ago (on dirt fields). I played last weekend with a friend who needed more girls on his team and it was so much fun! Thankfully my skills came back pretty quickly and I was able to settle right into playing. Unfortunately I am not in as good of shape as I was when I played all the time, but it was OK because we had enough subs to cover when one of us got tired. I'm looking forward to playing again and I hope I can make this a semi-regular thing, although I think this is their last game for a while. Maybe we can just play for fun? If only Jason played, too, then it would be even more fun. But I will take what I can get for now.

Ok, off to the grocery store. Have a blessed afternoon!