July 30, 2010

First Day of School! First Day of School! (Do I Sound Like Nemo??)

My little classroom...Yes, those are Twilight posters
on my closet doors. Don't judge.
Well, its here.  The first day of school is Monday and I am as ready as I'm going to be.  My classroom is ready, I am (basically) ready for students, and the things that need to be done can wait until Monday afternoon or later.  So, here we go again.  This year I am teaching (yet again) a new subject with a new co-teacher.  I am beginning my 7th year of teaching special education classes, but this is my 4th school year teaching at this particular school.  Every year at this school I have taught something new.  My first year, I taught a remedial reading class.  I was blessed to be able to work part-time and carry benefits for the family.  I was able to be home with Andrew (he was 17 months old when I went back to work) every other day.  This was good, because I ended up pregnant by the end of October and was very, very ill.  Being able to be home was great.  My second year, I taught a remedial math class.  Again, I taught part-time (every other day)...I was just off maternity leave (only missed the first two weeks of school since Hannah was born in late June) and being able to be home with her and Andrew was awesome.

Jessica is beautiful, inside & out!
As the kids grew, mommyhood became a little more interesting and...demanding.  Yeah, that's a good way to say it.  Demanding.  With budget cuts and new school opening, teachers were being displaced and all part-time jobs were gone.  No one with a part-time contract (me!) would get a new contract.  Well, once again, God took care of us.  My principal worked his magic and managed to get me a full-time contract. (I'm told my dual certification in special education and regular education mathematics didn't hurt!)  I was able to teach last school year with a fabulous lady in a 7th grade math classroom.  Jessica is amazingly talented and I learned so much from her.  I want to be like her when I grow up.  I was very blessed to work on that 7th grade team, and though we had lots of drama (teachers leaving mid-year, being moved to different grade levels, etc) we worked through it and managed to end up with the highest 7th grade math standardized test scores in our entire county!  Believe me, it was not because of me.  I will miss them.

Yep, Kelly is gorgeous.  I am not.
But she seems to like me anyway!
This school year I was asked to co-teach in 6th grade math.  I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated because I was only acquainted with one of the teachers on that team, and she was the science teacher, so not the teacher I would be paired with.  I am a bit like the middle schoolers I teach:  I want everyone to like me!  I was hoping I would be accepted and make friends with them as easily as I did with the 7th grade teachers.  I feel like I have.  We have only had three days of pre-planning to prepare for the beginning of the year (stupid furlough days!) but in the past three days I feel like I've been completely accepted and welcomed to my new team.  I am excited about this year and just know I will learn as much or more from Kelly as I did from Jessica.  Kelly is hilarious and loud and her students respect her tremendously.  I know I am going to grow and develop even more and I am so excited about that.  I am extremely lucky, in this day and time, to have a job period, but I am even luckier to have a job I love at a school I love, surrounded by people I love.

So, here we go...Ready or not, the students are coming on Monday.  I am excited about the new year, new beginning, and new possibilities.  Give me a month and I might not have this same attitude.  When I start to grips, remind me to come back and read this post so I keep myself in check, k?

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