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Monday, July 30, 2018

the END (of summer 2018)

Last year at this time, I was a week away from starting my FIRST year of teaching. Today, I am a week away from going back to work as a second-year teacher. Is my summer really over? I swear it feels like school got out like…yesterday! I wish I could say my summer was eventful, but it was quite the opposite. I’m not complaining though because I enjoyed getting some extra sleep and playing fortnite like crazy--I know my ex-students are going to be so proud of me ;) 

My first year of teaching was exhausting to say the least, but I would do that a hundred times over. While teaching the future leaders of America, I became an avid Starbucks drinker. My students would get so worried if they didn’t see a Starbucks cup in my hand. I also contemplated moving my bed to Target several times during the year. Hah! You know your obsession with Target has gotten out of hand when your husband bribes you to go somewhere with him by saying, “We can go to Target after!” 

In all seriousness though, I will forever cherish the love and appreciation I received from every single one of my students. You know you played an important role in a student’s life when they are crying because they are sad to leave you rather than being happy to be out of school for summer. I can’t wait to see them next year as fifth graders while I welcome a new set of fourth graders! 

My goals for this year are:

·     Be awesome. Duh.
·     Stay on top of grading (something I really struggled with last year)
·     Be organized from day 1 (I am the queen of organization, or at least I thought I was. I definitely have some ideas in place for this year that I want to implement in my classroom to stay on top of things)
·     Try not to bring work home (another thing I struggled with last year. I really want to balance my work and home/social life)
·     Sleep early (as an elementary school teacher, I have to wake up SUPER early to report to work. Being a workaholic, I was getting only about 4 hours of sleep a night which we all know is not enough!)
·     Stay active (again, I was working long hours and working even when I got home-- whether it was house work or related to my job, which zapped my energy! I never had time to go to the gym and I definitely want to change that this year!)

I’m ready for this new school year. I have a ton of stuff I bought for my classroom over the summer that I need to take back to my classroom. I really don’t have a theme in mind, so my classroom may end up looking exactly the same as last year. Whoops. Hopefully I can figure something out this week because I REALLY need to start setting up my classroom!



Saturday, July 29, 2017

remember me?

hiya friends! 

It has been a long, long time since I last blogged but I figured it was time for me to get back into blogging. I was really excited all week and spent a couple days revamping my blog only to do something really horrible. You guys, I accidentally deleted ALL my previous blog posts. I almost cried while frantically trying to figure out if there was a way for me to retrieve all my content. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to undo the huge mistake I made and it makes me really sad. I lost everything! Literally! I had so many memories posted up in my blog and now they're all gone :( BUT...I'm just going to try to get over it and move right along. So here's to new beginnings!

A lot has happened in the last year. Lots and lots of exciting stuff. I got to visit my older sister in Dubai that I hadn't seen in 6 years! We moved to a new house! We went on a pilgrimage to Mecca! We explored Istanbul and now, here I am, a week out from starting my first big girl job as a fourth grade teacher! I really wanted to blog about all my experiences last year but honestly, I just needed a break to get my life together. There was way too much going on and it was hard for me to keep up with everything. After I decided I wanted to pursue teaching as a career, I really put my heart and soul into getting to where I'm at right now while trying to cater to everybody and everything else. Finishing my course was pretty much a slow death for me but once I was done with that, I attempted to study for my exam about a billion times before I would get distracted and would have to start all over again. It wasn't until March of this year that I got so fed up and registered for my exam. I gave myself a month to study and get it all together. Setting the date really made it real for me and I knew that I had to get my priorities straight. I sacrificed all my weekend plans and spent hours and hours studying (especially the last two and a half weeks leading up to my exam). I remember about 3 days before my exam, I had a slew of emotions take control of me. I wasn't sure if I was ready to take the exam, but lets be real, would I ever feel like I'm ready? I contemplated postponing my exam but in the end I decided that I would just take my darn exam and get it over with. I remember walking out of my 5 hour exam feeling defeated. Literally. The whole week after my exam I spent worrying and then it was Friday, the day I got my score back. I was subbing a 4th grade class while anxiously checking my e-mail every 10 minutes. I was terrified. I knew it was either going to be one the happiest days of my life or the saddest. At about 10 am, I logged into my portal and there it was, my score report that I was so afraid to click. I said a little prayer and found the courage to hit "view result." It read PASSED. I couldn't believe it. I kept refreshing the browser thinking, "Is this real life? Does it really say PASSED? What! Omg!" I had tears trickling down my cheeks. I felt SO grateful. My hard work had finally paid off. Then summer rolled around and I realized that passing my exam was only half the battle. I still had the other half to fight- finding a job as a Teacher. It was challenging. I spent my entire summer stressing out applying to schools like crazy. I was at the brink of losing all hope! The day after my 29th birthday, I checked my e-mail as per usual. Except this time, hidden amongst all the spam mail I receive daily, I found an e-mail that held some value. Actually, a lot of value. It was an invitation for an interview for a fourth grade teaching position. I immediately accepted it.  I spent the rest of the day preparing for my interview, nervous but grateful for the opportunity. Going into the interview the next morning, I said a little prayer for everything to go smoothly which it did. I walked out of the interview feeling so happy and confident, it was almost unreal! I remember pulling into my neighborhood after the interview and while waiting for the gate to open, I check my e-mail. To my surprise, I had ANOTHER invitation for an interview from another school. Ecstatic, I accepted it. Later that evening I got a call from the school I had interviewed at. They extended me an offer which I was absolutely thrilled about but I had to ask them to give me a day to give them my final answer. Had I not accepted an invitation for another interview, I know my answer would have been an immediate yes. However, that wasn't the case. I really wasn't anticipating another interview so fast. All I knew at this point was that there was a reason behind the timing of everything! The next morning I went to my other interview. I wasn't nervous because I knew I practically had a job lined up for me regardless of the outcome of this interview. I was just "exploring" my options, you know? Besides, I knew they wouldn't get back to me immediately and I needed to give an answer to the other school that same day. My interview went well. The AP gave me a tour of the school (which meant that she really liked me, right?) The AP told me she has some interviews lined up and that I should hear something by the end of the week. I got in my car and I knew I couldn't take the risk. I had made up my mind that I would accept the first offer I had gotten the day before. I was driving home ready to make a call to the other school right when I got home when I received a call from the school I had interviewed at a few hours earlier, extending me an offer. I lost it y'all. I completely lost it. I was so so SO excited and beyond grateful for everything while stressing out about which offer to accept. It was a good type of a stress though. I pulled out my dry erase board and quickly listed all the pros and cons of both situations. I consulted a few of my teacher friends and finally came to a conclusion that I was going to accept the offer of the second school I had interviewed at. I made the most dreadful phone call to the first school I interviewed at to let them know I accepted another offer. I felt terrible especially because they were so kind to me. The guilt was eating me away because  I knew they were so excited for me to be a part of their team. But in the end, I had to do what was best for me! I called the AP back from the second school I had interviewed at and told her I accept her offer. I could hear the excitement in her voice! After that I cried a few happy tears and realized God really is great! Just when I was losing all hope, He opened several doors for me. This whole experience has really helped me grow and I will forever be grateful for that. I learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way which I will hold close to my heart for the years to come. I know my first year will be the hardest (or so they say) but I am so very excited. I can't wait to meet all my kiddos soon! 

If there is one piece of advice I can give anyone from my experience is to always do what makes YOU happy! I've always had a "thing" for teaching but it took me a few desk jobs to finally discover my passion and I couldn't be happier! 




p.s. For those of you that don't know me, my bio pretty much sums me up in two sentences ;)