It's spring break!! We had a great weekend and are ready for a week of rest and relaxation. Saturday was Connor's fourth birthday party and today we celebrated Chad's 33rd. We are blessed. Isn't it ironic though...Saturday night I went to bed feeling fine. Around 2:30 I woke up, tonsils swollen, couldn't breathe, and felt just plain sick. Really?! I refused to spend my spring break feeling like crap so I decided to give it a day and if I didn't feel better by then I would go the dr. I didn't feel better so off I went. Best decision ever. 2 shots and 2 antibiotics later I am feeling pretty darn good. And now that I can swallow without knife-stabbing pain, I've had a chance to reflect on the past year.
This time a year ago I was getting ready to finish up student teaching and preparing to interview anywhere and everywhere to get a classroom of my own. It didn't come as quickly as I would have liked. I distinctly remember one Sunday. Chad was out playing golf with his friends, the kids were at Dondi and Poppi's, and I was alone...at home...enthralled in a marathon of Hoarders. This was during a time when finding a teaching job looked bleak. We had heard LISD was on a hiring freeze, and it was next to impossible to get your foot in the door. With all of that said, by the end of the marathon I was in tears, believed I was a hoarder, and all of the emotion I had kept bottled up came pouring out. Chad came home to a crazy woman. We cooked out that night and as we sat be the grill, watching the kids play, I cried and unloaded all of my worries, fears, and frustrations on to him.
We had visions of both of us teaching, having the same schedule, traveling during the summers, paying off debt, and being able to better our lives. It wasn't happening the way I wanted it to happen. I had already had a couple of interviews by this time and no offers were coming my way. I felt like a failure. Chad was so encouraging and positive. He told me to just be patient. It was the beginning of the summer and it could easily be July or later before I knew anything. By the end of the evening I felt much better, realized I was not a hoarder :), and was not willing to give up on finding a job just yet. God had taken care of me in ways I couldn't imagine up until that point, I should have never doubted him then. We all know the rest of the story. July 12th I received a phone call from the principal at Roberts Elementary...and the rest is history.
I have learned so much this year. In fact, I don't think a day goes by that I don't learn something new. I think back to August and remember how terrified I was. My sweet team would look at me during the marathon of meetings that would take place a full two weeks before school started, and with compassion in their eyes, tell me not to feel overwhelmed. Blessed. That's all I can say. During those meetings I heard more initials thrown around and I didn't even pretend to know what they were talking about. I heard things like: TPRI, DIBELS, SST, ARD, PLS, ESL, LEP, PEIMS, TEKS, TAKS...you get the picture. Now I find myself throwing around those same initials...it makes me feel cool...in a nerdy way.
The girls on my team are so supportive...we have fun in our hall...and our quick trips to sonic don't hurt either. The students are precious and I have learned so much from them. I am so thankful I am not the girl I was 7 months ago. I am so thankful that other people believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. I am so thankful that, in 10 weeks, I don't have to say I am 1st-year teacher anymore. And I am so thankful, with all the budget-cuts and craziness I still have a job.
It hasn't been easy, I have made mistakes, it's been a juggling act, I've had my moments of meltdown, and at times I have felt like it was too much to handle. But it's those moments when I am the weakest that I am reminded of His strength.