I can honestly say that 2013 has been a whirlwind year for me. Things have been changing in my life I've really become conscience about my health and have worked hard to redefine myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Personally, I've really had a great year of change! I work out everyday, lost a tremendous amount of weight, made friends, rekindled some old friendships, and found some inner peace.
So where does this leave me professionally? One of my former administrators used to always tell us that if we stayed in the same place for more than five years, we would become stagnant. I do find truth in those words. With all these changes that have taken place in my own personal life, it is now time for me to make some changes in my professional life as well.
When I was a student teacher I remember saying I NEVER wanted to teach at one specific middle school. It's was a middle school that was little rough around the edges. I was very intimidated at the thought of completing my student teaching there. After some unforeseen circumstances, I had to request a transfer to another school. The semester of observations were lost to me and I was stuck walking into a classroom that I've never observed and was still expected to teach kids I didn't know. Sometimes I think God really has a sense of humor because I was granted the transfer request and placed in the one middle school that I NEVER wanted to teach in. At that point in life maybe I should have learned never say never!
Since that time, I've taught in the same school for 8 out of my 9 years of teaching. I've taught all grade levels 6-8 ELA and Math. One year of teaching at my school, I realized I wanted to be a math teacher. I taught one hour of math that year and fell in LOVE with it. I loved having one answer to the question. As a teacher it was wonderful for me to have one answer. Math was black and white and I embraced it! I decided at that point I NEVER wanted to teach ELA again. I gave away all of my ELA posters and embraced my life as a math teacher. I put the pedal to the metal and had no intentions of turning back.
What's that saying...Tell God your plans and watch Him laugh? YEP... in comes that sense of humor once again.
At the end of April I was discussing my subject and common core with our lead teacher. I knew there was going to be several openings for us at school as we were going to have a year of "big" turnover. In our school people had to die or retire for you to get a job. Sometimes that's still true, but this has been our first "big" turnover since I've been there. Several subjects were opening up as people retired, moved jobs, transferred to other school districts, etc.. While talking about school changes with our lead teacher, I heard these word come from my very own being: "I think I want to teach ELA next year." My eyes bugged out as I realized the words that escaped my lips. I was a math teacher! I had NO desire to be an ELA teacher. I had no desire to ever do that again. I weighed the pros and cons of it before officially putting in my crazy request. And now I find myself preparing to teach 7th grade ELA for the upcoming school year.
So.... here I am again facing the unknown. I look at this as a challenge like I do when I go to the Crossfit box. We have WODs (workouts of the day) written on the board. We usually enter the box and look at the board sizing up the WOD to see if it's doable. It is ALWAYS hard, but somehow we manage the challenge. We leave the box feeling worn out, stronger, empowered, and feeling like we can take on the world (after we take a shower of course!). And I can say that I have been completely successful since my initial visit to "the box" I'm leaner and stronger than I ever imagined I would be.
So I look at this opportunity to teach 7th grade ELA as a WOD in my career. I've spent most of the summer sizing up the task that lay before me. I've had moments of panic and have spent many phone calls talking to some really close friends. All of these wonderful people have "talked me down" when the panic swelled up in my throat causing me to fear the unknown. I've worked diligently to even change my classroom from monsters to a color theme. I needed a clean break for my students because I'm moving up with them. I'll be teaching some of my former students, but this time it'll be a different subject and a different grade. I've seen many of my former students throughout the summer. They have begged to be in my class next year. Each time I swell with pride. My students may not like the subject I teach, but for some reason they love my class!
Change is good...