Sunday, September 7, 2014

1,500th post and a really big deal

I noticed on my dashboard that this is my 1,500th post, which makes my big news here feel nicely rounded off.  Fifteen hundred posts!  That's a lot of Muttonchop Mondays, meaningless fritter, gratuitous photos of Team Testosterone, tales of yetis in the Back Forty, photos of my garden and other stuff.  Fifteen hundred! 

When I started writing this blog I was a SAHM feeling isolated and lonely with only my (much younger at the time) kiddos to keep me company all day long.  In that time I've made amazing bloggy friends and even visited several, I've gotten a couple of books published, planted a few thousand trees, achieved a second degree black belt (and caught that sword!) and completed some major home improvement projects.  Life has blessed me abundantly.

That said, I've spent a lot of time in the past couple years wondering what is next for me.  I've asked God to send me a clear sign--what's the best use of my skills and talents?  Where do I belong?  Working? Staying home? Writing? Selling organic produce? 

Last spring I got called up to cover a maternity leave for a high school English teacher, which was my former occupation before having three kids.  I had no current resume, my license was expired and I wasn't actively looking for any work, but I took the opportunity because it was a chance to get to know the school Mr. T would attend this fall and it was a good match since I used to teach senior English.  The gig was right up my alley, and I actually enjoyed being back in the classroom.

Summer came and lots of people asked me what I would do this fall.  I'd shrug and say I had no particular plan.  They'd press, "Not going back to teaching? _______ really liked you as their teacher."  I'd reply that I appreciated the complement, but wasn't looking for just any teaching job, so no, I had no resume to send around, wasn't taking any credits (I have a Masters plus some, what is the point?), I was letting God handle the details.  I'll probably write a little, edit some and sell lettuce out of my greenhouse.

Two weeks ago the same principal called me while I was getting a haircut. The woman I'd subbed for had lined up something else, any chance I'd come back and be the senior English teacher?  The course load would be English 12 and Advanced Placement Language & Composition.  I already knew the staff, building, basic expectation of the job.  I knew a fair number of the kids from overseeing a junior study hall last spring, and I'd developed three months of the year's curriculum.  In short, the job is perfect for me and in a lot of ways I'm perfect for the job.

Five days later I passed out one of the crappiest syllabi in the history of education in a classroom that I'd rigged to functioning.  The DPI had my request for an extension of my expired teaching license.  I've patched together a clipboard from a board and a binder clip.  I've re-purposed the classroom podium as a bookshelf out of necessity and preference.  I've dumped two boxes of baking soda on the carpet to absorb the smell of sweaty feet.  I'm teaching familiar concepts (the personal narrative and how to peer edit seemed like a good starting point) to a great group of twelfth graders.  The class of 2015 is huge, so I have an overload (discovered two days before school started when I realized I had SIX rosters in my hand instead of FIVE).  The boys outnumber the girls 3-to-1, but I live with all boys, so I can handle the maxed-out testosterone levels.  I'm learning their names, most of them are called Zach or Jacob, so it's mostly a matter of designating last initials.


My adjustments include removing a few volunteer posts from my calendar and phoning a friend who cleans houses.  Mr. D will have to step up more and Team Testosterone will learn responsibility and independence.  Now when I say I won't look for laundry that didn't make it into the basket, I really mean it. They'll have to go around in dirty clothes or figure it out--and I'll be too busy to notice or care.

Teaching full-time is a BIG change, not at all what I expected to happen.  I learned a long time ago that people make plans and God laughs while overriding their plans.  I never thought I'd return to teaching high school, which shows what I know about anything.  But I know this: He's got my back. He provides. 

So, it's Sunday night and the laundry's done, the pantry's full and I've got a week's worth of decent lesson plans to get me through until next week.  Beyond that I can only guess what will happen next.




23 comments:

  1. It will be amazing because YOU are amazing. Congrats!

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  2. You made me look--I am at 1506! I am glad to be a longtime reader and one who has met you in person.

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  3. It feels very right, doesn't it? I mean, you are ready and well able to handle the need that was placed in front of you.

    And, oh, yes: all those Jacobs. Lots of Nicks, too. Crazy numbers of Ashley and Kayla, Kaitlin, Kaylees...

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  4. There is so much good here. Congratulations! You've got this because God's got this.

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  5. Ah, they are so lucky to have you :) And this is also your son's school, right? HA!

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  6. Amazing, fabulous you! Sending you organized vibes :)
    - Nan

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  7. Congratulations! I hope you enjoy it, but I selfishly hope you will still have time to blog once in a while. :)

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  8. This sounds right. Congrats on both the job and your 1500th post. Both are a really big deal!

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  9. WOW! That is one exciting announcement! You are perfect for the job. Getting someone to clean the house was a good step in keeping your sanity. Have a great time! I look forward to hearing about how it is all going and what kinds of lessons you are doing with them. You know, when you have an extra minute. :)

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  10. That sounds perfect for you. Congratulations!

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  11. Happyland High is lucky to get you. Their AP Lang and Comp scores will skyrocket this year.

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  12. An exciting year is ahead of you - hope all the pieces of your new life teaching full time fall into place as you need them to. Can't wait to hear about your classroom adventures :-)

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  13. Wow!!! Congratulations on 1500 and the job! It sounds like the perfect place for you and the students will be so fortunate to have you. I'm looking forward to hearing more!

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  14. So, I only started reading your blog a couple of years ago, so I had to open another window and go read your very first post . . . and then your very second post . . . fun!

    I'm so happy that your next step has shown itself. What luck for those high school kids :-) And how lucky are you to have a friend who cleans houses? That's almost impossible to find down here --and good people are jealously guarded.

    I'll bet your boys will step right up and embrace the increased independence. I know as a parent of an only I often don't encourage as much independence as I should --it's something I keep working on.

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  15. I hear such joy in your words! Congratulations!!

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  16. Congratulations on the big blog number and your new gig. Having just finished your book, I'd say those kids have no idea how lucky they are to have you as a teacher! Have fun!

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  17. You'll be great and those kids are blessed.
    I know your guys will step it up to help you.
    Have a great school year.
    PS: My Kindle is still in the fix-it shop waiting for a part. I hope we can sneak in a Words With Friends game when I get it back.

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  18. Wow ... what a huge adjustment! I hope it goes well. Congratulations on the 1500th post, as well!

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  19. Oh, M. This post just makes me cry. I just love it all. I love that you were not going to settle for just any old job and that you put your faith in God to make it glaringly obvious as to what your next step was. Love how you just jump in with both feet. Love it. Love it all.
    Congratulations to you and good luck (I don't think you'll need it) with this next step!

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  20. Wow! This is a big turn of events for you! It sounds like you're more than prepared. Personal narrative? Yes. Peer editing? You bet. I don't have any high school materials to offer you, but if I did, it would be yours for the taking! I recommend paperbackswap dot com as a great source for books. If you're creating a classroom library, that and Scholastic book orders are the way to go - even for the Big Kids.

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  21. Looks like God found the right thing for you to do. I am sure that you will send those students on to bigger things knowing how to write. Whether it is an essay, a paper, a thesis or a book, they will be able to say that you taught them how.
    Congratulations.

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Spill it, reader.