Last year I was blessed to have found a perfect part time teaching job. I had to switch schools, and grade levels, in order to make it work. But it was so worth it. I was able to share a 4th grade classroom with another teacher who had been there for 10 years. I wasn't sure how it was going to work out, but it did. And working part time is the best thing in the world. That balance that I craved, to be able to be a good mommy and a good teacher, was so easy when I could do both.
But I knew it wouldn't last forever. I was easing my way back into it because financially speaking, we just couldn't swing it. I clung to my days off with Andrew so tightly. I knew they were soon going to be a distant memory. And I was so sad to see them end. But the truth was, Andrew was ready. Ready to go to school. To play with other kids. Socialize. Learn things that I couldn't teach him anymore. And I had to accept that.
But still, I knew going back to work full time this year was going to be one of the toughest things I've had to do. But can I just tell you that my class this year makes it so much less difficult? I was able to take over the full time 4th grade position, as my teaching partner retired. It was perfect timing. Meant to be. And I fully believe that every child in my classroom this year was placed there for a reason.
But in all those rushed minutes as I am stressed out, trying to get to work on time, desperately trying to find that balance I desire...all I can think of is, thank goodness I have a good class!
My students love Andrew. Which is a good thing, since I love to talk about him! They are so funny. Right when we are about to start a really difficult math lesson, or something else they don't think they want to do, someone will blurt out "Talk about Andrew!" They know that will distract me! Ha! They crack me up. They love this blog, which I show them from time to time, in the last few minutes of the day on Fridays sometimes. They love to see pictures and hear stories about Andrew. They love "Andrew videos," as they call them. You may recall this post, when I brought Andrew to school in the fall. None of them have forgotten about it, and they talk about it all the time!
This past Friday was such a fun day at school. The Valentine party! This is a typically chaotic day for a teacher. The kids are usually crazy, excited, and not in the mood to learn a thing! The staff does "secret cupid" instead of Secret Santa. We draw names and throughout the week leave little gifts for our person, then on Friday we have the big reveal with a "bigger" gift. It was so fun! The day started out with my secret cupid revealing herself with an awesome treat bucket of all my favorite things!
I have always had to plan my own parties as a teacher. But at this school, the parents do it. It is so awesome. A couple of moms came in on Thursday after school and decked the classroom out in Valentines! Then on Friday I had 5 parents show up with fun games, more decorations, treats, everything you can imagine to have the most fun Valentine party a kid could ask for. My students were beyond excited. They kept saying "this is the best party ever!"
He absolutely loved it!
I had gone home first to set it up on the table for him so he'd see it right away. I told him he had a surprise at home and he was so excited.
They knew Andrew loves monkeys! Ha! He even gave out Valentines with wild animals (monkeys included!) to his friends at school.
They made this little boy very happy!
The balloon was even a monkey! It was so cute!
I promised the kids I'd do an "Andrew video" of his reaction, too, so I got it on film for them! :) Here ya go 4th graders!!
So, while this has been one of the toughest years for me, trying to learn how to balance being a good mommy, wife, and working full time, I am so blessed to be able to say that I love my job so much. I know I was a born teacher. It's in my blood. I have always had a passion for it, and for children. I love making a difference in a child's life. I truly believe teaching is the most rewarding profession there is. I am so thankful God called me to be a teacher. And that he also made me a mommy to one very special little boy.
My cup runneth over...