Remember that time I fell off the face of the blogging world? Me too. And it's about to happen again.
See, this opportunity fell into my lap out of nowhere, and I took it! For the past month, I worked at a dental office as the front desk person, filling in for their regular girl as she went on maternity leave. I then trained my replacement. It was a good run, I think. I learned a lot, kept myself busy, and I was able to bring in an extra chunk of change that we wouldn't have had otherwise. Extra chunks of change are always nice.
Thursday was my last day. And today? Back to school!
Not in the "students in my classroom" way, but in the "final registration, cheer practice, setting up my classroom, lesson plans, in service training" way. And guys? I am pumped! I couldn't sleep because I was so busy thinking of all the things I want to do this year, and where to start in my classroom today. So now I'm exhausted, but I'm excited.
This year is so different from last year. I'm no seasoned veteran, but I'm not a first year teacher anymore, either. And that is a really great feeling. Last year I was in all-out panic mode - I had never taught my subject in those grade levels before, I had no lesson plans, no experience, and no confidence. I had to work to build curriculum from the ground up, and I had no partner teacher or team of teachers at my school to help. I was overwhelmed but driven to do my very best. And I did alright. But I most definitely did not do it on my own.
Honestly, I wouldn't have been anywhere near okay if it wasn't for my support system of teacher friends. Friends from college, mentors from student teaching...they surrounded me with support, advice, and anything I asked for (even things I didn't).
My friend Katie, for instance. She was transitioning from teaching in a traditional classroom to heading up the education department at a children's museum at the same time I got my teaching job. She gave me EVERYTHING she had. I'm not kidding. Everything. Boxes and boxes of everything. And whenever I texted her with a question, she had a speedy reply.
And then there is Christi. She was one of the math teachers on my team during my student teaching semester. She switched to science not long after that, and gave me all her lesson plans. The worksheets she did, the websites she visited...she shared it all. And she was always quick to answer my emails (and trust me - there were plenty).
And last but definitely not least, there is Jean. She was my mentor teacher during my student teaching semester, and she has always been so encouraging, patient, and supportive. Even though I am now teaching a different subject, she has always been willing to help me in any way she can. She has shared with me her classroom management style, organizational skills, and general teaching wisdom. And she has a lot of wisdom - she didn't win the "Teacher of the Year" award at her school for nothing!
Of course, the teachers at my school were great, too. Even though I didn't have a partner teacher or team of teachers, I had a group of teachers that I could talk to about things. And one in particular - Deb - allowed me to utilize her as my in-school mentor. She helped me solve problems and be a better teacher overall. And she served as an outlet for my worsening ADD spells in the afternoons. That alone was a huge help!
And who could forget my family? My parents, my brother, my husband. They told me again and again what a good teacher I was; they told me how good I was doing. They told me they were proud of me and that they believed in me. And it really is true...when others believe in you, you begin to believe in yourself.
Without all these wonderful people, I would have been so lost last year. Completely out of luck. If it weren't for them, I don't know how my year would have gone. I doubt it would have gone so smoothly. And looking back, it's so neat to see how God perfectly orchestrated everything, knowing how much of a blessing these individuals would be to me and knowing how much I would need each and every one of them.
So this year? I feel more prepared than ever. I know what I'm doing this time around. I've done it before. I've got plans to better myself, my teaching, and hopefully my students. And I know God has a plan for this year, too. I'm not saying I have it all figured out or that this year will be flawless. I'm not delusional. But thanks to people who have invested in me, I know things will be okay. More than okay, actually. Good.