Okay, okay, time to update the old blog. I promise I have a good excuse as to why I've been MIA for the past little while. Last time I checked in, I was in the full-swing of job hunting, which amounted to a very stressful, intense period. On the fateful date of August 17th - the day of the call-backs for teachers on the priority list - I waited and waited and waited by my phone ALL DAY LONG, to no avail. I decided to go to the gym in the evening, thinking that no principal would call me past 5:30 pm... But guess again! I got several phone calls that night, but the offers weren't great. I was in despair, thinking that I'd have to except scraps, partial percentages here and there, and try to piece them together at several different schools. I lamented and longed for my good fortune of the year before. I made a big stink. I imagine I was rather unbearable for a good few days, and poor Patrick had to put up with me whining constantly. (Let me just say how amazingly supportive he is - I am soooo lucky!).
I ended up saying no to a few less than stellar offers - a 40% at my old school which would have involved me teaching 5 different classes over 2 days. Don't get me wrong, I would have liked to have returned to my old school, but 40% is just not enough to carry me over financially, and it would have been very hard to try to find other small percentages to compliment it. I decided I would hold off in the hopes of something better turning up. When I thought I was out of luck, I was mighty close to excepting a job almost an hour away from where I live. But thankfully, something even better was just around the corner. Something that made all other offers pale in comparison. Something that coincided perfectly with the energy I had been throwing out to the universe all along...
In short, I was offered a Kindergarten class at a school less than five minutes away from my house. The catch is that I'm replacing somebody who is on medical leave indefinitely. That means that she could be back at any moment, and I would lose my class. The chances of that happening are not great, I'm told, but you just never know. I'm going to ride it out as long as I can, with the hopes that I can luck out the way I did last year. I feel like I will. I have invested time, effort and money as though it will all pan out, just as it did last year. I am so thrilled to be back in K, and in an amazing classroom on top of it. This room was specifically designed for Kindergarten and is all-equipped. It's like a dream come true, especially compared with the amount of flexibility and improvisation that was required to be comfortable in the room that I had last year.
I have been working like crazy for the last 11 days. I went in several days before our first ped-day even started, and I even went in last weekend. I had great helpers: my parents, Patrick and my wonderful friend Audrey, who is also working at the school with me!! I don't think people quite realize what goes in to opening a class at the beginning of the year. You are literally down on your hands and knees scrubbing and washing away all the dirt that has accumulated over the course of the school year and the summer. It is very time-consuming and exhausting, but at the same time exhilarating and exciting. When you have your own room, you can arrange it any way you like. You have to navigate the space, try to imagine what layout will work best. Then there are all the little details, like where bags, supplies, books, bins, toys and so forth will be placed. It is all-consuming at first. You need to force yourself to take breaks, or else you'd be working all hours of the day and night. But finally, a little less than a week into the prepping, the room starts to looks come together. It looks like an inviting, fun place to be. You can envision the lessons and the playing that will take place. It is soooo rewarding. And after all that, you need to do the planning, and decide what you'll be telling the parents when they come in to visit the class with their children. I think about what I've done in the last little while and it seems almost impossible - surreal in a sense. But I've made it. You'd think with a whole year under my belt it would feel like a piece of cake, but not quite. Though it does feel smoother around the edges, and though I do feel like I have more confidence and know-how, it is still a new journey that I have to learn as I go. But I am enjoying it.
So there you have it, the reason for my non-existence on here the last little while. I am adjusting to a new schedule, a new school, a new group, new colleagues and a new (AMAZING) principal. I really miss my old friends, but at the same time, I think I will get to know some pretty awesome people this year. I think it will be a great year.