I cannot believe that I have been disconnected from my beloved blog for over half of a year. My life has twisted and turned in innumerable directions, with ups and downs of mechanical accuracy, and I find myself still moving forward, with a strong will and an even stronger heart.
To sum up "the whole teaching thing": I had the most fantastic and horrifying experience teaching 16 children from the Projects. Nothing can prepare anyone for teaching at all, and add in the additional fact that you are teaching children who, for the most part, have had ZERO positive adult role models -- aside from, if they were extremely lucky, their kindergarten teachers. Not only were my students criminally behind academically, but many were socially inept and emotionally damaged. Many had seen things in their lives that we all should hope never to see. One precious little girl lived in filth and was a selective mute -- she said no more than 5 words per day, and only to me. A little boy's grandmother, who was raising him, met with me about his behavior problems and confessed that she fears she may actually kill him as a result of his behavior at home. Not only did I bust my butt to teach my sweet students to read, but I spent countless hours working on getting counseling for said grandparent and a donation of a new bed so that my silent student wouldn't have to sleep on a bug-ridden, urine-soaked mattress for one more night. The experience exhausted me in every sense of the word, but also taught me everything I thought I knew but apparently never did about Life. I am so completely changed and my only regret is not blogging about it for e. But alas, that Life did not allow time for blogging. My only time for true reflection was on the sake of preserving it for later reflection. My only chance for reflection was on the way to and from work and during my prayers. Otherwise, I was working, eating, and/or sleeping. I dreamt about my students every night for 5 months straight.
At the end of the year, my position was, unfortunately, no longer available because I was a temporary employee in the county. The principal offered me a third grade position that iI didn't feel prepared to handle after what I'd gone through in first grade at the school. In fact, there is not a single primary teacher (K-2) in the school that feels up to teaching intermediate grades (3-5). I politely and respectfully declined the offer and kept my eyes open for other positions. Well, this particular principal, who I am comfortable calling an egomaniac, didn't take it lightly that I "shot him down". When it came time for my interviewers to call my reference, he never forgot to mention that I shot him down -- in his words, it "didn't look good" to other principals. So with that, along with the recession causing teachers with WAY more experience than me to be applying for the same jobs as me, I was left jobless this school year. (The ironic conclusion about that principal? The school was the lowest-performing elementary school in the county, no doubt largely due to his less-than-stellar relationship with faculty and students, and he was conveniently "promoted" to a position in which he will never directly work with students again.)
So did I cower in a corner and cry about my unemployment? Nope! I explored other options as a backup and was blessed to find an amazing job as a nanny to an awesome family. So while I am still keeping my eye on the prize and hoping for the right teaching job to open up, I am in the meantime spending my days with Seth, a 3-year-old boy's boy, and Arielle and Alyssa, the sweetest, roundest, hairiest 6-month-old twin angel girls. I am also graced with the presence of another full-time nanny named Susan. We get along so well and it is a wonderful bonus to have another adult around to give you a reprieve and more importantly to converse with during the day! So while my dream of teaching is taking a little detour, I am happy and content with my current situation and I have the ultimate faith that this is all in God's Plan for me. I can't wait to see how this all pans out!
Thank you to anyone who may actually still have faith that I would return -- much more to come in the near future: love stories, kitty adventures, and of course the return of Gabby and Ava!