Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Normal

I'm not going to lie to you people.

Leaving teaching was hard.

It was hard because I loved my kids.

It was hard because I loved my co-workers.

It was hard because I loved school supplies and the first day and a new class list and all of the smiles and hugs and watching the kids play school during inside recess and pretend to be me and mimic all of my mannerisms to a T.

It was hard because I have never been in the real world.  Never held a "real" job.  I went straight from being a student to being a teacher.  Never worked during the summer.  Or on a break.  Or on a snow day.  Lord help me the first time it snows and I actually have to leave my house to go to work.  I'll probably take a vacation day because when it snows {even a slight dusting}, I must be at home in pajamas with hot chocolate watching Lifetime.  It's just part of who I am.

But...

This so-called real world job of mine is a lot like teaching.  Only better because I can leave for lunch.

There are kids.  That I love.  Dearly.  They're different from my kids at school.  I never really had a true special needs child in my classroom.  I never had kids with severe behavior outbursts that will bite you, swelling your arm to about four times its original size and leaving you sitting in a doctor's office being told that you might be ok or you might have permanent nerve damage or a permanent bite mark indentation in your forearm.  Luckily I ended up on the "OK" side of things.  And I definitely never encountered a two year old with big brown eyes and the sweetest smile that is a tad bit of a genius, but tantrums for an hour when you don't let him put his letters in order.  {I know, how dare us make the sweet boy cry!}  But these kids are pretty amazing and I don't know that I could work with typically developing children ever again because well, autism is a challenge.  And I love a challenge. 

There are co-workers.  That I laugh with all day.  But now I have to manage them.  And sometimes that can be worse than dealing with 30 kindergartners.

And there are school supplies and first days.  And these first days happen constantly because more and more kids need us every day.

And I love what I do.  And I didn't miss being off over the summer.  I didn't even completely realize that I was working while others were off.  Out of sight, out of mind I guess.

And today I really loved my job.  I went into a teacher store for the first time since not being a teacher anymore.  It felt like home.  I went a little crazy.  My co-worker saw a side of me she never had before.  My creativity was back and I was all, "Dude, I can totally make this!" and "We can come up with so many games that are like this, but with different skills and ability levels!" and I think I may have scared her a little with the ideas that I was firing off.  And it so made me feel normal again.  The bulletin board paper and the pocket charts and the Mailbox books.  It brought me back and made me miss teaching for sure.

But then I remembered staff meetings.

And ARC meetings.

And ridonkulous emails about nothing.

And the eleventy million changes that took place daily that were all allegedly for the greater good.

And how I was constantly guilted into doing any and everything because, you know, it was "for the kids."

And early morning duty.

And lack of discipline at the administrative level that caused mass chaos at times.

And professional development days.  {Praise JESUS that I don't have to go to useless trainings anymore!}

Suddenly I didn't miss teaching nearly as much anymore!  But I left that teacher's store so inspired to make all of these awesome games and resources to go along with what I do now.  And I'm super pumped to start working on it and sharing it with you all!  Tonight is like a normal night: TV, popcorn, clip art, fun fonts, and creating.  First time I've dusted off my fun fonts and clip art in a LOOONNNGGG time.  I am ready to use a font other than Times New Roman again {and all God's teacher bloggers said, "AMEN!"}. 

I feel like I need to change my name from Ms. Preppy's Adventures in Primary and Polka Dots to Ms. Preppy's Adventures in ABA and Polka Dots...but that doesn't sound nearly as good...  What's a girl to do?!

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

So proud of you and your promotion! LOVE YA
Rowdy in First Grade

Vanessa said...

I was trying to figure out what your new job is and then I saw the ABA and then I said, "ooooohhhhh, I get it now." I teach at a full inclusion school (much different than ABA) but I will never go back to any other way. I love all of my students and I love that they are all in my classroom and, like you, I love me a challenge!
Best,
Vanessa
Kindergarten Schmindergarten
ps.
I have a permanent scar on my arm from the deepest scratch EVER given by a student... good thing your arm is alright!

Reagan Tunstall said...

I enjoyed your post! I think it is refreshing to hear what our colleagues are thinking and feeling! Thanks so much for sharing!

FirstGradeBlueSkies (Jennifer) said...

Glad to hear you love your new job!
Jennifer
First Grade Blue SKies

April Walker said...

I loved this post! I love when people are honest. I worked as a technical writer for six months before coming back to teaching. I loved that I could go to the bathroom whenever I wanted. I went all the time...because I could.

~April Walker
ideabackpack.blogpot.com

Anonymous said...

I love that you are happy!! This post made me cry, but happy tears!

Love,
Mom