10:18 and I'm staring at a blank post.
I've really gotta get my crap together.
This evening was a bit of a bust. I got home from work at 3:30 today. Greg was at work and rehearsal until around 9:00 so I had the whole evening to be productive and get everything done and all that good stuff. I had been feeling exhausted all day, so I crawled into bed for a minute and played two rounds of scramble with friends (both my mom and sister are getting alarmingly good. They keep beating me and I don't like it!) before I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. Next thing I knew Maverick was whining at my feet to be taken out for potty and it was 6:30. Three hours of my day vanished into thin air- consumed by a glorious, glorious, nap.
I think a lot about sleep now, now that my days of napping and sleeping in and sleeping through the night are numbered. More than anything in this world I want a healthy baby and second only to that I want a baby who will sleep. Is that too much to ask?
It was 6:30 when I woke up, but there was still a hint of light in the sky. Every day there is more light. There is light in the mornings now when I drive to work and I can walk Maverick a full hour later than I used to in the evenings and there is still light. The only thing I don't love is that daylight savings is this weekend and we will go back to our pitch black mornings. When I was growing up daylight savings was in April- I hate that they bumped it up a whole month. So little of my school year is spent driving to work in light- it really is a travesty. Still, you can't complain much about nights that don't get dark until 7:30.
Today I had a meeting with my vice principal to go over her recent observations in my classroom. She said some incredibly nice things about me and about my class that helped me to feel validated as a teacher. She was so kind to me, and told me that I was right on in doing all the things that teachers should be doing. She also told me some very kind things my principal had said about me.
I have to admit, I was geekily excited about her praise and left her office feeling so happy and confident. I don't always feel so thirsty for validation, but today I did, for a couple of reasons. The first is that I have struggled a bit knowing what to do next year with my work situation, but I feel the answer slowly confirming itself in my mind. Interactions like this help me to realize how much I love teaching and how big a part of me it is. I am so grateful to be in education and feel humbled and energized by my interactions with my students and co-workers. I get so much satisfaction and fulfillment from my job. The weird truth is that I never imagined I would like teaching as much as I do. My first year teaching I thought that I would last two, maybe three years and then I wanted to have kids and not work anymore. And then something happened. Somehow I just fell totally, one hundred percent in love. It's part of who I am.
Last year when Greg and I were possibly moving to California and I had resigned from Copper Hills I remember feeling this sinking sense of absolute mourning and loss. I hadn't found another job yet, and the job prospects in California were terribly grim. Every day last spring I remember teaching and thinking, "is this the end for me? Could this be my last year teaching? Will I have to work in another field next year?" I thought it with such grief and heaviness in my heart. When we decided to stay in Utah my position at Copper Hills was already filled, and I went into mad panic mode looking for another job. When I secured a job at the school where I am currently teaching I felt such a weight lifted off of me, such absolute relief. Not just because I needed the job financially, but because I needed the job. I needed the teaching to give me purpose, fulfillment, life, joy. I just couldn't be done with it. Not yet.
I have felt that same way this year, as I have considered my options for next year. When I think about quitting teaching completely, I feel that same sense of great mourning and loss as I did last year. I can't be done yet. When I'm going over the timed writes with my AP kids or laughing with my students or teasing my junior on the front row for not knowing if Harvard is a real school or not, I know I'm not ready to leave it behind.
The second reason why the meeting was so good for me was to feel validated and comfortable at my new school. The year is quickly ending. I swear, once March hits it's a flurry of spring sports, prom, student body elections and before I can blink the kids are signing their yearbooks and we're out the door. I can't believe that the year is already wrapping up here- in many ways I still feel new and displaced- but it gets better and better and interactions like the one today help me to feel at home here and at peace with my decision to leave my old school. Truthfully, the beginning of the year was such a difficult adjustment for me, and I missed my old school, friends, and students terribly. It's always tough to be the "new one" and I had a rocky start, largely in part to my own attitude here. I had trouble feeling accepted or validated and was insecure in my new job- I had known that the administration and staff at CH liked me and thought I was a good teacher, and having that confidence helped me tremendously as a teacher. It was hard at first for me to feel that same confidence at my new school. It doesn't help that my principal, three of my four vice principals, and my department head are all men. Men aren't exactly into making sure that all their young female teachers are feeling confident and secure in their new jobs and butterflies and rainbows and you're so great! It's mostly, do your job, don't complain, teach the kids. Which is why today felt so necessary for me. When my vp told me those kind things, it's almost like I breathed a huge sigh of relief and finally relaxed.
Today I realized that my school is now home to me. It is no longer "my new school", it is "my school." I will always miss Copper Hills and be grateful for the years I had there, but today it became clear to me that this is where I'll happily and gratefully teach for years to come.