Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Personal Updates

I really don't have anything to discuss today, in terms of weight loss, so I figured I'd give a personal update on how my internship is going.

We are now in the middle of the third week of school.  I can't believe how quickly my days fly by.  I'm loving every minute of getting to know the adorable kids that make up my first grade class, and my awesome mentor.  It's so amazing how three years ago, getting to do a year long internship was years away and never given any thought.  As my time got closer and closer the nerves started to kick in and all I heard was horror stories about how stressful the whole thing was.  It's very daunting to go from working two days a week for two years at a very lax job to working four days a week and going to school all day on the fifth.  Now that I'm doing it, however, I am loving it.  Yes, I'm tired every day.  I come home drained of all energy physically, but my mind continues to work on overtime thinking about what the next day will bring. 

I'm not sure if my "happy-go-lucky" attitude will continue throughout the entire year - especially once I have to start writing my own curriculum unit - but something inside tells me not to worry.  I know I was born to teach.  Every morning when I wake up at 4am, I'm excited.  I can't wait to get to school and spend my day learning, teaching, observing, and soaking up every bit of experience I possibly can.  I don't remember there every being a time in my life that I was excited about getting up and going to work.  I've loved most of the jobs I've had, but when it really comes down to it - I was never excited to go.  I don't think this is a honeymoon period, either.  You know when you first get a new job, you're excited to go for the first week and then reality sets in and it's just robotic routine to get up and go to work, come home and not think about work until you slowly (and unexcited) have to get up the next morning.  No, this is different.  When I come home, I spend a couple of hours reflecting on my day, thinking about things that I will use in my own classroom, study my lesson plans....things that are not required, I just do them because I want to.  It's like I don't want to stop working when I come home.  If it's like this now, I can only imagine what I will be like when I have my own classroom.

My teaching experience is also positively affecting my parenting.  It's so funny to hear myself when I talk to my kids, now.  This time last year, when Prairie Dawn and Grover would start arguing I would be the first to yell "will you two just KNOCK IT OFF!!!"  Now, I hear myself saying in a calm voice, "OK, what are you fighting about?  What can we do to resolve this situation?"  My kids look at me like I've gone mad...LOL  Even Zoe gets the daily dose of "Teacher Mom".  "You really need to sit down and focus on eating your dinner" - Focus? Really? Calm voice: "Honey, we don't hit, if you continue this behavior you will need a time-out". She's probably thinking I've lost it.  My changes, however crazy they may think they are, have changed them too.  The fighting has decreased, my oldest two now get along much better.  The two year old is listening to me, and the bad behavior is being nipped in the butt - quick! 

They are loving the changes in me, though, I can feel it.  For the past three years, it's horrible for me to admit, but I've been completely absorbed with school.  I would come home and then it was straight to doing homework - not to be "bothered". If I didn't go straight to homework, I would still ask not to be bothered because I was too tired and just wanted to relax.  Now, I come home and we talk about our days, share things we've learned (yes, all of us), I help with homework, and then - and only then - do I retreat to my office to get my work done.  Even then, the "do not disturb" rule has been lifted and it's not uncommon for one or all three of the kids to lounge around in my office reading or chatting to me as I work.  Once things get a little more hectic (especially when I have a lot more homework from my classes piling on) I want the atmosphere to continue.  Prairie Dawn likes to help, and I think she'll be able to once I'm writing my own lessons and curriculum.  The "Do Not Disturb" sign is gone - I want my kids to always feel like they have access to me whenever they want it.  I have learned a very big lesson already - to be an effective, accessible teacher to 24+ kids I must first be an effective, accessible mother to my three.

Well, that's quite a reflection....think that's enough for now.

Till next time.  ;)

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