Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

I got the phone call this morning that I won't say I was dreading... but the call that would make me feel like I do right now...nervous, very nervous.

I think I've mentioned once or twice that now that I've graduated from college, I'm subbing for the rest of the school year.  I've been lucky, so far, and have subbed in my internship school.  Today, that all changes.

My assignment today?  7th grade math.  Yikes!

I'm stepping out of my comfort zone of K-4th graders, and stepping in to the shoes of a 7th grade teacher.  No doubt the kids will all be taller than me.  Heck, my 5th grade daughter is almost as tall as I am.  That's a little intimidating.  I'm going to die with embarrassment if the words "criss cross applesauce" or "sweet thing" comes out of my mouth today....cause those are the words of elementary teachers NOT junior high teachers.

7th grade was a TERRIBLE year for me.  It's the year I moved from London, England to a po-dunk country town in Oklahoma.  The kids there, at first, thought it was cool to have a kid from England....until they realized I wasn't an exchange student.  Then the claws came out, and the tormenting started, and it was the year I knew what it felt like to be a foreigner.

The kids made fun of my accent.  They demanded that I say words that meant other things in America than they do in England.  When I refused, they would yell at me to "go back to my own country".  I would have problems with my spelling tests - because I wanted to spell the word "color" like they do in England - Colour.  I wanted to spell "catalog" with that same dang 'u' - Catalogue.  It was hard for me to understand why I was getting the words wrong - when I KNEW how to spell those words in my own country.  After a few weeks of that - I shut myself down.  I refused to talk to anyone....except my parents who received the "explosive" version of me once I walked through the front door each day after school.

By this time of the school year, things had died down quite a bit.  The kids were bored (some of them) with tormenting me - and I had actually made some friends.  I still didn't talk much.  I was so moody and mad at my parents for taking me away from my home, my friends, my family - and my "normal" life.  It wasn't until the end of 8th grade that I would forgive them for that.

Now, I'm all grown up.  My "cool" English accent is gone.  That makes me sad.  I forced myself back then to lose the accent because I didn't want to be different - now being different is something I commend and encourage with my own children.  Plus, the accent would be very cool now that I teach... I'm pretty sure the kids would love it.

I will step into that classroom today and try with all my might to "fit in".  Yes, it's a different place to what I'm used to.  Yes, the kids will be different - they will act different.  But, different can be very good. 

If there's one thing that I've learned from my weight loss journey - there have been many things learned, but this is one of them - that is CHANGE is GOOD.  I have changed.  I look different.  My personality is different.  My outlook on life is different.  All different, but all good.  There's no reason to believe that today won't be good.  It will be what I make it....and I'm ready.

Till next time.  ;)
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1 comment:

  1. Good luck with your assignment.

    I would think now people are LOVING your accent. My real estate agent is British and I totally dig his accent!


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