Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday's Letters

What a week it has been.  I'm pretty sure I can file it right up there among the best weeks of my life - along side giving birth to all of my children.  In fact, that's a pretty good comparison.  I felt a lot of pain and anxiety the last few days before my becoming a teacher - but all the pain was so worth the payoff with the students I was blessed with.  Just like labor and delivery.  But today is about writing letters...

Dear Student Selection Gods (and actual people that selected the students for my class).... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  Even though it has only been two days, I already know that I have an AMAZING bunch of kiddos.  They have really blown my mind at how quickly they have taken to my procedures.  And get this!  Yesterday, I had someone come in my room to talk to me... which is usually the time most students will start talking among themselves and getting a little loud.  Well, not my kids!  I almost died of shock when my guest and I turned around and every single student in my class were sitting with their heads on their desks IN COMPLETE SILENCE.  That can be officially marked as the most proud moment of the week. 

Dear Self Doubt... Thank you for staying away from me this week.  I really expected to see you or hear from you in the past 48 hours, but I haven't...and for that I'm grateful.  Even though I have had a couple of fleeting moments of being overwhelmed - I've pulled through quickly, and I really appreciate you not showing up at those times.  There have been no tears shed, no hair pulled out, and no signs of panic.  Yes, I know it's only been a few days - and the "real deal" really hasn't kicked off yet... but I needed to know I could make it through these first few days.  And I passed that hurdle.  I now have full confidence that I can make it through the remaining 172 days.

Dear Body... I haven't stepped on the scale this week, because, well, I've been too dang busy or tired.  I do know that for the past two days I've eaten perfectly.  I really need to drink more water - but I'm limiting myself so that I can get a sense of when I'll be able to get to the bathroom.  Even though my only focus right now is starting my new job - and doing a good job of it - but I haven't forgotten you.  Give me a few weeks to adjust to all the new stuff, and I'll be back to keeping an eye on how I'm treating you, obsessing over the scale, and taking you out for long, therapeutic walks.

Dear Weather... Usually I write a letter each week to the weather man, but this week I thought I'd give you a quick note.  I really appreciate you not blasting us with super hot weather, and even blessing us with some rain last night.  I've had recess duty the past two days, and it's been really nice to sit outside.  It's been hot, but not too hot.  I'm really getting my hopes up that we've seen the last of the three digit temps - and can now expect to start the adjustment from summer to fall.  You'll help me with that, right?

Dear Peanut and Butter... I know that these first few days haven't been as wonderful for you as they have for me.  It's so hard starting a new school, getting to know new people, and trying to make new friends.  It's even harder when you start in a school where most of the kids have been together since kindergarten.  I am so thankful that, despite your stress, you are trying to make the best of it.  Please believe me when I say that it won't take long for kids to start warming up to you and accepting you in to their groups.  I love how both of you have jumped right in to getting involved - both of you are now in band, and Peanut, you're trying out for volleyball.  Don't put yourself down so much, Peanut.  I know you think that you won't make the team because you're the new girl - but give yourself some credit.  I know it's hard to remember that you both went through this exact same transition last year - but look at how much you both ended up loving that school.  It will happen again, this year, and I promise that as long as my school intends on keeping me - I won't be moving anywhere else.  This is the last school move you'll have to make (until high school, but that's with the kids you are going to school with now).  This year will get better!

Dear Jelly... Your excitement about your new school makes me so happy.  I love how each morning you've woken up and the first words out of your mouth are "Are we going to school today?"  And then giving a cheer when I tell you we are.  You are the luckiest of all of my children, because you are starting out in a new school district where you'll get to spend your entire educational career.  You won't face the challenges that Peanut and Butter are now facing.  I just pray that you keep this same enthusiasm about going to school each and every year.  You have told me a few times these past couple of days that you want to be a teacher one day.  Music to my ears, child!  I wasn't much older than you when I made that decision...and I truly hope you keep that dream in your heart.  Oh, and lay off your brother and sister for me, k?  They don't need any added stress right now - and yes, I'm going to be babying them a little for the next few weeks.  They need my support - and I would really appreciate it if you could help me with that - instead of driving them nuts.  m'kay?

Dear Blog Supporters and Followers.... I really appreciate the support and encouragement you've given me the past few weeks.  I know that many of you have come here looking for updates on my weight loss progress, and may have been disappointed to see not a mention of weight loss anywhere in sight.  I'm sad to see that a few of my regular commenters have disappeared somewhere - and it may not be related to my current topics - but know that you are missed.  Nothing is going to change any time soon - my blog will be full of sharing my joy and excitement...with a few updates on how my weight loss progress is going.  I hope that you will all stick around and share my journey with me - but I understand if hearing about a new classroom isn't what you signed up for.

Dear Person Who Sent Me the Nasty Email and Comment... First off, I deleted your comment.  While I respect all opinions - good and bad - there is just no room on my blog for spewage of nasty.  I'm not sure what I did to deserve your blatantly obvious dislike for me - but no one forced you to come here and read what I have to say.  If you are going to call me names, tell me how much of a failure I am, and try to convince me that I'm going to be miserable for the rest of my life... can I at least ask for you to reread your stuff before you send it to me?  I much prefer to read hate mail that is grammatically correct - and it wouldn't hurt for you to look up the correct spelling to some of the words you used to describe me.  While you are entitled to your opinion that I'm going to be a fat, miserable, blankety blank for the rest of my life - and that the kids I will be teaching are cursed to have me for a teacher - I have my opinion to tell you that you are so wrong it's not even funny.  I'm going to do everything in my power to help my kids, teach my kids, and prepare them for a life of success.  And to fill their hearts with love, so that they never end up feeling the need to write nasty emails to ANYONE.  Oh, and let me just mention that there is no "e" in stupid.  Maybe you weren't blessed with a teacher that could help you on the right path for a happier life - and for that I'm truly sorry.  I wish no ill on you.

OK - that's it folks... time to get rockin' and rollin' for my first Friday.

Till next time. ;)
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  1. Seriously? Someone wrote something that hateful? I feel sorry for him or her. You? PROUD of you!!!

    1. Awww...thanks!! Yeah, have no idea who it was that sent the email and comment - I'm assuming it's the same person, but both were sent anonymously.

  2. My Friday Letter:

    Dear Joanna,
    Yay!! So glad to hear that your first days of school are going so well!! I'm so, so happy for you. I love watching your dream come true.

    I *HATE* when I read about people getting hate mail or nasty comments. It makes me really sad for both parties involved. As usual, you handled yourself with grace.

    Hope you have a great weekend.
    Love, Jenn

    1. Dear Jenn,

      Thank you! I know how you feel, as I read all about your CrossFit success. If I can teach half as well as you push yourself every day with CrossFit, and continue to break your personal bests - I will be one very successful teacher. :)

      I hate it to, but I try not to let it bother me. If someone is that upset with me - then it's possible I did something to cause that anger. It's even sadder if I didn't, and they are just that angry and bitter.

      But, there is no room for haters on this blog - especially since I'm surrounded by so much awesome love and support from amazing people like you.

      Hope you have a great weekend, too!
      Love, Joanna

    2. I can't imagine that you could possibly do or write anything that would bring such anger out in's all on them.


  3. There's no e in stupid! Couldn't help but laugh! I don't know why someone bothered to send you such a nasty email though. Keep doing what makes you happy!

    1. Thanks, Brandi. It definitely wasn't the only word misspelled, but the others weren't appropriate for me to publish on my blog. At one point, I thought it might be a child or a teenager writing it - being that the spelling was so bad... but I don't ever want to believe that language like that came out of an adult, let alone someone under the age of 18. I just hope that whoever it was finds some peace in their hearts - because carrying around that much anger just isn't a good place for anyone to be.

  4. Dear Future Thin Girl,

    Your last letter touched my heart. There will always be haters but it is how we handle the haters that matters. Dieting isn't easy. Making a life change isn't easy. It takes 16 times for something to become a habit. Like yourself, I have struggled with my weight (yo-yo WW dieter myself) and the job search (landing a job 22 hrs from where I finished my degree). The difference between you and myself and the haters is that we keep trying.

    Don't quit. Eventually we will get a handle of juggling life with, well, life.

    1. Dear Sarah,

      You are so right! Making life changes is most definitely NOT easy. I am not a quitter - and I will keep pushing along no matter how long I try. I may never reach the ultimate weight loss goals I set for myself, but keeping my head on straight, pushing forward, and dusting away any negativity is something I will never stop doing.

      Thanks for the wonderful letter. :)

  5. Silence when you were talking to another adult? All ears were wide open! I'm going to guess you have a group of kids who want to be involved in everyone's business. It's good you have a good class now. It'll make things easier the rest of the year.

    1. LOL - I hadn't thought about that. But, it was actually one of the procedures I had explained to the class that I wanted them to do. When a visitor comes in to our room, and I need to step away from teaching to speak to that person, the class needs to sit quietly and wait for me to finish. They earn table points for doing it. I just had no idea they would take to it so quickly.. LOL

      The first few days are always the "honeymoon period", and I'm quite sure that I might have to remind the class of procedures over the next few weeks - when their real personalities start to come out. But, they gave me a great first couple of days - which gave me no doubt in my mind that the rest of the year will be just as awesome. :)

  6. Joanna, so glad you had an awesome week with awesome kids! Just keep telling them they're the best class in the school and they will be! Love that you are now a teacher and poohey on dumb hate letters.

    1. It's funny that you say that - because that's exactly what I told them. I told them that I didn't to just want to be the best 4th grade class, but the best class in the entire school. I told them that it was important to me that the 5th grade teachers, next year, are excited to have each one of them in their classrooms because of how wonderful this year will be. I told them that we are going to be a family, support each other, care for each other, and watch out for each other. And, I truly believe that they will do exactly that.


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