My 4th grade team came to visit me..and it was so nice to have them in my home and not feeling uncomfortable or ashamed by my surroundings.
I've only seen two of them once since we got out of summer. And we're getting a new addition to our team, who was previously a 3rd grade teacher, that I haven't seen at all since school got out.
It was so nice to just sit, chat, and laugh about what we're going to be up against and what we went though last year. The good and the bad. The terrific and the trying. And how we will do it all over again in just a few weeks.
This time last year, there would be no way in Hades that I'd invite my team over to my house. Not that I had a team this time last year... well, I did. The same team, actually, I just didn't know them. But, the point is, I would never had invited them over to the old house. While it's probably stupid and vain to admit - I was so ashamed of that house, I wouldn't want anyone to see that I lived that way.
Not that my team would have judged me or even thought less of me because of it... but I would have thought less of me. I would have hung my head down in shame that they had to see what I lived in.
Stupid, isn't it?
But, thankfully, I didn't have to worry about it. Now that I have my new home, that I'm very proud of, I was excited to have them come see me....and welcomed them with open arms.
I know I've said this before, but it really means a lot for me to work with people that I can call my friends. Just being colleagues isn't good enough. I don't want to be all friendly for the 7-9 hours we work together each day, 180 days out of the year. I want us to be friendly all the time... each hour of each day. For it to be nothing to make a date to visit each other outside of school, and enjoy the company of each other.
I want to be able to talk to them via text message or Facebook whenever I'm thinking about them, and for it not to be weird.
And that's what I have with my team. Friends. People I can confide in, share my stories with, listen to, and learn from.
My new house sits directly across the street from the primary school in my town. Right next to that is the middle school/high school. Every time I walk out my front door, I get a quick rush of thoughts about how convenient it would be to work in that school and send my older two right next door. No more gas mileage racking up on the car each day. No more getting up at 5am so that I can leave by 6:30 in order to get to work a little early. No more 30 minute drives to work. No more having to sit in my classroom until almost 6pm waiting for my kids to finish their sport practices. No more worrying about what happens if one of my kids get sick and Hubby has to drive all the way up to pick the kids up - even though he spent the entire night before working.
A literal walk right across the street to work and school.
But, then right after I get that rush of thoughts...another follows right behind it. I interviewed for a position in this town last year. They passed me over. The principal didn't like my ideas and flatly told me that what I had been taught was wrong. They chose someone else.
Now, that doesn't mean that I agree with everything I have been taught. It doesn't mean that I think I was perfect for the position. But, when I took those same ideas to the school I'm in now, I was offered a job on the spot. I was welcomed with open arms. I was told that my ideas would be heard and appreciated...even if not all were accepted.
And I was given a team that I love working with. A school that my kids love attending. And a classroom where I know I'm making a big difference in the lives of the kids that walk through my door.
So..yeah... it would be so much more convenient to try and get a job right across the street. But, I can't and won't. Despite the ups and downs I have, I LOVE my job. I LOVE where I work. I LOVE the people I work with.
I'll take a 30 minute drive, sitting in my classroom until 6pm each night, and the added price for gas over that any day.
OK, I have to go...got eye appointments I need to get my kids to.