Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Out of place

Normally by the end of the 2nd full week of school, I'm back in the groove of things...
But not this year.
This year, I feel completely out of place.

I don't feel part of a team any more... because I'm not.

Sure, everyone in my building is a friend of mine.  I get along with them fine.  But there is a difference when you struggle the same struggles and rely on others around you.

I am the only one in my boat.

People keep asking me how I like my new position.
All I can say is that I'm adjusting.
No one wants to hear that I feel like I've been dropped off the cruise ship in a little row boat and I'm out in the vast ocean rowing alone.

No, they want me to say that it is great!  That it was the best decision ever made.

So, I keep telling myself that it will get better...
That I will enjoy all of this extra time...
That good things will come out of this.

But right now, I feel a little out of place.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Things that don't stick with you... Or Maybe they do

I was an awesome algebra student in high school and college!! (We won't talk about geometry.)

It just made sense to me.

In fact, in college, I had an 8 am algebra class where the professor took the first 30 minutes going over the homework from the class before.  I started showing up at 8:30 because I didn't need the extra explanation, but I could always use the 30 minutes of extra sleep. (Still can.)

However, I can honestly say that I don't sit around figuring algebraic equations for fun now days.

So, when my son, Colby sends me a text all in a panic not knowing how to do his homework (He was at his dad's), I wasn't worried.

...Until I saw the problems...

...and I drew a COMPLETE and utter blank...

(So much for KNOWING this stuff...)

Thankfully, I am a tech savvy woman that knows the answers are online if you search... and searched, I did.

But guess what?

Once I found the answer, I knew I couldn't just give the answer to Colby (the teacher in me wouldn't allow it.)

So, we Skyped.

I walked my brain down a path that used to be well trodden.
I admit... The weeds had definitely overtaken it. I had to look hard to even see that a path was still there; it was so overgrown.
As I pushed my way through though, it slowly revealed itself and I was explaining those equations to Colby without hesitation.
...And it felt good...Knowing a part of me that I used to be so proud of, was still there, buried deep inside.

I know that pathway will continue to be cleared out throughout the next few years of middle school and high school.

I wonder what other things I haven't thought about for over 25 years will need to be pulled from my dusty files???

Monday, July 13, 2015

The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page

Today, my boys and I started on an epic two week vacation to the northeast United States.

I asked my brother, Tim, to join us.

Tim and I have always been close and the fact that he became a teacher this year gave us both the luxury to be away for 2 weeks.

It started out normal.  We got up early. The car was packed to the gills.  We were ready to drive 800 miles and only stop for gas.

Thirty minutes from home, we ran into dead-stopped traffic - a wreck on the highway.

No worries (we thought), we will just take some back county roads.

The first crossroad looked like this...

Again, we thought, no worries...
Until the next 5 crossroads looked like this...

I started to wonder if someone didn't want us to go on this trip...
But thankfully, after these few set backs,  we made it all 800 miles without a hitch.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

My chapter as a classroom teacher is closing.
Tomorrow will be my last day that I hold that title.
Part of me thought that I would retire with that title...

I'm sure I will eventually be able to honestly say that I'm happy about this change...
But today is not that day.

Today... today, I am overwhelmingly sad.

My room is bare - no more whimsical frogs.
All of the drawing and letters and pictures from kids accumulated from the past 8 years have been taken down.

Even with my room getting emptier and emptier by the day, it really didn't hit me that I was done until they called a third grade level meeting today... and I wasn't invited.

Then, Jennie (my student teacher -  who is taking my place) had her mom come by to show her the room.  Her mom started crying because she was just SO happy.

After Jennie introduced her mom to our students, one of my little girls, K, came up to me and said, "It was really nice that Miss S's mom came to meet us."
I smiled and nodded and said, "It was. Wasn't it?"
She then looked questioningly at me and asked, "Then why has your mom never came to meet us?"

It was innocent enough, but I still had to pause and swallow hard to be able to answer. "Because she is in heaven... I know if she were here though, she would have love getting to know you guys."

Man.  If this wasn't hard enough.
That buried thought was immediately brought to the surface.
I turned... to give myself time. To allow the tears to blink back to where they belong.  To catch my breath so I wouldn't drown in the emotions that wanted to overtake me.

Today, I am overwhelmingly sad.
Tomorrow, I can already tell you... I will be a complete and utter mess.

After that??...
Well,  I know that new things can't start until other things end... So here's to this beginning's end.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Great leaders don't set out to be a leader...they set out to make a difference

My principal told me in a meeting today that she is resigning due to health issues.

To say I lost it, would be an understatement.

When she first came... I sat doe-eyed assessing every move and every word she spoke.  I had dealt with administrators before that came in both guns blazing... but she didn't. She came with a sweet voice and a soft smile.

She offers hugs instead of handshakes.

She can assess people and then just know which words of wisdom you need to hear.

After one of the first meetings I had with her, she asked me if I ever planned to go into administration.  I think I actually laughed and told her no.

Then you said these words to me, "Why not, Dawn?  You are such a natural born leader."

I honestly think she was the first person to ever say something like this to me.  It actually took me back.  I left thinking, "She doesn't know me... that's why she thinks that."  but it changed something inside me that day.

Ever since that day, I couldn't help but think that's what she thought of me... and that I needed to uphold that image.

She planted a seed in me, and I'm just overly sad that she won't get to see it grow as I take on a new role that she helped to develop.  

She is truly a great friend and leader and I will miss her more than she will know!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Beekeeping - 2 weeks in

So... like a proud momma, I was SOOO happy to check on my bees today and see that the queen is successfully doing her job!!

Look at that larva!!

And then I pulled 2 frames apart and saw the MOST amazing thing... a bee bridge!!
This is where bees hold onto one another to allow others to pass.
Crazy awesome!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My 940 are slowly slipping away

I used to cherish these evenings by myself.
They helped me refocus and get back centered with the world.

However, lately... they just feel lonely.

Today is Mother's Day.
I had the boys most of the day.
In fact, I had them all weekend until this evening.
Todd took us to the Lake and spoiled us with great food and friends.
We were engulfed in fun Friday and Saturday.
So, today, we just relaxed and caught up.

But as I dropped them off with R., it took all of me to drive back home...
...because I knew the house would be empty.
... and somehow, being alone doesn't refocus me any more...

It makes me realize how short my time is with my boys and I now feel every second I am not with them is a second I am missing out on.