Let's start with the good, shall we? I was assigned a student teacher for the second year in a row. Another guy! His presence turned out to be my saving grace, as he ended up taking over for my teaching partner when she resigned (more on that later). He grew into a great teacher, and hopefully he lands the job opening in my school!
Another highlight was that I was named Teacher of the Year in my building. It was such a nice honor, and the best part was how excited my kids were. They thought it meant that they were "Class of the Year."
I didn't burst their bubbles on that one.
With only five full years of experience under my belt, I didn't expect to be recognized as District Teacher of the Year, and I was right. But the experience and recognition were nice, even though I'm extremely uncomfortable with being center of attention. Especially when the entire school floods the hallways and forms a human tunnel. Holy panic attack. But, the front row VIP parking spot makes up for that part! :)
One last bit of goodness was that I became an Aunt on May 21st! My sister gave birth to her insanely adorable son, Kiyan William. I could hold that kid all day long. He has brought so much joy to our family in the short two months he's been around. I can't wait to watch him grow!
Well, this is the tough part.
If you've been a reader of my blog for more than a year, you may remember that I was asking for prayers for my co-worker/best friend last summer. Here's the short version of the story.
Toward the end of last school year, my teaching partner/best friend's husband went to the doctor for a couple of lumps that turned up on his body. No other symptoms. On our last day of school last year, he was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic melanoma. At age 28, with two young boys, his own farm, and a full life ahead of him, this wonderful family was hit with this horrible news.
The next six months were filled with doctor appointments at the University of Penn. Sam tried to keep teaching, but ended up resigning in order to care for Brett, her two boys, and the farm full time. There were a couple of times where they thought good news was ahead, but in the end, nothing could be done. Only six months after his diagnosis, cancer took Brett's life.
I encourage you to watch this video of Sam telling her story. Sam is now a spokesperson for the cause in Delaware, and her goal is awareness. Please help her in that goal by viewing the video and educating your friends and family in honor of Brett.
I could write much, much more about this, but I won't preach. In short, I challenge you to educate yourselves about sun safety and life each day to its fullest. As you can imagine, it was extremely difficult watching her go through this, and it still affects me each day. She is an insanely gifted teacher, and I can only hope she finds her way back to the classroom when the time is right.
The (kind of) Ugly..
From January to May, I was teaching full time (with just myself & my student teacher, who took over for Sam for the rest for the year) while also trying to complete my practicum/internship hours for my School Counseling certification. Talk. About. Stress. Every day, during my planning/recess, I would spend time observing/helping/taking over for the school counselor. I was also staying after school to try to log some hours. Which meant that I needed to stay even longer after that to get my actual work finished. I was a hot mess on most days. The hours, the papers, the practicum meetings. Oh my. But, I survived, and I graduated with my Masters in Elementary School Counseling in early May! (My sister actually gave birth two short days after my graduation!)
Well, as of early May, I am a certified Elementary School Counselor! But, I've applied to the few counseling jobs that have been posted, have only gotten one interview, and it didn't pan out. So it looks like I'll be continuing to teach third grade in the first state this school year! A slight change, though, will be that I will be teaching the "accelerated" reading and math classes. It will definitely be a change of pace after co-teaching for the past two years.
There you have it. I know that post was all over the place, but I feel better now that it is all out there. Looking forward to getting back into blogging about teaching. =)