2015 began with a new blog design for me. I love my darling little Mini-Wheat.
I still have A LOT to learn about blogging and in 2016 I hope to finish Blog Traffic School and post on a more regular basis. I'm also loving my collaboration with some very talented teachers at The Primary Punch Bowl.
In 2015, I also got up on my soap box and spilled my guts about my thoughts and frustrations with the New York State Education system. This post also solidified my resolve to continue pursuing a job change.
I had just returned from maternity leave, during which I had begun to get my professional life in order: resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation. I didn't know if it would "work". I mean, there are 22 year-olds coming out of college with 3-4 certifications and here I was with ONE. But, I decided I would try.
After MONTHS of applying and waiting for phone calls, none came, I started to lose hope and pretty much decided that it wasn't going to happen. The school year came to end and I took this, now ironic photo:
Little did I know that in a few months I'd look back on this photo with big, fat, sentimental tears.
In mid-July I received THE phone call offering me an interview with my dream district. Not just any district, MY hometown, the district I graduated from. A district with TOP ranked elementary schools. To say I was nervous is the biggest understatement of the year. lol. I spent the next 6 nights video taping myself answering interview questions I found online and designing, printing, and organizing my portfolio. I plan to do a blog post on this soon- seriously my level of preparation was almost military grade. I look back on that now and I'm kind of amazed by myself.
The interview went well and three days later they called and offered me a job....a long-term subbing job. I was devastated. I was a little mad. I of course, had to turn them down. I was a 14 year veteran with a good job and young family. It was not a risk I wanted to take.
So, I accepted that I was meant to be a city school teacher. To be honest I was kind of relieved. No more sneaking around, no more insane stress and prep, no more guilt. I LOVED my school, I LOVED my kids, and my colleagues are/were my best friends in the world. As for my district, well, I'd make it work. I'd done it for 14 years and I just had to keep believing I was part of the solution, not the problem. And then.....I went to Cape Cod.
While renting a small cottage with my little family, steps from the beach, I decided to head out one night and catch the Persioid meteor shower. It was supposed to peak at mid-night and I couldn't think of a better place to watch then at a bench on the Atlantic Ocean. I posted this picture to my instagram that night:
You see, I fancy myself a bit of a profession star wisher. I'm not superstitious, just a little 'stitious. Hahahaha! I'm also not traditionally religious but I did offer some thoughts up to the universe that night. I wished that my job situation would make itself clear and if I was meant to be a city school teacher for life I would ROCK it. The next morning, 11 hours later, my phone rang. It was the HR director of my dream district and she offered me a permanent 1st grade spot. The rest is history.
That night my hubby and I toasted to a new adventure while I texted furiously with my best friends (and colleagues) in the world. Through it all they supported and encouraged me.There were lots of tears, lots of smiles, a real night to remember.
I'm really proud of 2015, the year I grew up, professionally. I set a goal and although it was a TON of hard work, lots of second guessing, and no guarantees, I stuck with it. I'm sooooo happy at my new school. I feel energized and appreciated like I haven't in a long time. I look back with such fondness at my time in my old school. That school will always be my family and I don't regret one second of the time I spent there. It made the teacher and person I am today.
Okay, enough reminiscing- time to look forward! My resolutions to make 2016 just as memorable!!
1. I have been SEARCHING for balance for the past 2 years. I'm so hopeful that not that my kids are a little older- 1.5 and 5, I'll start to have more time and consistency. I can see veteran moms laughing right now. Being a #teachermom is tough enough but then throw in blogging and TpT? Oye. I don't ever want to look back and wish I'd spent more time with my kids. I think having a dedicated creating and blogging schedule will help. I NEED to have my time. TpT isn't just a business for me- it's a hobby. The creative outlet is so necessary to my mental health. I'd welcome any tips!
2.I have been trying to get back to my pre-baby #2 fitness level. Before I got pregnant the second time around, I was in the best shape of my life. I did the Tough Mudder, I was running 10-15 miles a week, I was eating right and feeling great. Then...baby #2. Its a game changer!! A wonderful game changer, but one that takes some real adjustment. I've recently started running again on a regular basis and I'm hoping to get my eating under control after this holiday season. We're going to Naples, FL for February break and I'm hoping that'll be good motivation for me. Click on the picture below for my Pinterest Board dedicated to Health and Fitness. I'll check back in in a few weeks and tell ya how I'm doing. Bikini in 7 weeks??
3. ORGANIZE. Listen, I'm not talking just school- I'm talking about ALL the things. Home, financial, school, my purse...lol. I'm hoping to do a series of blog posts on how I keep myself organized at school because i SWEAR I use up all my 'organizational energy' there. The rest of my life is a hot mess. Please tell me you can relate.
Well, that sums up my resolutions for 2016. I hope you'll check back with me as the year progresses! Have an amazingly fun and safe celebration tomorrow! I know I'll be partying it up because this weekend will be crunch time- back to school and planning. My entire store will be 20% off through the weekend and I have a lot of new products for New Years Activities in the classroom. I hope You'll check them out.