It is New Years Day and the end of break is very near. Tomorrow I will return to being Mi’ Ball, even though our students do not come back until Wednesday (not complaining, I could use 2 days of waking up early again before they come back). This is also the 1/4 of the way mark for my Teach for America commitment. I have been told by many that if you can make it through Christmas break of your 1st year you can do the rest. I have heard that coming back from break is a fresh start and that things get much easier — I am HOPING but not counting on those things to happen.
Break was wonderful, weird, relaxing, productive, enjoyable and full of emotions. I spent the first week of break at home, where things were the same but completely different at the same time. Friends that I thought would see me, either didn’t or couldn’t and others that I don’t usually see were around to grab a bite to eat or go shopping with. Christmas Eve is always one of my favorite nights of the year because I am able to see all of my family. There were tons of well wishes and people asking me about teaching and the to elaborate on the snip its of stories that I have posted on Facebook
While talking with friends and family I was greeted with the openness and willingness do give support, both in supplies and well wishes. I was handed $20 to buy paper for my classroom, something that I ran out of (Thank you, G!) and was able to purchase 6 reams of paper for my classroom for the coming semester — this should be more than enough paper to get us through the rest of the year. Before break, my DonorsChoose.org project was also funded! I was beyond excited when I received the email during a quick check in the middle of the day and my kids were ecstatic! I can not wait to have our reading center up and running in the next few weeks I also received more books from a generous donor that has already given me many other books this year. I am beyond humbled by the generosity of those around me, and am not sure how I will ever be able to pay them back.
During break I was also reminded just how blessed I am and how much social networking leaves things so transparent. I was at out watching the Iowa game and ran into an acquaintance who said that she loves following me on Facebook and checking in to see how my kids and I are doing. She was not the only one to say that they ‘follow me on Facebook’ to see how I am doing and check in once a week or so to see how my first year of teaching is going. When things get tough, I just remember that so many people even if they don’t directly tell me are thinking of me and wishing my students and I well and for that I will continue to keep working even when things are tough.
Seeing my friends was also so wonderful, but it was hard because I was not able to talk about much besides teaching, because well, teaching is really all that I have right now. My goals for the semester is to extend my strict 8:30 bedtime (yes, that is right) for a few more hours so that I can feel like I have a life outside of teaching. I want to also be better at keeping up with my friends from home in what they are doing, because many are doing really cool things.
Returning to the city that I went to college in was by far the hardest thing to do during my break. I went back for this past week and had a blast. I was worried about how it would make me feel being back, but it was almost like I never left, which is what I had hoped for. My friends are still the same and we picked up right where we left off! Being back also was very difficult for my psyche and I was nervous that it would make me not want to come back to the Delta (not that I don’t love this place, but there is just such a nice feeling in the things that are comfortable and familiar). While a few did ask “what if” questions and “do you regret” questions I am back at home in the Delta trying to balance working and relaxing on this last day of break.
Break was also very productive. I was able to print out and make ALL of the K & 1 fcrr.org (Florida Center for Reading Research) centers for K & 1. I am not sure that I will be able to use them all, but having them already made is going to save me HOURS on Sundays from having to make the centers. I also have been Pinteresting so many things and have made a few things from there such as the legos with the words on them so that students can make their own sentences from the DUPLO blocks. I also bough Teach Like a Champion, but have only been able to read the first part of it. My goal is to just leisurely read it throughout the semester and get to one tip a week.
For now, it is back to relaxing and planning for January Happy New Year!