Since the school year has started, I have felt like a crazy woman. I feel pretty good about my class and my job share teacher Tarrah. She is so great and we both have young kids so we relate to each other well. The part that makes me a little crazy this year is that there are a lot of new changes. First off, I am in a new grade again (I guess I just like to keep learning new things). Well, this is not entirely a new grade. I am back to teaching 3rd grade, which is my favorite. I student taught in 3rd grade and have spent the most of my time teaching in 3rd grade. So that part I am really excited about. Another change is that I am at a completely new school. It is still in Newton, but a different part of town. I have been at the same school for the last 5 years and have gotten to know and love the people that I worked with, but I really wanted to continue only working part time and that option was not available at my old school.
So here I am at a new school, with new co-workers, and new kids, and a new challenge of getting to know people. Many of you who know me know that I am a pretty quiet person and that it takes me a while to get used to new situations. However, some of the life experiences that I have had have made that a bit easier. I still am a pretty quiet person and I don't like to draw too much attention to myself. That is what makes my new job challenging. I am the ONLY new person there. I am getting used to the way that things are done at this school and how they do things such as copies, sending kids to the office, recess duty, afterschool duty, meetings, team planning times, etc. The list could go on and on.
This is my new classroom. We have 19 kids in our class so far.
Our theme this year was BIG. So we put an elephant on our door to show this.
This is the front of the classroom. Don't you see the technology? I am still
getting used to the differences. You can't see it, but the projector is facing a smart board. I have only used one once before this year. It will be a new adventure for me!!! Our classroom is full of excitement this year.
As far as non-work things go, I am really enjoying my time with Jaycee. I don't have to be to work until 11:45, so I have a lot of good quality time with Jaycee in the mornings. This has worked out better than I thought it would. I feel like that is Jaycee's best time of the day when she isn't quite as fussy, and I am not missing anything because she is napping. She does give me a little freedom and takes about a 30-45 minute nap almost every morning. This leaves me a little time to myself mostly to get housework done.
This little one likes to help me in the kitchen. Can't you tell?
She is keeping me super busy!!!!
Both of these guys are keeping me busy. But Jaycee is already learning to help us feed the dog. What a giving spirit she already has? I hope that it stays!!!
Housework, another challenge for myself. I know that there are things that need to be done everyday, but as for the other things, I have a hard time prioritizing them. For a while there, I was getting so frustrated that I couldn't even say what exactly was bothering me. I just knew that when I got home I had another whole long list of things that needed to be done after I got home from work. I felt so defeated. These things didn't used to bother me so much and all summer long I felt so much peace about my place in life right now. A friend reminded me that being at a new job can sometimes mask itself as other things. That was a hard one for me to see at first.
Well, it is Labor Day weekend and here is what I am doing to help keep myself in balance. This way I can be the best wife, mom, daughter, sister, & teacher that I can be. (notice how my work is last- yeah me!!!)
My fridge. This is what it looks like. This is a calendar that Tom keeps track of the things that he has to do. This fall he is playing on a softball team on Wednesday nights and he wants to make sure that he keeps track of all the other events work and non-work related so he remembers them and I don't have to feel like I am nagging him about them. I have several Bible verses at the top that just keep my mind and heart in check as I go about my day. They are good reminders that I am not in control.
To the right of the calendar I have 2 whiteboards that have been well used. That is where I keep track of the things that need to be done for the week, and what we are having for dinner. I list all of our dinner, lunch, breakfasts & snack choices on a grocery list and then buy those things every week. Then for that day I put what we are having that day and it lets me know what to thaw out, or if Tom gets home before me, he can put it in the oven. I write him notes there from time to time. The chore list is neat b/c it is easy to cross off and either one of us can do those things throughout the week to help out. Tom is really good about crossing things off of lists when he gets them done. So far this is working for us.
This is where I keep track of what I have to do. The paper with the pink hilights is for my school (parent-teacher conferences, programs, etc.). The calendar I made last year and put birthdays, upcoming events, parties, Bible studies, or if there is anything out of the ordinary happening in our lives that week, I write it down. I have found that if I don't write things down, then I get so ovewhelmed about forgetting it, so it is just better to just jot it down and move on with my life.
This is my schedule for myself. I kind like to live with a little structure in my life, but with the ability to be flexible too. Keep in mind that I don't stick to these times very accurately at all. This gives me an idea of how to go about my day without being wasteful. There have been so many times that I feel like I accomplish nothing and then I get so upset with myself for not getting things done when I had a chance to. It also lets me know how to prioritize the things that I really feel are important to do such as exercising & reading my bible or my quiet time. Those 2 things are really important to me lately, and I want to do a better job and make a more conscious effort to make those things a priority. I can tell you more on my endeavor to exercise more consistently later.
So for now, this is what I am doing to keep myself and my family in balance. We have a lot of fun and a lot of time to just be silly and hang out, but since school has started, I need to focus my efforts while I am at school there and when I am not there to be home and be a wife and mom. Right now I am doing the best that I can and with a little help from Tom, Jaycee(sometimes) and God, we will all continue to be a happy & healthy family.