Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Year of Transitions

This past school year has been a very busy for me: thus, no posts. My husband and I made a big move and it will probably be our last re-location for a long time. There were a lot of factors that led to this.

Last year, my husband was working full-time and taking as many classes as he could. We would both get up at 6am and leave the house for our prospective schools. Then my husband would begin his workday: coming home at 11pm. Most days, we didn't see each other unless I visited Rick at work for his lunch. People would ask me how my husband was doing and I would say, "He sleeps next to me. So I know he's alive..."

If it was just the time apart, that would be one thing. I read the entire Outlander series, made TPT products and crafted like nobody's business. I was a regular at yoga. The time was well spent. But my husband was unhappy. He didn't have time to workout or take care of his body. He was working too hard for the little sleep he got and he was barely putting a dent in the credits he needed to get an associate's degree from the local community college.

Then there was my job... I had a hefty caseload, friends. And not enough support staff to meet the needs of all my students. And like so many Resource Room teachers, I was responsible for all incoming evaluations for students who had gone through the special education referral process. On top of that, I was always at our Case Study meetings. I was attending between 5 and 10 meetings per week, between Case Study and IEP meetings. It was too much for one human being. And the 12 hour days were too much. I was sad to leave my educational assistant: who deserves a place in the education hall of fame. Truly. But since my husband and I were both unhappy, it was time for a change. We don't have children yet. But if I'm slaving away at a job and never ever home, and neither is he: how is there time to make a baby, let alone raise one?

When I was looking for jobs this last spring, I had one thing in mind: It has to be manageable. My mom is an IEP specialist at the district I now work for. Since caseloads are so big (the same size as mine was) in the Resource Room, there are two IEP specialists that split up all the schools in the district and write all their IEPs. On top of that, I participate in the Case Study meetings for one day a mont. It is very clear who does what, I have a substitute and I am mostly there on a consultation basis. Then there is an evaluation team who handles all the evaluations in the district. So I focus on the students in my classroom. Bingo. I now leave work on time on a regular basis. Hallelujah!

In terms of my career change, I felt I was making a safe decision. I was moving to the same school district my mom had been happy with for many years. I also had friends from my teaching program who worked for the district. So I knew what I was getting into and that there would be people I could ask questions.

For my husband, it felt like a big leap of faith. Rick went from working full-time and taking one or two college classes a term, to being a full-time student. He had to accept the fact that he was going to make less money, if any, and that we were going to somehow make it work. We prayed a lot.

My husband has been working in hospitals as a phlebotomist for about 10 years. Luckily, my friend's sister runs an adult foster home that cares for clients with dementia. And my husband is an incredibly loving and kind human being; as evidenced by the fact that he puts up with me. So he is now working overnight, two nights a week and he is a full-time student. He loves his job, but Rick is facing the challenges that come with being a college student. And it's tough folks. I was always a natural born student: learning is my jam. My husband thought he was, until he was hit hard with tests and papers. So now, he's having to learn that student life, as a 30 year old man.

Overall, this year has been rewarding. I have learned a lot. Some things I learned as a result of being a more experienced teacher. Some things I have learned as a result of amazing professional development. Others, I have learned as a result of my constant desire to find balance.

For life hacks, I suggest reading Thinner, Leaner, Stronger, by Michael Matthews. I've been eating healthier, hiking (which, let's face it, is really just walking when I do it) and lifting weights 3 days a week. My husband is doing it with me, which makes our gym time a lot more fun.

Overall, life is busy. But it is also so good!

No comments:

Post a Comment