Keeping an Open Mind

For the last two years, I have been a 6th grade teacher.  I’ve coached middle school volleyball and soccer and really found my groove.  Middle school is where I felt I belonged and I was committed to the idea.  The fact that most people couldn’t imagine the idea of working in a middle school further confirmed the fact that I was someone who was right for the job – that I was someone who could truly relate to the kiddos and make a difference.

However, transferring my teaching license in Michigan has been quite frustrating.  In Colorado I was licensed K-6 for elementary school.  In Michigan, elementary school is defined as K-5.  Despite the fact that I passed the Praxis test and was endorsed in secondary Language Arts, Michigan doesn’t care.  They will not simply accept a passed test but rather expects you to complete a program and either major or minor in the topic.  I already have a Master’s degree, so having to go to school for the same thing I’m already endorsed in (assuming I am committed to secondary education) seems silly to me.  Lastly, I have to pass two Michigan state tests in order to receive an official teaching license – one of which has three subtests.  Needless to say, I have been quite disappointed finding out all the hoops I have to jump through to be able to do what I love.

Because Michigan only approved me to teach elementary school, I’ve had to adjust my whole mindset.  It’s something I am no longer used to and have to just start accepting that I could still love teaching elementary.  After all, I have worked with kids of all different ages and have loved it.  I went to school to teach elementary school because clearly I enjoyed that age as well.  I think I just have forgotten how much fun that age is too.

I did a practicum in a preschool, I’ve done a practicum in a 2nd grade classroom, I student taught 4th grade, I taught for part of a year 5th grade, and then have done 2 years in 6th grade.  I loved 4th grade – in fact I thought for a while it was my ideal grade.  I loved the 2nd grade practicum – the students were cute, they felt safe with me, and I wanted to take them home as one of my own.

So despite the fact that the idea of teaching little ones scare me, I think it’s because I’m nervous I may not be as strong as I once was teaching those topics.  However, I have an interview for a 1st or 2nd grade position (it may have changed now so I’m not entirely sure) and I need to start getting excited.  There are a lot of benefits to teaching elementary school as well – particularly less grading.  Regardless of what I teach, as long as I have a good team and I have a sense of confidence teaching what I’m teaching, I know I’ll be successful.  I know I’m a good teacher.  I’m passionate about teaching, and if that enthusiasm continues, I know I will only grow to be a better teacher and hopefully become a major asset to any school I’m at.

For right now, I need to go with the flow.  I need to keep an open mind and just embrace where life takes me.  God has a plan for me and I need to relinquish any control I’m trying to hold on to.  Let’s be honest, I really don’t have any control.  I make plans and God laughs.  So keep your fingers crossed because one way or another, I will have a classroom of my own once again!

I Need More Couch Cushions!

For those of you that don’t know, my husband and I are beginning the adoption process.  We are currently doing our best to save up money to activate our profile and start the process of finding the right birth mother, etc.  I have created another blog called waitingforourstork.wordpress.com in which I keep friends and family updated about our process.  However, some of my blogs seem to overlap and therefore I have published some blogs in both places.  I feel like the common trend of my posts, in regards to adoption, surrounds the topic of money.  However, that is where we are in this journey.  Saving money.  The very least favorite part of the process, might I add.  However, I may retract that statement once we get to the legal part – that may be a close 2nd, but we shall see (I will stay optimistic about that process).

The issue is not just the matter of saving money and refraining from my oh so spontaneous Bullseye Boutique shopping sprees (aka: Target or Tar-jzay), although that definitely is a draw back as I rarely leave that store with solely the items I went there for to begin with.

The issue is, however, all the unforeseen spending.  You know, the spending that you never plan on nor ever arises when you’re not saving money, but of course happen almost immediately after you decide you can’t spend any more money.  For example, since we have decided to save for adoption we have had to pay added pool expenses, have pool pipes re-piped, replace a sprinkler pump, pay a plumber for our septic pump, fix pipes on the outside of the house that weren’t set up correctly to begin with, take the dog to the vet for some mysterious skin infection, follow up vet appt with a renewal of a prescription costing us the same amount as the initial vet visit, and I’m sure there are other expenses I’m forgetting.

Now that I am not working, I have had the privilege of posting all of our furniture and unwanted household items on Craigslist, the app Letgo, and Facebook.  Let me tell you how much fun that is – especially seeing I was almost scammed today by someone who wanted to “purchase it for their daughter who is overseas and wants to pay via PayPal.”  Quick tangent as to ensure this doesn’t happen to you (feel free to skip over this if you would like):

Sure, PayPal is legit – thats awesome.  They send you an email that looks almost identical to the emails PayPal sends you however when interacting with these scammers their English isn’t great (first flag), the email is sent to junk (2nd flag), and they ask you to respond to the email with the tracking number of the shipment (3rd flag).  My previous PayPal emails have my full name in them whereas their emails only have my email address  and PayPal never wants you to respond to their emails.  Lastly, they wanted me to express mail the iPad I am selling to Nigeria (4th flag….ummm report and block user).  Oh and their email address will show as Service@paypal.com – first of all “service” is not capitalized in normal emails and second of all when you actually click on the email address it will be some variation of agentdondavid11@gmail.com  – whereas palpal’s email comes strictly from service@paypal.com (red flag red flag red flag!).

So it becomes frustrating when the only responses you get are either scammers or people who want to pay you a fraction of what the item is worth.  So I believe the next option is a consignment store.

It’s just hard because I feel like a little kid, needing money and not sure how else to come up with it.  I’ve flipped all the couch cushions (or in my case posted all the furniture we can afford to lose).  I’ve applied for tutoring and nannying jobs until I can find a teaching position.  It’s just hard when you don’t have any control in the matter and you are doing your best to truly be as proactive as possible.

For those of you who know me, I don’t like not being in control.  I’m anal that way and I tend to flip out and lose all sense of rationality when I have little to no control or say.  So if someone could invent a money tree right about now, that would be greatly appreciated!