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!

Home Intrusion

I have never been so mad in my life.

I will preface that sometimes we are too trusting.  That we have grown up living in a protected bubble.  And therefore we make errors.  We made the mistake of not checking to see if our garage door was closed.  We assumed it was.  It did not even cross my mind, though, to go verify and double even triple check.  I rarely lock the doors to my car unless I’m in public and there is something valuable in the car.  However, it’s very sad that we live in a world where we end up kicking ourselves because we didn’t do the previously stated actions.  I should not have to kick myself and be upset with myself because of someone who lacks common courtesy of people’s belongings.

As I was getting into my car with my husband, I noticed everything out of the middle compartment pulled out and thrown about.  I asked him if he was looking for anything and even wondered if the dogs had gotten into my stuff.  When he said, “No.” and also saw his car was in the same condition, it was not difficult to arrive at the same conclusion that someone had been in our cars.

Initially, I assumed they didn’t find anything as I typically don’t have anything worth stealing.  Half the time I keep my car unlocked is  because I’d rather someone realize it’s not worth their time than having to replace a broken window.  I did the same thing.  Brian realized his Army backpack, that he had all through Iraq, was taken with his gym clothes.  The clothes are replaceable but that backpack was filled with a lot of meaning for him.  It’s something that he wore on this back, to this day, with pride and honor.  He’s proud to be a veteran.  He earned that backpack.

I put the keys in the ignition looking around my car and then my heart sinks into my stomach.  My heart rate increases exponentially and I feel anger surging through my veins.  It hits me.  I left my new purse and wallet in the car.  Within my wallet had credit cards, cash, gift cards, my Social Security card, and my ID amongst whatever else I can’t remember.  I’m left pissed.  Livid.  Helpless.

We are doing everything we can to save for adoption right now.  We are making conscious efforts to not spend money if we don’t have to.  And yet, here we are.  Money was taken from me, purchases were made, and now we have to spend more money to replace stolen items.  How dare [enter name here] have the audacity to come onto my property.  How dare [you] fell self-righteous enough to go through my things, and take what you want.  How dare [you] be so self-centered and selfish to have no regard for anyone else but yourself and not realize the domino effect you may have on the very people you are stealing from.

And the kicker…there is nothing I can do.

So now I have to get a new driver’s license…so excited to go to the DMV.  I have to go to another place to get a Social Security card…woot woot.  Then cards have to be cancelled and we have to be issued new credit cards.  Lastly, I get to place a freeze on my credit file so no one can open any sort of account under my social security number.  Ugh this just sucks.  And there is nothing I can do.

We are patiently waiting for a police officer to arrive so we can make a report.  But with my experience, things like this do not get resolved.  It just really really sucks.  So much for our summer motto of “Don’t be a dick.”

So please, don’t assume anything and just be careful.  Lock your door.  Double check that your garages.  And pray to God that jerks don’t happen to come across your house if you and when you do forget to close your garage.  I’ve never been so mad.