Tuesday, August 23, 2011

School Eve...

Earlier today a friend on Facebook posted a picture of her girls, and their last day of summer activities, with the simple caption "School Eve." I thought it was fitting for today's post because we too are celebrating School Eve in our house. Tomorrow while Brea heads to Kindergarten and Lexi starts 4th grade, I will be going back to 5th grade...this time as a Paraeducator. It's both super exciting, and creating a few butterflies in my tummy.

It's hard to believe that it's been 5 years since I said good-bye to my last full-time job and hello to full-time Mom and entrepreneur. Even with all the ups and downs, challenges and stresses, that have played out over those 5 years I wouldn't go back and chose a different direction. The gifts I have received by focusing on my family, and my dream of making a living by helping people live healthier lives, are priceless. But even then I knew that once Brea was headed to school full time, I more likely than not would be ready for a change. At that time I didn't know what that change would look like, but then again at that time I had no idea just how much our lives in general would change over 5 years time. But I did know me. I knew that once both of our girls filled their daytime hours with school, I would want something more to do with my 8-3 hours as well. So in a way facing tomorrow's adventure is a little less scary because I've been anticipating it for 5 years.

I couldn't have asked for a better job to help me re-enter the working world:

  • My work schedule perfectly matches the girls' school schedule, which was one of the biggest sources of anxiety I faced when I started job searching this spring. Working for the school means snow days, inservice days, holiday breaks, and early outs are covered from a childcare perspective.

  • The principal in the building in which I will be working was the first person we met in Carlisle after we knew we would be relocating here. He spent over an hour with us on our first school visit introducing us to teachers, talking about the school district, and answering our questions about the community in general. He's an incredibly warm and welcoming person that played a large part in helping us feel confident in our decision to relocate to Carlisle. I feel pretty lucky to now call him my boss.

  • The school, like in many small towns, plays a pretty big role in bringing together members of our community to support sporting and performing arts events. As someone who really appreciates the role of education and how much value strong school programs can add to a community, I'm super excited to be working to support the district "on the inside", as well as my role as a parent.

  • As someone who wishes Professional Student was an ACTUAL career path that could provide a living wage, I'm excited for a new challenge. As with any new experience, there's going to be LOTS of opportunity for ME to learn while I'm, hopefully, helping to enhance the learning experience of a few 5th graders. It may be a little selfish of me, but that fact right there is maybe what excites me the most about the fact MY alarm will be going off at 6:00 AM tomorrow for the first time in many, many moons.

The love, support, and excitement that so many around me have shown me as I start this new adventure has also helped to calm my nerves a bit. My family, bless them, have been so patient with me through the past year as I've had a plan, and then not had a plan, and now have a revised plan of how I can best help provide for them. My husband has been THE best cheerleader. Seriously. He understands, and values, how important it is to me to feel passionate about what I am doing with my time outside of our time together as a family. I'm sure he's had moments of being super frustrated with me and my lack of direction (and paycheck) over the past year, but he's never once let that color his words of love and encouragement. It's just one of the reasons I love him more today than I ever would have guessed I could when we first met as teenagers. How lucky am I to have found him? Damn lucky I tend to think.

The back-packs are packed. Lunch bags are ready to be filled. The camera has been prepped for 1st day photos. Because tomorrow morning it's off to school we go!!!

(I hope I don't get lost on my way to class.)



s said...

This is fabulous!! I am so excited for you and the classroom of kids you'll be working with :) :) - stephaniemz

MS said...

Jenn, you're going to be great! First days are always a bit tough, but soon enough you'll be a pro! Hope it's a great day tomorrow. Hugs!

Anonymous said...

I too would love a paying career of professional student. I was rather sad last week when I took the last 1st day of school picture of Paxton. Enjoy it - it goes way to fast!! Kathleen

kshotz said...

Hi Jen! We seem to be on parallel journeys! I started as a Literacy Paraeducator in one of our elementary (K-4) buildings this week! I've been at training every day this week....how about you? Looking forward to interacting with students soon! Congrats on your new venture! Namaste!