Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Start of My Year of Many Firsts

So it's now Fall Break and I FINALLY feel like I can breathe again! It's been almost two months since my last blog post, it's also been almost two months since school started. Coincidence? I think not. To say things have been busy is a bit of an understatement. First year teaching, including KTIP (Kentucky's version of first year internship for teachers). Signed on as co-owner of the gym I've worked at and helped to grow since college. Hustled partnerships, funding opportunities, and new ideas for my nonprofit, Pink Elephant. Attempting to launch a new project near and dear to my heart in Africa called Kuinua Craft Project (more to come on that!). Preparing for grad school in January. And I wonder why my hair is falling out. But in all seriousness (even though seriously, my hair is falling out), I've never felt so excited and close to things that I am passionate about. These things may be the source of my stress, but they've become the source of who I am and what I'm meant to do at this point in my life. With that said, before I delve in deeper to this post, I leave this food for thought. Whether it's me running across it again later, or a visitor to my blog (graciously) reading this, I hope it will continue to spark the same passion as I felt the first time I read it:

The wise words of Desmond Tutu, ladies and gentlemen. 

Since I started this blog as a way to record my own personal journey, even if it's just me going back to read it, I feel like it's important to express my feelings and experiences in teaching so far. This will be fun to look back on at the end of the year. These last two months have been a whirlwind of firsts. Meltdowns, boogers, kinderbaby potty accidents. Let me just say, your first year as a teacher is NOTHING like student teaching, or anything you experienced in college to "prepare" you for the job. It's hard. Really hard. All of a sudden you've got the huge responsibility of educating children and making sure they know what they need to know by the time they leave you; a romantic notion maybe, but it's a totally different story when it becomes your responsibility. That, coupled with KTIP, and you've got one thing: STRESS. You've got a lot of people to answer to; the principal, your mentor teacher, your university supervisor, parents, and perhaps the most daunting critic of all, yourself.
But to be fair, the challenging moments are 100% out-shined by the truly rewarding moments. Like when you see the excitement on a student's face when the lightbulb goes off and you know they've got it. Or when a professional in the building compliments what your doing in the classroom. Or when your able to provide advice to a fellow teacher in supporting the more challenging students in their classroom. Or when you just take a moment to laugh with your students and appreciate the little humans that they are. The list could go on and on. These are the reasons that carry me the end of the day, to the end of the week, to the next break from the next point where I can take a long deep breath and ready myself to jump back in again. These are also the reasons I look forward to going back for more. The challenge. The joy. The excitement. The way it makes me want to keep growing and learning. Most of all, the purpose and meaning it brings to life. I am forever grateful that God led me to this profession and blessed me with this passion.

Without sounding tedious, I want to make note of the people I owe a huge thank you to for helping me keep my sanity to at least this point. First and foremost, my husband, who puts up with my nonstop work/stress/venting/money spending on my classroom...he's a real keeper ;). To the family and friends who have been supportive in my journey thus far. To the coworkers that have helped me adjust and learn as a first year teacher. To my Pink Elephant partner in crime who I can share my passion for PE's programs with, and who keeps me going on the projects abroad that are so very near and dear to my heart. And to everyone else that must deal with me in the often overwhelmed/busy/stressed state I find myself. THANK YOU.

Now there's officially four days left until we are back to the daily grind I live for. Until my next post (which hopefully won't take two more months to make), I leave you with this:

What will you do to shake the world?