Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Next Little Chapter

Thanks for all your kind words about my blog purpose statement and this little spot on the web... You guys make writing this blog SO much more enjoyable and worthwhile.  If I could, I'd have a big blog birthday party and invite you all... Man, that would be so much fun... Jeff would never go for it. ;)

Anyway, since I shared a little bit about where we've been over the last three years, I thought it was high time I fill you in on the next little chapter in my life.  (And, no, I'm not pregnant again.  Although several of my blog friends that had babies around the same time as me have announced pregnancies recently.  Whoa. That's all I can say.  I mean, I am happy for them... I just... I'm just only now starting to figure out my one kid.... Anyway, that's another post for another time.  I'm chatty today.)

Truth be told, part of the reason I've been a little quiet around here is because I have SO much to write that I've had trouble knowing where to begin.  I wanted to write a post about my year as a working mom, a post about our babysitter, Sam's 11 month update for crying out loud, before I wrote this.  But, honestly, the "secrecy" is silencing me... So we'll move on.  Those things will come... Sometime.

So... For starters, here's my new office (at least for the time being).  Check out my hott (and lazy) co-worker. ;)

That's right... I'm changing jobs again, and this job allows me to be at home A LOT more!!  It also means that I will be working more "year around," but my summer work is all from home, and my school-year work is about half and half.

Let me break this down since it is confusing enough even for me:

Back in May, I officially "resigned" from my position as School Testing Coordinator for next year. I will probably write more about this later, but being in charge of standardized testing was NOT for me.  I do not regret taking the position - I think it was the right decision for our family at the time, and I learned a lot. But, I missed having daily interaction with students and the chance to be creative A LOT. I feel called to be a teacher, in much the same way I feel called to be a wife and mom, and so a part of me felt missing in that job.

At the same time, while I felt confident that I wanted to get back in the classroom, I still had a lot of anxiety about my ability to juggle this passion with my desire to spend the most possibly time and be the best possible mom to Sam and wife to Jeff.  Enter dream opportunity...

Thanks to a great principal, school system, and a really good God, things lined up just right and in early June I was offered a position teaching just THREE English classes at our county's Governor's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathmatics) Academy.  I accepted. :) Beginning in mid-August, my new work schedule will be from 7:30AM - 11:00AM every day.  On top of that, this school has an excellent reputation and, because students have to apply and be accepted to attend, I'll be working with a STELLAR group of kids.  In fact, if all goes according to plan, I will get to teach this year's freshmen for ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade - talk about building relationships!!

You are probably wondering what kind of English classes are offered at a school for math and science.  Good question.  Specifically, I will be teaching English 9, English 10, and AP English 11 through a program called the Center for Mass Communication (remember, T = Technology).  This means that, in addition to studying English, my students will be learning (from another teacher, thank goodness) the ins and outs of mass communication like video broadcasting, editing, etc.  Don't you wish your high school had had something like this?  They will be at my school for the mornings and then return to their home schools in the afternoon for the rest of their classes.

The from home part?  In addition to these three "live" classes, I'll also be teaching two online classes from home.  That part of the job started last week for the summer semester. (Not that it matters to the vast majority of you, but that job is contracted separately.  So, even though I'm technically teaching five classes, I'm still considered a part-time employee.  Make sense?)

I feel INCREDIBLY blessed to have this opportunity.  Truly, it is BETTER than I even could have hoped for, and it just fell in my lap.  I am already LOVING being back to teaching, and I am SO excited for the next school year.  It feels really good to enjoy my job that much again; and, honestly, I think it makes me an even better mom. :)

Of course, the change is bittersweet too. I am leaving the school where I started my career five years ago and my alma mater.  It feels kind-of like the end of an era in that sense.  We are also in the process of figuring out a new (more part-time) childcare situation for Sam in the fall.  Yesterday was his last day with his current babysitter and we both (the babysitter and I) cried. Plus, in an effort for full disclosure, I'm feeling a little bit overwhelmed with the rigor of the courses I'm teaching next year and still trying to learn how to balance my time and "work from home." Don't worry, I'll still have plenty to confess on Wednesdays. ;)Change is hard, even good change.

So... there you have it - the next little chapter.

Out of respect for my students and my employers, I probably won't talk this specifically about my job much more... But, since you've followed me this far, I thought you at least deserved to know where we are going. To my fellow teachers out there, I'm BACK!!! :)

P.S. For whatever reason, I've gotten a lot of emails recently about my yellow sheet idea and other classroom organizational things.  I'm in the process of updating my computer files, so I apologize that it has taken me so long to respond.  In the meantime, remember that you can find printable versions of the "yellow sheet" here. :)


  1. Wow ... what a wonderful job opportunity for you! It is amazing how God works for your greater good! I just graduated with my teaching degree and soon after found myself pregnant with a little girl due in September. I terribly miss being with students but I am looking at some different opportunities to stay at home and raise our daughter and take care of our two boys! It is very good to know that opportunities like yours are out there! Good luck to you on your new position!!

  2. How fun! Isn't God so, so, SO good?! He gave you just what you needed last year and now is providing an opportunity that meets your needs and your desires. So happy for you friend! :)
    PS- John went to Governors School throughout high school. What a small world! Yet another reason we need to meet up.

    1. Hey girl! Thanks for being so excited for me... Just to clarify, since John is Govie... I'm actually NOT teaching at the school he attended. My job is in the county schools at a brand new GOV STEM Academy. But, we live about two seconds from the school he attended. :)

      When are you going to be in town? Seriously. We MUST go to Target together.

  3. What an amazing blessing! Enjoying your job makes life itself so much better on a day to day basis. So excited for your new chapter! Congratulations!

  4. Praise the Lord, that's awesome! Congratulations!

  5. That is so exciting, girl! What a perfect balance of work and home! Best part= you still get to physically "go to work" enough to merit continuing to buy cute work clothes!! Winning all around!

  6. CONGRATS! This seems like such an awesome opportunity for you! Woohoo!

  7. What a fantastic opportunity!! :)

  8. Whoa, I just emailed you before I read this. Now I look like a brat for not mentioning it! Sorry!

    Anyway, CONGRATS! That is really exciting and basically a dream job. Work AND spend lots of time with Sam? That's the best of both words.

    I am so so so excited for you!

  9. Congrats on your new job! I just resigned from my teaching position after 6 years to stay at home with our son and would LOVE a part-time job. So glad you have something that works for your family.

  10. Congrats! I must say I'm a little bit jealous. I think part-time would be perfect and I worked hard trying to convince my husband of that. Working full-time is hard, and being a full-time teacher is like working around the clock. We are looking to have a STEM elementary school in my district. I will be interested the learn what you are able to share on your blog.

  11. I actually just found your blog through Pinterest about a week ago and am enjoying reading it. I also am a 28 year old English teacher who will be starting my 6th year in the classroom. Which AP are you teaching: Lit or Lang? I teach Lang in the 11th grade in Alabama. This will be my third year attending the AP training, and I have tons of resources if you are ever interested!

    1. Elissa, THIS is why I love blogging!! I will be teaching AP Language too and I need LOTS of help. I'm so overwhelmed by it all because, even though I have a master's in English - so much of my background is in literature, not rhetoric. ANYTHING you have that could help me would be AMAZING!! My email address is e@emyselfandi.com if you want to talk more. :)

      Also, what AP training are you going to? I assume each state has a different one, is that right? I'm attending training in Williamsburg, VA at the end of July.

    2. I am pretty sure that the training is close to the same because it is all put on by AP. The main difference is the instructor you have. The binder I got last year was totally different from the binder full of information I got the year before. I was lucky to have my first year of training be all about new AP teachers.
      I am in the middle of making one of our bedrooms into a craft room/office and actually can't really get to my stuff (books and binders) right now. I hope to do get in there next week and work. I will email you next week with some information! If you think of any questions just send me an email at elissalanders@gmail.com.

  12. Sounds like you really have a great situation lined up - when I first had kids I was only teaching part time, and loved it! I'm looking forward to when I can cut back on teaching and use that time to write...maybe I should look into the online teaching, too!

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