Spring!

I am writing this at the very end of my break so bear with me and my bitterness. However, I had a really nice and balanced break. A friend from Toronto visited me which was a complete surprise and made me feel loved. I also went to Jasper for the first time! Jasper is like a weird version of Banff and like, major Twin Peaks vibes. It was rainy and foggy, which kind of made hiking not the greatest but we managed two very baby trails and snapped some lovely pictures.

After a lovely time seeing the mountains, I now have a mountain of marking and planning to do! Which is fine, and will get done. I am looking forward to getting back into a routine again and getting through this final term of school.

I’ve been pretty good at keeping my work and life balanced. It’s been really hard learning that this year. As a teacher, I find that my to-do list is neverending. There is always something I could be doing, could be organizing, could be “fixing”, or making better. There is always a parent to call or a lesson to plan or something to grade. And sometimes you just need to say no and know that it’ll all get done by June. Oftentimes, you also need to know what to prioritize. In the first term two hours would go by after school and I wouldn’t even know what I did but I did do something. Now I *try* to make sure I leave by 4:30 with the exception of specific busy times of year like report cards or parent-teacher interviews. I’m doing better and recognizing that my time is valuable – as a teacher and as a human being.

Planning For Fall

I haven’t written much over the summer, other than in my own personal journal a couple times. It’s been one of the busiest summers I’ve had in a long while! I visited Toronto for two weeks in July, which was a non-stop trip seeing friends and family. Also helping my Nan (my Grandma on my mother’s side) get to some appointments due to some minor health concerns. She developed Bell’s Palsy this last month which was a bit of a scare and more of a frustration for her than anything.

Coming back to Edmonton has been quite busy. This city thrives during the summer. There is so much to do and I’m sure there are still a bunch of things I’ll have to save for next year. So far this summer, I’ve been able to experience farmers markets, Taste of Edmonton, Heritage Days (Canada’s biggest multicultural event!), Shakespeare in the Park, and various new restaurants and cafes. Next week I am heading to Cold Lake with Kailene for a night, and in a couple weekends Justin and I will be visiting a farm sanctuary just outside of Edmonton! I’m. So. Excited. PIGS. 

After reading and frequenting Pinterest for about a month, I’ve finally started to pry open various English resources and planning guides because I am starting my first teaching contract this September! I’ll be the ELA (English Language Arts) Instructor for a Grade 4 class, two Grade 5 classes, and a Grade 6. I’m nervous and excited. Nervous because I am more familiar with high school students and teaching, but excited because I supplied a lot for elementary and honestly really like it. I always said I’d NEVER teacher elementary. But I’ve known since starting teacher’s college that you take what you get and you may not even start in your subject area. With that said, I’m happy and grateful for what I was offered this past June. I was a bit hesitant at first but the more that I plan and read and get to know the staff and school, the more that I am excited and confident.

Also, I will have my very own classroom! Four classes of students will come into my class throughout the day (sort of a rotary system) since I am just the Language Arts teacher, so I’ll have to figure out some organization and routines. But I am soooo excited to set up a reading nook, a library space, plants and pictures, a Word Wall, and all sorts of neat things that I maybe couldn’t do in a high school setting. I really am going to take advantage of the fact that this will be my own room.

I’m going to get back to planning and reading, but here are some pictures of my so far empty class.

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My future desk area with bright windows behind me!

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Trees right outside the window.

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So much shelving!

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Can’t wait to start decorating!

Supply Teaching

I’ve officially been added to the supply list for the Edmonton school board that I will be working for! It’s been an exciting week with various phone calls from an automated robot who Justin and I have humanized and grown to love and hate. (He starts calling at 6 in the morning to notify me of possible supply jobs.) Finally, after many anxious emails and phone calls, I accepted my first supply job and went to a junior high school today to cover for a teacher.

I’ve been so nervous, anxious, and excited leading up to this day. I hadn’t been in a classroom for almost a year and a half. For some reason (anxiety), I started to think I was forgetting everything I had learned and that I wouldn’t feel comfortable in a classroom again. And it’s true. At first, I wasn’t completely comfortable today. But as the day went on so much came back to me. Importantly, the love, passion, and comfort I feel for teaching came back. It felt so natural again and I think I worried that I lost all this after being out of it for a while. But I realized that just because I had been waiting and trying to get into a classroom or a school doesn’t mean I stopped liking it or stopped caring.

So today was my first day back into a classroom and my very first day as a supply teacher. I’m still nervous for so many other firsts that will happen along the way, but I am really happy that I can say I love what I’m doing. And I can confidently say that I didn’t forget the things I learned after all. They just got tucked away, like books on a shelf. Now, I am reading them again.