This year has been a very interesting year. I have done some things I have never done before, and I have had to adjust to a new stage in my life. I began 2008 by taking on a new job in Colorado Springs. This meant that I had to "go to work everyday" which my friend Don Weinhouse reminded me would happen if I took the job!
It was an adjustment to get up at 5:15 a.m. just so I could be on the road by 6:45. I had to be at Bricker Elementary at 7:30 a.m. This was a change. I no longer could roll into my office at the University around 9ish two or three days a week. (Speaking of my office at the University: My new classroom in the elementary school where I would teach ESL was smaller than my office had been at CSU-P.) This picture was taken on the last day of school in my classroom.
In 2004, I left the classroom to go to CSU-Pueblo to develop the endorsement program in linguistically diverse education. I loved writing curriculum, developing a new program, and working at the higher ed level.
It was a huge change for me to go from teaching teachers and future teachers to teaching second through fifth graders. I felt like I was out of my comfort zone, but I loved the entire experience. I had never really taught at the elementary level.
I loved the kids, the other teachers, and the principal and assistant principal. There were plenty of challenges, but it was good to be in the real world of teaching again. I loved the elementary setting also, but I also learned that I am a secondary teacher at heart. I knew, as much as I loved those elementary age kids, I was most comfortable with high school kids. I don't do the turtle in the classroom thing very well if you get my drift. Teaching freshmen and seniors is where I feel most comfortable.
At the end of 2008, I had to make the decision not to go back again when the school year ended. I would have had to give up my retirement, and I knew that I was not physically up to making the drive another year. I was sick nearly all winter from all of those new germs that float around an elementary school. It was like my first year of teaching all over again.
|My SCWP Group|
The month of June when I was taking part in the project was brutal. I was working from very early in the morning until 11:00 at night on my reading and writing assignments, but I loved it! The professional learning community of which I became a member is one that I will alway treasure. We had time and opportunities to come together as teachers and talk about our profession while learning how to become better at what we do.
|Dinner with My Teaching Friends from Russia|
Wow! Now that I think about it, I wonder what I did with my life before SCWP. One night, my Russian friends, Irina and Tamara and I took some time off and went to dinner with Jim. I became quite close to both of these amazing women and really miss them!