Friday, April 02, 2010

Some things

Some things are bigger than a paycheck.

I wrote this beginning line about a week ago, after finding it on a writing book in my classroom. It stuck with me, and now I see why.

This week, my principal called me in for a chat. That can be scary and unexpected. Frightening, really. Especially if you just got back from an extended trip where you had to miss two days of work. Where you missed a faculty meeting, and you really don't know what's going on. When you're running on three hours of sleep.

Basically, he asked me to take a different position within the school. Next year, instead of teaching ELA as I have for (almost) the past five years, he's asked me to teach an elective course: "An Exposure to Spanish and French Culture". I'm still reeling. Maybe I shouldn't be writing this yet, because I'm still reeling.

I find it ironic that this year, the year when I'm not aching for change about now, is the year I find myself in a change. Perhaps this is only me, but I can't help but see that God could work in this: how He could use it in my life, as well as the life of my students. I guess, in the back of my mind, I can't help but think this could be a very good thing.

I've got the cultural background to help me out- though granted, I'll have to do a lot more research for Spanish than I will for French. The French thing will mostly just be recalling what I've learned over the years. The Spanish will require me to learn a lot: language, culture, traditions, celebrations... and so on. Thankfully, that comes fairly easily to me. And thankfully, I found out from one of my administrators today that they did weigh in what I do in the classroom.

For me, this is a lesson in not defining yourself by your job. I resisted that, especially in the beginning, but I've also forgotten not to. I've been in a comfortable groove where I am: I love the team I'm on, I like teaching ELA, and I like where I work. This new position hasn't changed some things, but somethings will change: new curriculum (which I will be creating from scratch), new students, at differing grade levels. New planning period (one that I'll actually be able to use), new timings (I'm going from 90-minute blocks to 45). Twice the number of students, and then some. New classroom management techniques. (Drill seargent, anyone? Don't smile 'till...?) More students, less individual attention. New creative opportunities, new ways to incorporate things I care about: music, art, language, food, and cultures. It's always a trade-off.

One of my sisters thinks this just may be the best thing to ever happen to me. Right now, I can see it as either the best or the worst, depending on my frame of mind. But I also see it as a way for me to grow, a new way for me to surrender to the Lord.

But for now? Spring break is here. I'm planning on visiting my sisters, doing some sewing, reorganizing my closet and working on a project for class. I'm planning on relaxing and spending some time in the sun. I'm planning on living. Some things are bigger than a paycheck.

I've seen hard times and I've been told
There must be a reason for it all

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