Today I officially finished teaching middle school (at least until next fall…we’ll see what happens). I absolutely loved working this last year as an adjunct teacher at the best online school. This semester was particularly fun because another teacher (Andrew’s cousin) and I each taught different sections of the same class and we had some awesome collaboration going on. We tried all sorts of new ideas out and some failed miserably and caused lots of headaches and some were very successful. My new favorite addition was our online class parties. Students that reached various checkpoints during the semester could join us for a mass video chat. Ashely and I did a Q&A for our first event and it turned out so well that we set our sights on bigger and better options: games. For our next two events we tried pictionary and bingo. All were a lot of fun, but most importantly they broke down the barriers that often occur between students and teachers in the online setting. I am going to miss the excitement that comes from exploring new ways to teach and figuring out the best way to help the most students succeed. I’m going to miss getting to know so many great kids, many who have had a harder life than I could ever imagine.
But tonight was the first night I tucked Emily in bed in a year and didn’t have to rush off to grade or answer students questions. I was able to really take my time with her tonight, reading an extra story and singing an extra song. I could tell she was upset about something so we had a good chat, which she requested Andrew to join us for, and she told us what was bothering her and helped us come up with a good solution. The whole process took an extra twenty minutes, but she went to bed peacefully after we acknowledged and worked through her concerns and I was so grateful that for once I didn’t have any outside pressure hurrying me along.
I’m excited for this new chapter in my life. I’m excited to focus on our kids, give Andrew as much time as he needs to work instead of trying to balance two work schedules, and explore some new interests (like microbes – I read lots and lots about microbes trying to figure out how to get better and stay better). I’m thrilled I can go to bed before 9 tonight – Nathan is on day four (or five!?) of not sleeping more than 1-2 hours at night and naps aren’t lining up during the day so Andrew and I have hit the really tired phase that results in lots of laughter and a few headaches and a little bit of nausea.
Nathan, helping me out on my last day: