School Is Closed

It still hasn’t totally sunk in that we aren’t going back to school this year. I won’t finish the year with my students and my colleagues. My son won’t being going back to school and continuing his UIL Theater competitions. My daughter is just home from college indefinitely. I know that eventually life has to get back to some level of normal, but what will that be?

I am not sure how I feel about Gov. Abbott’s decision to let retail businesses open with curbside pickup options. It seems like that is just putting more individuals at risk during a time when those types of businesses aren’t really essential. I know our economy is struggling but I also know that opening things back up too soon could be detrimental to everyone. We have been lucky so far in Texas in that our case numbers have been lower than other places, but that doesn’t change the contagion of the virus or the fact that more people being out means more risk to everyone.

My family is trying to stay safe so we have been really careful about not getting out unless we need something. It is so difficult though because being at home all the time is hard. I am starting to feel like my life has no purpose.

I completed my master’s and my Dual Credit Certification program through online classes but this is my first experience with them as a teacher. Although I wouldn’t exactly say this is a true online class. We are forced to all give the exact same assignments every week and we are only allowed to review material already covered. I feel bad that my students are missing out on so much learning. Next year will have its own set of challenges trying to get students back into the routine of school.  We will also have so many gaps to fill in order to get our students where they need to be. I am supposed to be teaching Dual Credit next year which will be even more of a challenge now with students missing out on the last few weeks of English 2. Our students struggle enough in Dual Credit as it is but now we will have even more challenges. There is so much unknown about the future.

My Recent Trip to Costco

We used to go to Costco about twice a month to help feed my family. I have a teenage son that eats snacks all the time and can still eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We started buying all his snacks and lots of frequently used products there to save money when my boyfriend moved in a year ago.

This morning we took a trio to Costco because we thankfully go paid today, we’re both educators, and we are out of everything. It was interesting to see all the changes the store has made in light of the virus. Normally you can enter the store and walk wherever you want to start your shopping but now because of the restrictions in the check out lines the root area of the store is sectioned off so that you have to start down one aisle.  Most of the things we were looking for were easily found but seeing people walking through the store in masks and gloves is so surreal. I still can’t get used to this new normal. I hate that every time I leave the house now I feel this dread and additional stress until I’m safely back to my cocoon at home.

I don’t mind cooking every night because we did that most of the time anyway to save money. What is most bothersome is the fact that we can’t just get out freely anymore. I miss being able to wander through Target just to get out. I am doing all my shopping for my kids’ birthdays online this year which is not my usual way of doing things. I am lucky I can still shop at all because I know that many are really struggling to make ends meet but I miss the freedom that we used to have. We quickly shopped this morning so we could get back home.

I came home graded online assignments and then began contacting parents of my slacking students. I feel guilty every time I have to get in touch with parents because I know that many of them have more important things to worry about other than their kids doing work. I know as an educator I have to contact them but it is hard not to feel like a burden. I am lucky that I haven’t really had to bug my own kids about school work. My son has been surprisingly on top of it and my college age daughter is used to scheduling her time for school so I usually don’t even ask. I am super thankful that my son’s teachers aren’t having to reach out to me for lack of work. At least his district has decided how they are handling the grading for the rest of the year which means now my son has a focus. I will be glad when my district decides what they are going to do about grades.

 

New Job

So I wasn’t necessarily looking for a new job but my boyfriend convinced me to apply in his district because they had some openings that would allow me to teach Pre-Ap students rather than the lower level students I have been teaching for the last year. I have wanted to teach higher level students for a long time but I haven’t had the opportunity. I had an interview with the principal and administrators at the regular high school and although it was a good interview I didn’t hear anything from them. The same day as my first interview I also met the principal of their Early College Program. He also wanted to talk to me about a job so we set up an interview for a couple of days later. The second interview went even better than the first and the principal told me at the end of the interview that he was really interested in me. Several hours later he called me and offered me the job. I am actually really excited because it means that I will not only get to teach higher level students next year, but I will also be switching from English to History. I will now be teaching World Geography and World History. I have never taught either of these subjects but I am thoroughly excited about the new challenge.

My only concern right now is that in order to sign my new contract I have to resign from my current job. I’ll admit I have never had to do that before and I am a bit nervous about it. I think that everything will be fine but it is still a bit scary.

Graduation

So this last Sunday my oldest child graduated high school. It still hasn’t completely hit me that one of my kids doesn’t go back to high school next year or that my youngest only has two more years. I barely slept Saturday night and I was so anxious on Sunday morning that I was almost making myself sick. I was finally able to calm down after my boyfriend suggested we play a game with my mom and the kids Sunday afternoon. We had a lot of fun playing Catan and then we all got ready for graduation. I made it through graduation without crying which I thought was pretty cool. After graduation my daughter’s dad cooperated and we got some good family pictures with our kids. I am really glad my daughter has some pictures with her parents at graduation.

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My Daughter with both her parents!!

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Our original family!

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My current family with my boyfriend and my kids.

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My mom and my family.

After we were done with family pictures we took some pictures with my daughter and a few of her friends.

My daughter has really had a great group of friends over the last four years and it was really great to celebrate with a few of them after the ceremony.

The last picture I will share is actually one made by the high school during the graduation. It is a picture of my daughter looking ahead and it reminds me of all the wonderful things she has in front of her.

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One chapter ends but I can’t wait to see how the next chapter begins!!

Senior Prom

So last night was my daughter’s senior prom. This year is going by so fast and that was crazy obvious last night.  I started thinking back to my prom which was actually 26 years ago and on virtually the same weekend. When I was in high school my lesbian daughter would never have been able to go to prom with her girlfriend. I know things are still not perfect when it comes to overall acceptance but I am grateful that she was able to go to prom with someone she loves and have a good time. Another crazy thing about last night is the fact that her girlfriend wore the same dress that I wore to my senior prom 26 years ago.  It was so incredibly cool to see her wearing my dress. When I originally thought of the idea I wasn’t sure she would go for it but she did and she looked absolutely beautiful. Life is short and I consider last night a huge win for my daughter and everyone that doesn’t fit the heterosexual mode. She looked beautiful and felt great.

Here are just a few pictures that were taken last night for Prom.  As you can see they are all smiles which is the way it’s supposed to be!!

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Just for fun, here is my Senior Prom picture from 26 years ago wearing the dress!!

 

Done

I just turned in my last paper or assignment associated with my Dual Credit English Certification that I have been working on for almost two years.  I am so super excited and I can hardly believe that I am done.  Now I can actually read for pleasure and spend more time on my blog again. I can work on my IB Certification and just spend time with my man. I can fully enjoy my daughter’s graduation and her graduation party in a couple of weeks. It feels great to be able to mark another accomplishment off my list. I remember about six years ago when I first started thinking about getting my masters how scared I was. I wasn’t sure it was something I could do. I didn’t think I was smart enough or even organized enough to do it all. I am a strong believer that we do what we have too if we want it badly enough. I found the time to finish my masters and be a more which I am extremely proud of. Then a couple of years ago I decided to start my Dual Credit English Certification. Yet again I figured out how to make it all work without going insane. I am lucky because I have great kids that always encourage me and a mom that has been super supportive. Now I have this amazing man in my life that has become my biggest cheerleader. He honestly inspires me to keep going after my dreams no matter what. I love the way we do life together and I look forward to our future.