This blog has lay dormant for years. I’ve occasionally checked in, and read through some old entries. Every once in a great while I would set an email saying someone had commented, only to find that it was bots who left copypasta comments about websites that no doubt led to viruses.
The silence was both intentional and not. I had a lot to say in the two years since I updated, but even though I had this platform, it felt unsteady, and I was afraid to put my words to paper- or screen. A lot has changed in two years. I no longer work in Philadelphia, or in a parochial school. I moved to Las Vegas in August of 2015, and I have been here ever since, at one of the largest high schools in Nevada. I love it, and I love the challenges of a diverse population, of dealing with the bureaucracy that public education brings, and being a figure in my community that my students look up to. Well- most of the time. J
I started this blog as a first year teacher- wide eyed and scared as I embarked upon a year of living on the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation. The year I spent there literally changed my perspective on how I saw life and how I saw myself in the classroom. My heart still hurts that I had to leave after that year because I loved what I did, the community where I lived, and the school and students I grew quickly to love.
When I made the decision to leave, I joined the Alliance for Catholic Education as an English teacher and spent two years in school in North Philadelphia. This placement challenged what I knew about education, what I knew about my Catholic faith, and what I knew about the people I called coworkers. I blogged through my first year there, still idealistic and hopeful, still full of a youthful energy of a recent college graduate even as I began my grad school courses.
I stopped writing my second year there.
I began to feel the burnout. I began to see the façade behind some educational policies and how people were treated. My heart hurt as I saw the career I had envisioned for myself since the third grade being dumped on constantly, from both outside and inside forces. It was a slow burn, and one that I am not quite ready to talk about. I saw this blog as a way to share my joys and frustrations- the titles taken from wise words of women of faith. There is a ton of stuff I wish I had recorded, and maybe I will take you down a memory lane of sorts- because there were joys mingled amongst the sorrows. There were highlights that made the bad days look good.
I am in a much better place now. It took a lot of courage to pick up and pack up my life to move to Nevada. I miss my friends and family back East. I gave up a lot to chase a new adventure. I missed the death of my Pop Pop in December of last year, as well as the passing of our beloved cat of 19 years. But, I fell in love with teaching again. That was important.
My first year here in Vegas, I wanted to open this blog again. I wanted to write about the challenges and excitement of a new city, a new breath of air in my career, But I was still afraid that I would fall out of love again. I wanted to give myself a year so if it failed, I wouldn’t have a recorded memory of being hurt again. And last year wasn’t easy. I cried a lot last year. A lot of time in my apartment, sometimes in my boss’ office, and sometimes after I had locked the door after the last kid left for the day.
But I also laughed a lot. I met coworkers who mean a lot to me. I got to teach new and exciting courses that challenged me as a teacher and a coworker. I coached track again and saw what kids can really do when they put their mind to it.
I leased my first apartment by myself.
I made an actual paycheck.
I got health insurance.
I have a retirement plan.
This year I leased a bigger, better apartment.
I got a car.
I adopted the best kitty cat a person could ever ask for.
I’m one class away from my TESL endorsement.
I’m happy, and
I love teaching again.