Saturday, June 22, 2013

Stick With The Plan

I have to start by saying God has an amazing plan and He knows what is best!  When I left the classroom a little over a year ago, I knew I would eventually go back to teaching, just wasn't sure when.  I had taught 3rd grade for the past 7 years of my career at one of the poorest schools in my district.  Title-One School doesn't even begin to describe the challenges I faced.  There were years where desks and chairs were flying around, other years where kids were homeless, without food, or worse yet, under the influence of substances, all while in elementary school.  There had been many times I had thought about leaving, but through it all I stayed, because at the time that was God's plan for me.

Then came the 2011-2012 school year.  It.was.the.BEST.class.ever.  At the age of 8 you would expect students to be sweet and carefree, and that is what my class was.  I was able to do things with that group of kids that I had only dreamed about.  I connected with them and was able to actually enjoy teaching.  And the growth those kids experienced was out of this world!  We worked, had fun, and I loved working.  At this point, I had 1 year old twin girls at home who needed my attention and working at a high needs school, it is hard to balance family life with school life.  I began to look and pray for alternatives.

I put in a transfer to another less demanding Title One School in district, but wasn't too hopeful about moving.  Our district had closed transfers for the past 4 years, and had just opened them up.  The words Floodgates are an understatement of how many teachers put in for a transfer.  My principal began talking to me about becoming a reading teacher at a title one school.  She knew I loved guided reading and everything about reading instruction, so it seemed like a good fit.  The only problem was, it required a reading certification, which I didn't have.  I went on the interview and then waited.  After a few weeks I got a call from the director of title one saying that she couldn't offer me the reading position, but she really wanted me on her team, would I consider the Instructional Facilitator role.  I was floored.  Here is a job I didn't apply for, and had honestly not really even considered doing.  God was once again working.

I accepted the IF job and this past year has been wonderful.  Yes I have had lots of steep hills to climb, but there have also been many joys and successes to celebrate.  I was placed at a K-2 school and if you'll remember from the first paragraph, I had only taught 3rd grade!  I was perplexed at this placement, but trusted God.  I was able to really unpack the CCSS for K2 with my teams.  I also had the opportunity to teach a Kindergarten class for 2 months, something I had always said would end badly, and guess what??  Those kids are just fine!  I also spent time daily in a first grade classroom.  A first year teacher had taken over a retired teachers classroom in February, so I was asked to model frequently for her.  It was an awesome experience.  I had no clue the plans God had in store for me!

Last Tuesday, I was reading over the new Admin appointments and noticed that 2 teachers from the elementary school I attended were now moving into AP roles.  The school already had one teacher position open, so this meant they now had 3!  This is a school that NEVER has openings, teachers basically die there!  I began to get a crazy feeling, thanks God, and decided to do some detective work.  I had a friend find out if theses openings were really available, you know how the teaching world is!  Once I got word they were real, I called the principal Wednesday morning.  We chatted and she asked if I was even eligible for a transfer, I hadn't put in for one, because this wasn't even a possibility last week.  I set up an interview for 3:30 that day and told her I would find out if I was eligible to transfer.

I decided I would not call HR at first because I wanted to keep this quiet.  I tried to call some others in similar positions who had done a move like this, but couldn't get them on the phone.  I finally called HR and was told to contact my supervisor.  Shot Down.  Well that was it, I would just remain an IF and it would be great.  15 minutes later I get a call from HR.  She asked if I was interested in moving back into a classroom, I said yes, she said I needed to send my cover letter and resume to the principal.  Was this happening!!!!  I could actually apply for a position at the school that has been my dream since college!

The interview went great, and at 7:45 Thursday morning, I had an email from the principal to call her.  I called at 7:48...what can I say, waiting is not my strength!  She offered me a 1st grade position!!!!  I was speechless!  My lifelong career dream was coming true!  My role as an IF at the K-2 school had prepared me for this job!!  I would NEVER have felt confident to teach 1st if it had not been for those teachers and the experiences I had there.  I am teaching in my old 2nd grade classroom, so the memories came flooding back.
If I had not trusted God's plan for me, I wouldn't be planning to start my 10th year teaching at my dream school!!!  I am living out everything I ever wanted, and God knew it would happen.  I just had to stick with the plan.  I would not trade my years at the title one school for anything, it made me who I am as a teacher.

Check back to see what I'm planning on in my FIRST GRADE CLASSROOM!!!

17 comments:

  1. God is SOOO GOOD! I can also look back and see how His hand has been guiding me through all these years, preparing me, molding me. It's always better when He is in charge. :)

    Emily

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    1. It's amazing when we trust Him!!!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer! I'm now following you :D I need lots of first grade pointers!

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  3. What a story! I am so excited for you! We are totally switching roles because I am becoming an IF and you are going back into the classroom. I hope my IF experience is as great as yours! Hope you are having a super summer!

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    Replies
    1. You are going to love it and do a phenomenal job! I am just a email away if you need anything :D

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  4. What an inspiring story! God has a plan! Looks like you so totally have it together because of your faith! I am sooo happy you are where you are! I look forward to following you! I'm new to the blog scene so drop by my blog sometime too! I have twin boys and being a twin mom is amazing, isn't it! Again, can't wait to stop by again!

    Polly
    Teaching with Twins!

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    Replies
    1. I love finding other twin moms!!! Following along on your journey now!

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  5. Congratulations. God is good. I love to see stories like this where people have trusted in his plan and everything worked out in HIS timing :) Gives me chills. You will do awesome in 1st :)

    Heidi
    My (Not So) Elementary Life

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Heidi!!! I am so excited to be in HIS will and what is going to happen with this!

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  6. Congratulations. I am excited for you!! I was a 3rd grade teacher for the last 9 years at a Title 1 school much like the one you described and this year I am moving to 1st grade as well (at the same school) I look forward to reading all about your first grade adventures!!
    Heather
    Kickin' It With Class

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    Replies
    1. Yay! I am excited to have a 'twin' do this journey with me!! We can help each other out!

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  7. Congrats Elisabeth! God does wonderful things when you least expect it! You will love first grade!! I just recently accepted a job as a Kindergarten teacher in China (I felt that God was calling me over there to teach)! So happy to hear your news and I hope you can stop by to read about mine! :)

    Andrea
    Cheers To School

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  8. I enjoyed reading your story. I am in NC too - Vance County. I'd love to know where you are.
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

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  9. So excited for you Elisabeth! I love seeing how He moves!! :)

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  10. Congratulations! I am so happy for you. I will miss having you right next door, but look forward to still seeing you often :-)

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  11. Congratulations! I love first grade!! I just got my dream job this year, too!! I'm a big believer in 'everything happens for a reason.' When I moved back to my hometown last year, I was so excited for my new job at a private school. I ended up hating pretty much everything about it. It was a rough year for me personally and professionally. I just kept thinking, "How could I have been so wrong about this job?" But this year I was hired for my dream job at one of the best public schools in the district, and I know that everything in my career has worked out for me to end up here. This position wasn't open last year, so if I had gone to the public schools, I wouldn't have gotten this job I'm so excited for! I hope that makes sense! :)

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