Friday, February 27, 2009

Back to the Classroom I Go!

So I'm heading "back to the classroom" on Monday...but not as a student this time! I was activated today to be a substitute teacher for the Duval County Public School System. I signed up under an educational staffing agency, and wow, there was a LOT of paperwork involved...but considering the fact that you're working with youth I understand the need to be thorough. My background check was the only thing we were still waiting for, which isn't a shock because those take time. The approval came through today, and I got the call around 3 p.m. that I could begin accepting assignments!

I'm pretty excited about this opportunity. I had debated majoring in Education in college, but I felt like Public Relations was a better fit for me and earned my degree through the College of Journalism & Communications. I don't regret the decision I made, because my PR experience was a great one, too. Now that I'm in a different chapter in my life, I feel like working in schools would be a challenge I will enjoy. By being a substitute teacher I also have more flexibility in my schedule, and if there are specific days where I really need to be home with the kids I can do that by just blocking them on my schedule. My mom is going to help me by watching the kids on the days that I have assignments, so that's a blessing in itself...even at three, childcare for two kids costs a small fortune!

When I got home this afternoon I logged on to the scheduling module we were taught to use at orientation earlier this week. I am currently scheduled for my first assignment this coming Monday. It'll only be a half-day schedule, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:10 p.m., but I think it's a good way to get my feet wet for a first day. I'm covering a high-school level Language Arts class, and I'm sure I'll blog about my experience sometime next week to let everyone know how it goes!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cleaning House

OK, I'll admit it. We've got a "stuff" issue. We have lots of "stuff" that we've accumulated over the years, and only so much house to hold it. We're hoping to wait til April to get rid of a lot of it because my parents' neighborhood does a community sale twice a year...and that's the next one...but I don't know how long the house can hold up. I could swear I've heard groaning of the foundation...especially from the spare room/office/junk room, which is slated to become Jeremy's bedroom down the road when the kids aren't sharing space anymore. And don't even get me started on the garage...I don't recall how long it's been since I've actually parked a car in it.

We're not total slobs, but we're also not "meticulously neat" people by nature, and I've always seen clutter as a sign of a life that's being lived. If I stopped to pick up the toys that are strewn across the living room every time they drove me nuts, I'd be in a padded room before the day was through. The kids are learning (slowly, but still learning) to help clean up. But there's something about a three-year-old's mind that causes severe distraction whenever a toy is picked up to be put away. It's like a synapse just fails to make the connection...and that toy must be played with. Megan has very mild OCD tendencies that we actually crack up about on a daily basis, and she likes things to have a sense of order for the most part. But she's more likely to line up her toys by size and color than to actually put them away without repeated prompting. And Jeremy...bless his little heart, I asked him to put away his cars the other day, went into the garage for a split second to change the laundry out from washer to dryer and when I got back inside he was trying to figure out how to get his shoes on the right feet. He has the best of intentions, but it's almost like a little voice stopped him as he started to tidy up his Hot Wheels..."psst...put the cars are so much more fun!"

And I'm just as guilty...I'll start cleaning the kitchen up, reorganizing the pantry or whatever. Somehow I end up putting laundry away in my room instead. Not sure how that happens. I'll tell Steve, "Tomorrow I'm going to get the office organized," and when he gets home he finds me doing a complete overhaul of the kids' bedroom. Hmmm. I guess I know where the kids get it from. :)

I'm going to start working on downsizing my "stuff." I think I have a bag of stuffed animals that hasn't been opened since we moved into this house (ahem, seven years ago). But it's hard to get rid of things that have sentimental meanings, even if you're not opposed to storing them in a plastic shopping bag for seven years! I'll get there eventually. I just hope the foundation and general structure of the house doesn't give out in the meantime!

Happy belated Valentine's Day to everyone...can you believe we're already halfway through February?