I am a tough teacher. I tell the students I am the iron fist with a velvet glove. If you act like an adult who cares about your education...I'll be a pretzel for you. If you act like a little kid, then I will use my "momma" tactics on you...which are not entirely pleasant (just ask my kids :D). I make up for being tough by trying to be entertaining, funny and inspirational. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't--but, it works more that it doesn't...and I almost always have a good time myself delivering the material.
It isn't just the teaching I love though--it is also the community that I am a part of--that I have helped build for four years and four months. It is making sure students get the support they need. It is contributing as a Manager to help our campus and company deliver on its promises in an efficient and academically challenging way. It is helping older students learn how to use a computer. It is helping younger students catch up what they didn't learn and should've learned in high school. It is helping out in other departments and being with a team of people that I genuinely like and care about. I think this is fairly rare in today's world and I am deeply grateful that I was hired those years ago...(thanks Rich & Khaled).
Now a quick word about what I am grateful for that has manifest in this time away from the job I love:
(Disclaimer: I can't resist the use of bullet points here--so, just deal with it--the hubs wants back on the computer to complete his latest drawing)
- time to read to my kids almost every day and spend more time with them than I have in years
- naps when needed
- time to write this blog and communicate with friends and family
- time to do my physical therapy every day
- time to read LOTS of really good books
- time to watch all that stuff on the DVR that was waiting for me
- time to be still and quiet
- time to rediscover myself
- HUGE thankfulness and love to my husband for taking all the domestic burdens for months on end
- thankfulness to my Mother for hugging me when I needed huggin'
- thanks to my Papa & Grandma for praying for me everyday (and leaving one prayer for me as a voicemail that I can keep) and everyone else who has prayed, sent well wishes, good thoughts, visits, presents, words of encouragement and lots of love in these trying months
- the loss of over thirty pounds--I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS AS A DIET METHOD.
- Jenny's mixed CD's and general generosity
- developing a filing system at home (OMG)
- making a plan for the year, with doable goals for each month
- convincing the kids to forgo our vacation and send my husband home to Ireland over the summer to see his family and his beloved country
- a new appreciation for my body and what it can and cannot do--learning when to push and when to surrender
- good benefits and support from my company and supervisors during my absence
- rebooting the Brain Trust with Kari H. to teach Creative Writing again
Thanks dear readers, as ever I am grateful for you too...