Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer: Day 63 -- Contentment

Tuesday August 2, 2011

Today was a preschool day for me. As funny as it may sound since I have been employed by the school district for almost 1 year now, I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I am no longer a full-time preschool teacher. I know, it's crazy. It's not like I haven't had months & months & months to figure this out. But somehow, in the past week or two it's hit me.

I'm being reminded of all the things that make teaching preschool hard. This morning, for example, I woke up praying that one or two of the kids would be absent. You know, maybe their family could go on a vacation. I don't want them to be sick or anything, but a trip to see Grandma would be nice, right? And although the state is in a horrible drought right now, I find myself begging God that if He's going to send rain, He should hold off til the weekend so that I don't have to worry about skipping recess and having to come up with "rainy day games" in the classroom (because Lord knows the kids need some outside time to run off their energy). And I find myself watching the clock....looking forward to the time the moms will arrive to pick up their kids.

Don't get me wrong. I still love the kids and if the preschool could 'afford' me, I'd go back in a heartbeat. I miss forming those relationships with the kids & their parents. I miss making chair and cubby tags. I miss writing out a lesson plan each week & trying to find new things to expose the kids to and seeing their little eyes twinkle when they discover something new. I miss all those hugs & sweet little pictures they draw for me to hang up in the classroom on display. I miss all the things that I did year after year because they were always big hits with the kids. And I miss finding new things to replace the activities that bombed the year before. I miss (weird as it sounds...) wiping noses and pulling hair back up into a ponytail and zipping 8 coats & helping 8 little sets of hands find where to put their fingers in their gloves and cheering for potty successes. I miss flipping through Mailbox magazine for new ideas. I miss curriculum meetings and preschool workshops with fun & exciting speakers like the Ooey Gooey Lady (click her name & watch some of her videos....she's a hoot and she is GOOD at what she does). These are a couple of my favorites. You may have to turn up your volume to hear them well.

But I'm not a preschool teacher anymore. And I'm finding that I am okay with that.

I miss it like CRAZY, but I enjoy my new job too. I like dressing up (at least a little bit) and fixing my hair and wearing jewelry and never having to worry about getting paint on my new pants. I like being able to talk with grown ups (and near-grown ups -- teen students). I like my hours. I like having time to go to the gym in the mornings and come home to shower and enjoy my quiet time with God. I like working with papers & numbers & computers and such. I like watching the kids succeed & graduate. I still find myself tearing up every time one of them puts on the cap & gown to take pictures while the other students clap & cheer.

One day I may find myself moving back into the preschool world. I may be creating ponds in plastic storage tubs with floating lilypads and ping pong ball "eggs". I may be making playdough & ooblik & slime with the kids. I may be leading a group of them to the playground for an Easter egg hunt again one day. I may find myself teaching fingerplays and singing silly songs year-round. I may find myself praying for little Johnny to get the chicken pox or go on an extended vacation. (grin!)

But for now, that's not part of my world. And I'm finding that I am okay with it.

Philippians 4:11-13
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

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