Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ready...or Not

This is my freezer.

I've got homemade burritos, sauces with and without meatballs, enchiladas, pasta bakes...all kinds of good stuff. I guess you could call it the food storage I'd go for first in an emergency, but right now I think of it more as our cache of food I've prepared for those days I'm just too worn out to cook. My freezer is ready. Ready for what?

Well, school starts tomorrow. It will be my tenth first day of school as a teacher. Yes, tenth. My classroom is put together and organized, name tags are on desks, and I'm ready to greet eighteen little darlings in the morning. I hear that some of them actually aren't so darling, but hopefully, in time, I can help to change that, at least when they're with me. For the second time in three years I spent the entire summer thinking I was teaching fifth grade. Yet another miracle came my way just a week ago, and I returned to my favorite age of kids. In times like this I should (and am, really) just be grateful for a job, but a third grade job makes me smile a lot more than fifth.

And yet, I can say with absolute certainty, while structurally everything is ready, I am not so much. You see, this summer I fell in love with being a stay at home wife. I loved taking care of our home and yard. Being available to help friends and church members at any time of the day was just a treat! I definitely stayed busy, but it was busy on a schedule I created, instead of teaching all day and trying to fit everything else in as well. It's hard to fully describe the feelings I had, but I realized more than ever, that our home and family are who I want to work for most. I can't thank Nate enough for encouraging me (and basically deciding for me) to not work this summer. More than anyone, he saw how challenging last year was from a personal and medical perspective and he knew what I needed even better than I did.
Can I be honest? It's been a bit of a challenge resetting my reality for this year. Last Spring I thought I'd only be teaching until November. There were other things on the horizon. Things are different now. But different isn't altogether bad. It's just, well, different.

I am quite sure that there's a reason these kids and I are supposed to be together -- for the whole year. Third grade is fun; I love seeing those little eyes light up and get excited about learning. I'm a little nervous for the wild card kids and how life outside of school will affect how well I function as a teacher, but all of that will work itself out. It did last year, and that gives me confidence that I'm capable of handling it all again. So I guess it doesn't really matter if I'm ready or not. Tomorrow is right around the corner, and I get to choose how to handle it. It's probably best if I tackle it with excitement, humor and hard work...and maybe a little bravery for good measure. :-)

10 comments:

The Smith Fam in Kansas said...

I love your freezer! I am getting ready to make peach freezer jam so excited to stock my freezer with it. Anyway you will do great this school year... you are a great teacher and I have never seen you teach but with your organization skills and ability to love ... I just know. Anyway I wish you were in Kansas and you could be Kyler's third grade teacher next year. Oh well- Have a great first week :)

christina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Bradford Bunch said...

Sean is starting third grade tomorrow and I just hope his new teacher will be as wonderful as you. Too bad you aren't his teacher. By the way... I love the freezer... that's AWESOME! If you have any leftover you know where to find me. :)

swedish fish said...

Your freezer is impressive. Have a great first day. I'll be thinking about you. I've been experiencing "back to school anxiety" this last week and don't know why, my nest is empty. Maybe it's the fact that we have so many teachers in our family. Those kids are lucky to have a teacher like you. Go get um girl.

Melody said...

I wish my freezer looked like that! Dianna, this is old news, but you are amazing. I am so happy for you that you got to stay in 3rd grade. My mom teaches 3rd grade in the same district and doesn't ever want to teach another grade either. :) I hope you get a classroom full of darlings.

christina said...

Okay, so that deleted comment up there...that was me. I was typing it out and wasn't ready to put it on yet when ryan handed me the baby and it published! So, I am starting over!! So, it went something like this....Wow. I can't believe that freezer. It looks amazing. I remember doing freezer meals last year for those times I didn't feel like cooking..and well, I guess I didn't feel like cooking quite often because they only lasted us a couple weeks! I'm so glad your good husband made you take the summer off. It sounds like it was rejuvenating. I can't wait to hear about how your first day goes. Auburn started the third grade. I can see why you would prefer it over fifth grade. Third graders idolize their teachers, want to please, want to learn and participate, and say the cutest things becuase they are so smart! Maybe you'll have to keep a little notebook in your desk for those occasions when a student says something profound...or not so profound! Have a great first day! (Sorry i took so much comment space.)

Timothy and Nicole said...

I LOVE and ADMIRE you, and hope you've had a good first two days.

L McD said...

Wow, Dianna, Great looking freezer. You take after your "Momma". I remember her doing things like that before school was to start. Way to go. Since Kris and family will be taking care of our home when we leave on our mission, I told her the freezer contents and cupboards were all her's. She probably wishes it looked like your's. Oh well. You will have a great year. Love you. L.

Patti said...

I am impressed with how organized you are wow!!! I wish I had a freezer full of meals already prepared. you sound like an awesome teacher and those kids who get you will be lucky to have you as their teacher!! good luck to you and I hope you have a great year.

Ellen said...

How exciting to be able to teach third grade. I absolutely loved both of my daughter's third grade teachers. They were wonderful. If we lived near you I would request that they have you as their teacher.

Good luck with the new year and the new students. I bet you will do great!!!