Saturday, August 25, 2012

a dream to reality...

pinned from pinterest
Last weekend of summer before I get back into routine of teaching.  Am I excited?  I would say excited like going on a roller coaster...not sure what the next turn will look like or feel like, but I am buckled in and ready for the ride.

In prep for my "ride" I have been researching new ideas, reading up on my old ideas, de-cluttering things I have had in my "classroom files" for YEARS!  So one of the sites I have been thoroughly enjoying this summer for new and fresh ideas is pinterest.  I love pinterest ( can follow me here) well, haven't found anyone who doesn't like it.  While perusing the site I saw a neat pin idea with rocks.  The pin was for a guest book idea where you have a bowl of rocks out and have your guests write their name on one and you have them out on display.  So cute.

So before I tell you what I did...let's rewind a bit and find out how my teaching all started shall we?

I have always wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember.  I had an awesome Kindergarten experience, my teacher was amazing and, well, I always loved school.  When I graduated highschool, I already knew I wanted to do something regarding helping people....either a teacher, police officer, or paramedic were my thoughts.  I took a year and did SLI (Servant Leadership Institute) which allowed me to focus in on God and what HE had planned for my life.  So onto the process of elimination...paramedic?  nope, I failed all things science, so that was not going to be an option.  Police officer?  loved the idea, but it didn't fit with what would serve me and my dreams.

I know looking back God was already setting my heart up to be a teacher, I just didn't know it fully.

During SLI, I met Kent and fell head over heels in love with the guy.  We started dating, got engaged and married all within a year...when you know, you know...and we knew, you know?  During that time I had started a 2 year Early Childhood Education course at Conestoga College.  I went into the course thinking "when I graduate I am going to teach Kindergarten somewhere!"  That was my ultimate goal.  I remember sitting in class one day about six months into the my first year.  One of the profs said "If you are in here wanting to become a Kindergarten teacher they have recently changed the policies and ECE will not be enough for you to qualify in the public system."  I actually was pretty discouraged as I thought "now what am I going to do?"  I was learning so many valuable things that were all things "kindergarten" and loving it!  I loved every course, the teachers were amazing and the people I met were pretty great too.  I did placements in daycares which gave me great practical ideas for lessons, activities etc, but it still was not a classroom.  I finished out the courses and graduated.  At the time of graduation I was six months pregnant with our firstborn.  I remember going to a couple interviews for jobs, but not a lot of people are interested in hiring someone who is going to be on maternity leave starting in September.

One night in July, Kent and I were talking about our "dreams".  "What would be your dream job?"  I remember saying "my dream job would be to be the Junior Kindergarten teacher at Koinonia Christian Academy."  At that time they already had incredible teachers in place, but I thought maybe SOMEDAY I could work there....I can dream, right?

The next day (no joke), the VERY NEXT DAY, I get a call from the principal of KCA asking if I would be interested in being the Junior Kindergarten teacher starting in September.  Two mornings a week.  As much as I wanted to yell YES, there was one slight "hiccup".  The conversation went something like this:

me:  um, that would be great, but do you know I am pregnant, due the end of August?
principal: yes, we can start the year by covering your maternity leave and YOU tell us when you would like to start.
me: ok, I will talk to Kent and I will get back to you.

I remember thinking, wow God, you knew this the whole time, setting me up, preparing my heart, each step purposed to this moment.  Things were changing around us that were opening doors for my dreams to come true.  My parents were moving close to the school and my mom was more then happy to volunteer to take the baby while I taught Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  I started January of 2001and have been teaching every year since (with about three short well planned maternity leaves).

That brings me back to my pinterest idea....

It got me thinking as I looked at the names written on those rocks.  I am going into my 13th year of teaching....yup, that's right 13 years!!!  WOW!  What if I used this idea and every stone would have a name of one of the students I have taught.  Each student I have laughed with, hugged, prayed for.

Some classes have been small, some large, some busy, some calm; but all have been me.  I know some students do not remember I was their teacher, but their teacher remembers them.

So at my front door right now I have a bowl of rocks.  Not just any rocks, each one has a name of a child who was taught by Mrs. Barnes.

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