Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Catching Up on Lessons Learned

I completely fell off the face of the earth these past few months. There was so much going on and so many things that absolutely had to get done, that nearly all of my favorite leisure-time activities fell by the wayside, including my TV must-sees, reading, and writing this blog.

And, truth be told, I'm completely OK with it.

This quarter was the craziest, most stressful, happiest, hardest, and most fun 3 months of my life. And I loved every second of it. 

The highlights include student teaching, enjoying the final weeks with best friends at the best school in the country, landing my dream job, and GRADUATING!!!

Although I would love to give a play-by-play of all the amazing things that went down this quarter, that would be exhausting, and honestly who wants to read (or write) all that. Not me. So, I'll sum things up nice and orderly for ya. I did a lot of teaching this quarter, and my students did a lot of learning. Ultimately though, I think that I was the one who learned the most. I learned big things. Big, important, grown-up things.

1) I am a teacher.
       I just am. There is nothing else in the whole world I could see myself doing. This quarter's student teaching confirmed that for me. I was busier than a bee and stressed to my limit, but everyday, I left that school feeling fulfilled and energized. I talked non-stop about my students and classes- so much so that my roommates had to give me a school-reference limit. The comments and compliments that I got from both of my cooperating instructors (whom I loved and will miss) and the fact that I was able to get my ideal job for next year, are even more confirmation that this is just what I am supposed to be doing.
Spanish 2 getting down with some flamenco!
Geometry doing some word problem review.
2) I owe my dad big time.
     This dream job I keep referring to? Yea well I can thank pops for that one. I have been hired to teach Spanish at a great school district about an hour from my parents house. It is literally my dream position, and I have Dad to thank for all of it. He pushed me to get the double Spanish/Math license, which I know is what gave me the edge over my competition. He listened to me complain in countless phone calls about all the extra stress I had because of the double major.
       After I got this job, Dad found me an amazing apartment (because I couldn't get there with student teaching) in the perfect area close-but-not-too-close to the school, did the paperwork, and is going to help me move. He is a super hero, and my best friend, and I don't know where I would be with out him.

Proud Moms and Pops at my graduation.

3) There are more important things.
     My focus this quarter was to be a kick a$$ student teacher. Most of the time I was working on or thinking about school, and for the first time in a long time, not obsessing about what I was eating, if I had worked out, and how much I weighed. My students' success in my classes was of upmost importance, and any free time I had was spent hanging out with the friends I only had limited time left with.
      I stayed organized, planned awesome lessons, kept up with grading, took some new group fitness classes for fun, went out and drank too much, indulged more than normal and didn't get enough sleep. And, you know what? I didn't die. My world didn't explode, and I really didn't gain all that much weight, and what I did gain, I didn't really care about. There wasn't time or energy to do so. I have never been happier. It seems small, but this is huge. I am hanging on to this perspective and not letting it slip away from me now that my schedule has cleared for the summer.
Last dinner at my favorite restaurant in the whole world, Casa Nueva. Beyond delicious- both the food that the house margs.

4) I am ready.
    Truth be told, I am terrified about the future. Moving to a new city by myself. Starting a new career where I have to positively impact the lives of my students. Not having the comfort of Athens and my college family that have been with me through all of the hardships over the past couple of years.

It's petrifying.

    I know now, after all the ups and downs of this year, after surprising myself with my resilience and my teaching abilities, and after seeing all of the support I have from both family and friends, that I can do this. Not only, can I do this, I will knock it out of the park. Let's go, world. Bring on those obstacles!

Here's to a great end of college, and an even better time to come!
~ Rach

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