Friday, August 28, 2009


My first full week of school ended with a bang. It had been a good day to cap off a great week. My birthday went well on Wednesday with Mrs. Bakers class making me a nice card and some much needed chocolate, Mrs. Martinek's class coming in to give me a special birthday poem and treats, Mr. C's class also came in and sang to me, he gave me a treat and also gave a treat to each of my students.

I also felt like about half the school came up to me and told me happy birthday. Kids I didn't even know walked up to me and told me happy birthday. A group of my girls from last year give me half of their cookie from lunch... I can't even list all of the nice things! That night when I got home we had a big party at my apartment complex which included food, a dance party, and a pool party.

Here I thought I had the best birthday in a long time when the next day at lunch I went to walk into my room. A mother and three of my kids were putting punch and cupcakes on all of the desks, they also gave me a gift card. When the lunch bell rang we had a belated birthday party for me. I felt like I was on top of the world, that is until two more mothers came in during recess an hour later with a giant Costco cake, now I really was on top of the world. They also felt bad that they hadn't been able to do something the day before. So when the kids came in from recess we had another unbirthday party. My kids seemed to think that every time they sung me Happy Birthday I got a year older, I believe I am up to at least 30 now.

That night I got a text from my friend saying that a group of us were going to Pirate Island. It is a new pirate themed pizza restaurant that my friend Sarah works at. It was way cool! They sung me happy birthday there as well, I got free ice cream! We ate a pizza that was so big that six of us could not finish it. It was delicious!

Today I had another girl bring in cookies, I wonder how long we can stretch this out? School ended and I was excited to start the weekend. I was really tired from waking up earlier and just running around crazy all week. I planned on hurrying home, eating something really quick, then jumping into bed for a nap. I was hoping that way I could have some more energy to play all night. My car though, had another plan.

It decided that I needed a little more excitement. As I entered the freeway I noticed there was a loud noise coming from the back side of my car. I thought, oh no, not a flat tire. I had never had one before so I wasn't quite sure. The car was driving fine so I figured I would get off the next exit. The noise stopped and so I thought that maybe nothing happened. Once I passed that exit the noise started again and I could tell that the car was not performing like it should. I decided I could make it to the next exit and continued to drive. After I excited I planned on making it to the first gas station but all of a sudden I heard a loud bang and I knew that it was no longer flat, I knew I would have to stop immediately.

There was a convenient place to pull over and so I got my car over to the side. I had never actually changed a tire, as I had never had a flat before to fix. I figured I had enough common sense to do so, but then I remembered that I had free road side assistance with my insurance. I figured if I have this feature why spend the time when someone else could. I called them up and sat in the back of my car and graded papers until they could get there, good thing I actually brought some work home with me today!

A few minutes later a lady walked up to my window and asked if I needed help, she said her husband was a mechanic. I said, sure that would be great, within one minute the tire was off, my spare tire was on and I was on my way. I love that there are so many amazing people like that!

I really lucked out that I made it that far, that it died at a spot that had a nice place to pull off and that someone was willing to help out someone in need. I didn't get home as fast as I had planned, but I was never stressed out over the situation. I knew everything would work out and it did. I have always had that confidence about life, it takes a lot to really get me down.

I have so many amazing friends and people that are looking out for me. I don't know why I am so blessed, but I'm not going to complain. It's been a good week and it ended with a bang! Bring it on weekend, bring it on.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Second Chance

This is my last week of summer. As sad as it is to come to that realization, I am ready to get going again. This past year was, by far, the hardest year of my life. Not only with being a first year teacher, but elders quorum president, relationships and everything else. It was also a great year, don't get me wrong, but it was very hard.

I am very excited to take what I learned from my first year of teaching and keep improving every day. I feel much more prepared this year. I have a lot more confidence and many great people around me that I can call my friends. This was not how I felt last year, especially a few months in.

I came in with high expectations, I have always excelled in the things that I do. When compared to my peers I was always right there with them or above. I scored in the top 15% on the Praxis without studying one minute, I had great reviews from student teaching and I was totally confident that I was going to be a great teacher. I have never really failed at anything or felt like I was not good at something.

Unfortunately, I was no longer among my peers when I started teaching. On my team I was the youngest, the only male, and the only one without children. So they all had a lot more experience working with children and teaching and life in general.

I didn’t feel like I could relate to anyone else at my school. I felt alone, I didn't know what I was doing, and all I heard was what I needed to do better, no, different. I tried hard, and I felt like I was a quick learner, but I honestly did have a long way to go. I officially was not great at something.

There were times where I just felt like I made a big mistake going into teaching, I was not good at it, I was ready to quit. I actually remember one night, thinking tomorrow I am going to tell them I quit. Of course, luckily, I didn’t. (I don’t know what I would have done, there was nothing else I wanted to do, I love teaching) I honestly thought they would have been glad if I did though.

I still don’t feel like I really “fit in” at school. I am still the only young single guy, but I can truly say that some of my best friends are teachers at Freedom Elementary. I don’t know how many times I went next door and talked to Stevie, or Dana. I also feel like I became good friends with the third grade team and several others. If I need someone to talk to I know so many people have my back. Our administration was so helpful as well, especially when we would have classes and they would teach us and tell us what they expected. Just like my students sometimes I needed to be taught as well.

Sometimes we all just need a second chance. No matter what I hear about my students I am about to get, I don’t worry about it. They get a second chance with me. I am glad I get a second chance, or year to be a teacher. I am confident, positive, and ready to excel. Hopefully this year it’s justified. Bring it on, i'm ready!