Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Symptom: Facing Challenges

Let me preface this by saying this post isn't about book challenges, it's about career and personal challenges. I've been struggling this school year with balancing what I need (and want) to do for my career and what I need to do for my family. 

You see, I'm a mom like many of you out there and I happen to be a mom to Adam and Emily, 10 year old twins who just finished fourth grade. Adam has Asperger's Syndrome that was diagnosed during the summer between second and third grade. We worked like crazy during third grade with twice a week private therapy to get him to a much, much better place, but he still struggles with processing issues (the transferring of thoughts to writing - he's a superstar if everything is done orally) . Emily has always done well, but the switch from a standards-based report card to numerical grades threw her for a loop. Her self-confidence plummeted early in the school year. Throw in extra projects and homework in multiple subject areas and well, let's just say that evenings at our house weren't exactly pleasant. 

Every day I'd leave my school, drive 30-50 minutes (depending on traffic and if I was able to leave "on time" or after a meeting) to pick them up from ASP. They would be in ASP for about two hours each day. Is the guilt and heartache coming through yet? Then if it was a night with an activity (piano, allergy shots, scouts) we'd run home, grab a snack or fast food and eat while driving to the activity. There were several nights a week that we weren't home until 7:30 or 8:00. Oh, did I mention that about 85% of the time homework hadn't been completed yet? Yep, that's right. Bedtime kept getting pushed back and cranky children (and cranky mom) would appear the next morning. I forgot to mention that I work in a different school district than my children, so we have two different school calendars that don't coordinate. 

This year all of my working mother dilemmas seemed to weigh more heavily on me. It's been nagging at me, keeping me in a constant state of stress. The prescription for all this seems simple right? Just change jobs to one in my children's school district. But here's the problem - I love my school. Truly. Love, love, love it. It's honestly the best school I've ever worked at and that made me ignore that simple option for four years, until a month ago.

What happened in April? I found out a media specialist was retiring. I have a friend who has twins in third grade at the school and she loves it. The school is in the same district as my children and with traffic, my commute would be five minutes. Yes, you read that right, FIVE MINUTES! I realized that as a media specialist, leaving a media program that I was finally getting to the "sweet spot" would be ridiculous BUT as a mom, not going for this job would be even more ridiculous. It was time to do what my family needed, not what I wanted. It hurt a little just filling out the application. I felt like I was betraying my colleagues. Yes, I really do love them that much. 

Long story short, I got the job! I found out just over two weeks ago, which accounts for my lack of blog posts this month. I've been frantically trying to wrap up things and put them in a state that my replacement could understand. I just found out today that my replacement has been hired and I'll meet with her tomorrow. And yes, everything is ready to go for her. 

I'll also be meeting with the media specialist I'm replacing next week. Stay tuned for plenty of posts about how I take over a media program from someone who has been there for 20 years, and what I am doing with all that newly found free time. Personally, I'm planning on spending some extra, relaxed time with my children and husband and career wise, I'm hoping to finally add items to my TPT store to help you out along the way too. 

When you're facing your own challenges, here's my prescription for you: 

  • Don't give up
  • Enlist help (I know it's difficult, but do it!)
  • Be creative in your solution
  • Be brave enough to follow through with a solution

Wishing you health and happiness,
P.S. I am happy to report that both Adam and Emily successfully completed fourth grade and are excited about entering fifth grade. In fact, the evening of their last day of school they were saying how they missed it already!  

No comments:

Post a Comment