Friday, September 29, 2017

I am still alive....really....I am...

You. Guys.

The Tired Supergirl blog has been dark for almost two months.


I am officially an 8th grade Lit & Writing teacher with a desk and mail slot
with my name on it.

I would be lying to say that the transition for me or my family has been
without some bumps along the way.
(By bumps, I mean mountain ranges of change to be traversed.)
In fact, I am just going to say, in advance,
that this will be a YEAR LONG TRANSITION.

I haven't even had to face my first field trip or go to speech meet.
There are many hurdles to jump in the coming year....a lot of stretching ahead.

But I will say this....
I am thinking give me a year or two and I am going to love this gig.
Because first of all, I love kids and I love books and I love writing.
And I love to laugh. And teaching involves all of the above.
So there you go.

Secondly, I never realized that teaching was kind of like being a mom...
except with grades. There is a certain amount of sadness that has filled me
when I realize that with each assignment I give my students...
I am also giving myself an assignment to grade.

I was talking to my friend, Crystal, who teaches 7th grade,
and I said, " the never ends!"
And she said, "Yes....just like laundry."

That brought me down, folks.

There have been a few awkward teaching moments...
like the one where a student informed me that my pants were unzipped mid-sentence...
followed by the one where a student informed me that I had food in my teeth...

But I just let them know, "You guys, this is not the last awkward thing that will happen
this year.  Awkward is my specialty."

I also told them, "Hey, anyone who has back and helps me in those awkward moments
will be rewarded."
I am not above bribery.

I think they might be looking forward to those times.

But there are these moments when I see a student's eyes light up with understanding
and I think, "This is so cool!"

Even more cool? I am learning new things like crazy.
My brain might explode because there is SO MUCH I don't know about teaching.

 I asked the kids,
"Did you know that your teachers study every night just like you?
They looked at me in confusion.
"Who here thinks that we sit on the couch and eat bonbons every night?"
Most of the kids raised their hands.
Bonbons would definitely be preferable to grading...that is for sure.

The added bonus of my new career path is that my boys come
and pop their head in the door and say, "Hi, Mom!"
God has given me a job where I get to actually see my kids, their joy, their friends,
and their journey.

Could I ask for anything more?
Nope. I couldn't.

This wasn't the journey I had planned for myself...for sure.
My friend, Jane, said that my next book should be titled, The Accidental Teacher.
It has a nice ring to it.

I will keep you posted on how it is going...
after I finish grading things....maybe check back in in June.

Monday, August 7, 2017

turning a new page (with some tears & coffee)

Yesterday we made our way back from a fantastic family vacation in San Diego
to our home in the Bay Area.
Today I begin my new job as as a Lit and Creative Writing Teacher.
My first 40 hour a week job since Jack was born sixteen years ago.
(Don't try and do the math...I am still super young. I promise.)

Scott and I were riding in the front of the van and talking about Addie
who had developed a bad case of hives the last day of our vacation.
The Benadryl wasn't working and he would need to go in to the doctor.
Scott asked me to make the appointment for Monday.

And then the tears began streaming down my face.

Scott looked at me like "What in the World???!!!!"
(He should know by now there does not have to be any warning for tears.)
And Jack, who was listening in on the conversation said, "Mom, what's wrong?"
I couldn't talk. I told Scott to turn the music up.
Scott said, "Sue, you have to tell us what is going on."

Mid-blubber, I told him, "I am the one who takes Addie to appointments.
I am realizing I am not going to be able to do those things anymore."

Since Scott works from home and has a more flexible schedule,
he is going to be taking on some new roles
of caregiver and grocery shopper and taker to all appointments.
This new opportunity is changing things up for all of us.
He is being a rock star taking it all on. Me? Not so much.

I wiped my face and said, "This wasn't the plan."
My plan: Work from home until the last kid flew off to college....
attend as many field trips as the picker upper from school...
be the nurse on sick days...mostly, be all the things my mom was to me.

My plan was staying at home.

Jack leaned up and said, "Well, Mom, this is God's plan and you are going to do great."

That unleashed a new flood of tears.

"I am just used to being the one who helps you boys with everything.
I have loved that part of being a mom."

Jack said, "Mom, you are going to help our family in a different way now."

More tears because:
1. When did this kid become so calm and wise? He was wiping me out!
2. I am closing the door on this stay at home mom season and stepping into a new one.

I should have known I would have a break down or seven before rejoining the workforce.
It is how I respond. (Pray heavy for Scott!)

For me, there are moments of grief that accompany the joys and excitement of change.
I have loved being able to be at home with my boys.
I wouldn't change it for a minute.
And, despite the sweatiness, I know I am going to love being a teacher.
I can feel it already.

So today feels like that moment when Scott and I dropped Addie off at kindergarten.
Our last child officially in school.
Scott had to pry me from the kindergarten room window where I was lingering like a stalker.
I bawled all the way to the car.
And then the reality hit that I had a whole day in front of me to do whatever I wanted to do.
SoI wiped my tears with a grin and said, "Let's go get coffee."
It was a whole new world opening up in front of me.
It needed to celebrated.

So this morning, I am drinking a cup of coffee before I go off to my first day of school.
God keeps surprising us with His plans, doesn't He?
I don't want to miss out.

There are very few moments where you can actually look back and say,
"This is a moment where I turned a new page in my life. New story. New scene. New players."
This is one of those for me.
So I am raising my coffee cup to you this morning.
Celebrate with me. (Or cry with me...I'm good with either one.)
Here is to a new season. To changing it up. To making a lunch...for me this time around.


Monday, July 17, 2017

please take your seats and call me mrs. aughtmon

It is less than four weeks until I am officially a middle school teacher.
I am laughing out loud as I type this.
Not because it's funny.
It's more like that high hysterical hyena laughter of nervousness.

I haven't faced a life change this big since...
I can't remember...because my memory is shot after having three children.
So it is probably since having the three children.

I have been scribbling ideas for books and projects.
Reading young adult lit. Pouring over lesson plans.
Meeting with teacher friends. Begging for their help and insight.
Sending strongly worded texts to my girlfriends: PRAY HEAVY.
Reading teaching books...Ron Clark's Essential 55. This I love.
The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher by Harry Wong.
This makes me feel a little sick to my stomach. (

This afternoon I am meeting again with my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Cox.
She tells me to call her Marney. But in my heart, she will always be Mrs. Cox.
Best. Teacher. Ever.
She is setting my feet firmly on the path of teacher wisdom

Be firm.
Set boundaries.
Have routines.
Share procedures.
Be prepared.
But be ready to improvise. Because teaching is fluid.

Last meeting I told her, "I have a lot to learn."
She said, "Keeping thinking that. The teacher who thinks they know it all is finished."
I am far from finished. I am just beginning.

And on a practical note, I am realizing that I need to buy more pants.
Because I live in jeans. Literally.
I have worn some type of jean almost every day for the past 16 years.
Even to church. Even to my speaking engagements. Nice jeans...but jeans.
What do people EVEN WEAR when jeans are not an option?
This one has me scrambling.

And I have started setting my alarm for 5:30 am. Because it's coming.
The early mornings. The rush of coffee and adrenaline. This is my future.
Early mornings. Days full of kids I don't know. Grading papers.
New colleagues. New environment. New new. So uncharted. So unknown.
Hence, the hyena like laughter. And the nervous stomach.

But it's okay. My friend, Gayle, who taught a new grade this year said,
"Just stay close to the bathroom the first few weeks. All of us teachers feel the same way."
Those are words of wisdom that I will be heeding.

What I am discovering in this new that even though I may be called "teacher"?
I am the student.
I am the one who will be sitting, feet under desk, taking it all in that first day of school.
I will be learning each child.
I will be asking the other teachers for their input.
I will be studying and planning and implementing and then rearranging everything.
And I will be asking Jesus for moment by moment wisdom and grace and the calming of nerves.
So. Much. To. Learn.

But the funny thing is...laughing and nervousness aside?
I can't wait to get started.