Saturday, April 4, 2015

Momma is Back to Work

It has been 5 months since I last blogged! That seems about right. We are all adjusting to my return to the workforce this year, and updating our blog has certainly slipped. I have been privileged to stay home with my sons for 14 years, so my return to work has been an adjustment for all of us.

This school year has brought many changes for our family. For the first time in 8 years, I am not teaching any of my own children. Our local school district made a number of important staff changes (including the school nurse - think Nathan heart condition) and because of this Caleb and Nathan are now at the local public schools. David is mostly virtual schooled with some in building courses at the local middle school. He will be attending our local high school full time next semester. These changes were a game changer for our family, and in August and I spent a lot of time reviewing our schooling options.

I requested and received my college transcripts in September, and in October I began the process of testing with the State of WI Department of Education.  In October I received my DPI licence and began 2 part time jobs at nearby schools.

I took a position with the Oregon School District at Rome Corners Intermediate School. I was placed with the 6th grade Special Ed. students. I was privileged to be assigned to 6 of the most wonderful kids (mostly boys).  Most of my students are Autistic, ADHD, or have severe behavior issues, but some have physical limitations as well. I began as a limited term employee covering for a teacher on maternity leave. After 6 weeks, I was given an offer to stay on for the remainder of the school year. I was just about to accept this position but within 24 hours I was offered additional opportunities at my other part time job, which I accepted instead. I concluded my employment with Oregon School District in February, but I am still a substitute on call.

Also in October I began a part time afternoon position with our local virtual school.  For them I telecommute, as all of my students are working from their homes. I work with 6-12 grade students who are needing alternative education to achieve their diploma. During the first semester I had a small case load of students who were all at risk in some way. (expelled for dealing drugs, self harming/suicidal, home arrested, pregnant, physically handicapped,etc) After Christmas break, I was offered the opportunity to increase my student load and I took an additional position involving gifted and talented students in 4 other school districts.

Now I am working at home 4 days a week. I had the opportunity to weekly volunteer at Nathan's school to assist the 1st grade remedial readers (I LOVED this!) and go on Caleb's field trip and still effectively manage my student load. This is a dream job for a mom! I now have 22 full time students and I report on 4 school districts' gifted and talented students in addition.  This is such a pendulum swing! Everyday is a new adventure. I have seen many kids blossom with alternative education and I have also seen kids abuse the opportunity.  Life is full of choices isn't it?

I am still the Cubbies Director at our local Awana club. I am about to conclude my 16th year with Awana in just 5 short weeks. Oh how the years go by. In fact one of my former kindergarten Awana students is now one of the gifted and talented virtual high school math students gaining college credit thru one of my districts! THAT makes me feel really old. (and proud!)

All of this post was just the changes in Jenny's life. I am hoping to get back to posting more about the boys and their soccer, swimming, baseball, guitar, piano, and camping adventures. All of those things have continued as well, but have not been documented here. I desperately need to move 2015's photos and videos off of my phone!  :)