Officially Official

Well, things in the workforce for me have escalated. My one-year certification application was processed faster than I was anticipating, so I was able to actually meet with HR at the end of this last week and I signed my contract. I’m officially a fifth grade teacher! I still need to take three tests in order to get a standard certificate (because the one-year one is exactly that…it’s only good for one year), but I’m already registered for those and have testing dates secured. As soon as I take those tests, I can apply for the standard certification. The fact that things are falling into place so easily lead me to believe that this is the exact path I was meant to take at this time. As for the rest of the family, everyone is doing well. The kids are adjusting to this new normal and Paul has been an amazing partner. Recently, he built a cabinet for our powder bath to give us more storage. We looked at prefabricated cabinets, but couldn’t find one that would fit just right, so Paul came up with the design, bought materials, and built one. He did have to modify his plans a bit as he ran into different challenges (doesn’t every project go that way?), but he adjusted his plan and the product is awesome!

The start of the cabinet.
Adding the sides.
Capping the top.
The finished product. I love that he made the doors and trimmed them out to look like actual doors.
Now we have a spot to store extra paper goods!
Abigail got to borrow her teacher’s Curious George for the weekend.
To say they had a blast is an understatement, haha.
Dressed up as Princess Anna with her two guards. 🙂
It felt pretty good to get this on Friday!
When I got the news that I got the job (seriously easiest job hire, ever…I didn’t even officially interview), I splurged and got myself a new pair of earrings.
I also got this bracelet. I love its iridescence!
 

Love Day and SUCH a Big Helper!

This past week was pretty typical when one considers our new normal. I’m getting settled in my classroom and slowly getting more used to the workload (and all. the. technology.). This past week held Valentine’s Day, which was fun at school (with the kids getting to exchange Valentines and me getting goodies from staff and students) and at home. Paul surprised me with a little bear, flowers, and chocolate, he got Joseph some candy, and he got Abigail flowers, a little bear, and some chocolate. Abigail’s flowers and the bears were part of a fundraiser at DLI, which he always tries to support. He also made dinner: venison tenderloin (from the deer he split with the guy he went hunting with a little while ago), roasted potatoes, and veggies. It was sooo good! Now for the story about my big helper. There was one day at school that Abigail got her clothes dirty while at recess. She asked to go to the bathroom and decided she would change her clothes (all kinders have a change of clothes in their backpacks). Then, she decided she’d help ME by washing her clothes…in the sink in the bathroom (thank goodness she chose the sink and not the toilet, haha). She said she tried to dry them, but the paper towels didn’t work, so she put them in the plastic bag that was originally holding her clean change of clothes. She did this all in about five minutes and presented her very surprised teacher with a bag full of sopping wet clothes. Her teacher said that she couldn’t even get upset because it was so transparent that Abigail was trying super-hard to solve her own problem. I couldn’t get upset because, well, what would be the point? It was already done, haha. I did tell her that next time she needed to just change and we would work together at home to wash and dry the clothes! She’s exhaustively entertaining.

My pretty Valentine’s flowers!
Goodies from my students. 🙂
One of the other fifth grade teachers gave me this cup filled with chocolate. She knows what we need to get through the day, haha.
Abigail needed to take a picture with her bear. The bear came with a little heart balloon, which she had to share with Grogu (the other balloon is one that she picked out a week or so ago when she went with me to run errands). Six might be one of my favorite ages.
This is Abigail’s art that she made last month (they’ve been on display in the classroom). It’s a snow owl. I think the smile is my favorite. 🙂
 

Officially Tired but Unofficially Hired

This past week was pretty normal for what is our new normal. The only thing that was crazy was that I was having a real challenge getting the info I needed from TEA (Texas Education Agency) in one condensed message. I finally (with the help of Paul who was able to provide me with what turned out to be the right question) was able to get it out of them that if I just took three tests, I could get my standard certification and that I could apply for a one-year certification which would allow me to be hired while I was taking those three tests. At first I was trying to get the tests waived (since I’m pretty sure the tests I took in California for my Californian credential would have covered my bases for most, if not all of them), but the process to do that was just too difficult. It’s easier just to take the three tests. I spoke to the principal and she told me that yes, she wants to hire me. I know I need to wait for my certification application to be processed before I can be officially hired, but it feels nice to be unofficially-officially hired, haha. I’ll be teaching fifth grade for the rest of this year (which I already knew I would be doing, but now hopefully we’ll be able to get the paperwork done in time for me to get at least a little bit of full-time pay as opposed to sub pay) and hopefully next year I’ll be able to start right away with a standard certification (I’m planning on trying to get my tests all done before the start of the next school year).

My students really like stickers…like REALLY like stickers. So I bought a bunch of stickers to use as positive reinforcements…but I couldn’t help but pick a few to keep. 😉 The patronus (spirit animal) one is actually from one of my students. She knows I really like Harry Potter and she noticed my purse had a bunch of patronuses on it. I walked back to my desk to grab something at some point during the day and noticed that she had put the sticker there for me to have. She had a big book of Harry Potter stickers that she had been sharing with everyone. It was nice to be included. 🙂
These two were playing a game called “Come Here and Go Away” (from the show Bluey). Joseph would basically push Abigail and every time she would get close to him, he would pretend to start a conversation with her and then get upset when she swung away from him and would tell her to come back. Conversely, with the go away bit, he would push her and tell her to go away and then pretend to be mad when she swung back towards him. It’s her favorite game, haha.
Seeing them snugglin’ was so cute!
Joseph’s friend, Adam, invited him to go to the rodeo today. They spent the entire afternoon at the carnival and had a blast!

And those are the only pictures I got this week. I told you I was tired, haha.