Day one

Well, I survived. And not only that, I had a smile on my face at the end of the day.

Highlights of the first day of school: praying with my kids, new and interesting personalities, actual time with students, and recess. The only downside is the exhaustion that comes after a day with children. I had forgotten this sensation.

I told lots of stories today. I let the kids ask me anything. I told them about Turkey and South Africa, skydiving and trying out for Teen Jeopardy. I told them about Brian and Lola and my church. I told them about my love of Toy Story, gummi bears, and coffee. I don’t feel like a very interesting person on most days, but they made me feel pretty special today. Funny– I was trying to do that for them.

I spent the evening on the living room floor creating binder organization systems for my kiddos and thinking back over the day. There are already faces that come to mind and make me smile– and it’s only day one. There are already funny sayings and inside jokes– and it’s only day one. It took nearly an hour to tell Brian all about my day– and it’s only day one.

What will day 50, day 100, or day 180 look like? Can you fathom the enormity of an adventure at the beginning, or only in reflection?

Meet me night

Tonight was ‘Meet the Teacher Night’. Parents and students came to– you guessed it– meet me!

This school is so different. Students are excited to be returning to school. Many of them have been together since Pre-K. They are talkative and energetic, some shied away from me and others ran ahead of their parents to meet me. But the kids weren’t what made tonight different.

When my headmaster came around at the end of the evening, he asked how everything had gone. I told him that I had never met parents like these. I had never met parents that brought bags of supplies, but then offered to bring me more. They offered to help with bulletin boards, celebrations, copying, grading– anything I needed. Then, one of them told me that she and her daughter had been praying for me.

These parents loved me. They loved me and they didn’t even know me.

They weren’t asking me about my experience in education or my curriculum, or trying to make sure I knew how special their child was– they were asking me how I was liking my school, and if I needed help, and how my family was fitting into the family at the school.

I told my headmaster that I was overwhelmed by the love I felt. He smiled. “That’s good to here,” he said as he walked down the hallway. It’s good to feel, I thought.

 

A new school year is coming

Growing up a teacher’s kid my sisters and I were more familiar with my elementary school than most other kids. Before and after school we’d hang out in the teacher’s lounge after begging mom for a few bucks for the vending machine, we’d play in the library, or run around the halls.

The most fun was always the last few days of summer. Mom would take us to the school, ostensibly to help in her classroom, but if I recall we actually weren’t that helpful and ended up being sent out of the room to go play. Out there we would find big cardboard boxes and build forts, or we would take some teachers’ rolling desk chairs and push each other down the sloped hallways in a race. It really was a lot of fun.

Today though I was back helping a teacher get her classroom ready, but this time it was my wife’s. It was not as much fun as being a kid, and there was not a single chair race. Disappointing.

On the other hand, it really is a joy to help my wife. Seriously. I have found that I really like being able to help her out, solve a problem she has, or just be there to make her laugh while she is dealing with the stress of too much to do with not enough time.

After seeing the school more, meeting one of her new co-workers, and seeing a few of the kids around, I am even more convinced that this is the right move for Lindsey. She has a lot of work ahead of her, but she will be great at it.

Plus, this woman is a serious classroom decorator. She knows what she’s doing and she will have the best classroom around. She loves this stuff, and even though she is stressed and working day and night, she is so happy. We thank God for that.

Watching her be happy

It has been a crazy week. The changes in Lindsey’s employment situation and the ramp up for me on a new project at work ran us ragged. But all of this is good, so it’s okay. The best part for me though is not the fact we’ve had answered prayers and blessings, it is seeing my wife so happy.

She was very happy at her old school. She loved her colleagues, she enjoyed teaching at her hometown school, and she really liked the kids. So when we decided that she needed to look for a new job because the commute was just too nasty she was not fully sold. She knew it was the right thing, but she wasn’t in love with the idea.

To see Lindsey be so happy, so productive, and fall in love with her job and new colleagues has been a huge joy for me. I was really afraid that she would not be provided with a better situation than she had, and it would result in frustration and disappointment. I should have never doubted.

My wife is happy, and I am happy. It’s been one of the longest, good weeks I’ve ever had.

The answer-to-prayer day

Last Thursday was a big day: job interview, hematologist appointment, job interview.

I wanted to post about it. I really did. But decisions needed to be made and certain people made aware of those decisions before it would have been appropriate to tell the entire interweb.

Here’s the short version: I got both jobs and great news from the hematologist. It was an answer-to-prayer day of the utmost. I’m still healthy, and the plan my doctor put me on before seems to be the right track. His diagnosis is most likely correct. I have to be monitored still, but not as frequently. And he told us we need to talk to him before we plan to get pregnant (sorry that wasn’t the big news, Mom ;-)). It was a super-quick visit and Brian and I were in and out in record time.

And now for the job news… I’ve been applying for teaching jobs closer to home all summer. And though public school would have been fine, what I really felt called to do was to move to a private Christian school. Up until last week, I’d had one interview that didn’t really go so well. And then Tuesday, I got a call. Then Wednesday, I got another. That’s how the two-interview-in-one-day thing happened.

I’ll give you the details on the coolest interview ever tomorrow– it’s a story in and unto itself. But, I will say here that I took a job with a small private classical Christian school here in Cedar Park. God is magnificent and has provided for me in ways big, small, known, unknown, and everything in between. I’m elated.

And I had to hit the ground running. Summer ended a week early and I’m way behind everyone else. There’s so much to do– and it’s all overwhelming and exciting and overwhelmingly exciting.

Almost there

Well, today was Lindsey’s last day with her students, her room is cleaned out and all the grading is done. After a social engagement after work on top of everything else, she was exhausted. The minute she got off her feet she was done– straight to sleep.

I have seen my wife handle this entire school year, our first full school year together. I grew up in a family of teachers so some of what she has dealt with was expected, but plenty of it was a surprise.

Growing up with a teacher as a mother it should be no surprise that I hold up education as one of my central values. I deeply respect teachers for what they do, and even more for the crap they have to put up with. Having seen it all this year, and there was a lot to deal with, I am seriously impressed with my wife.

It is really interesting to get to know your spouse in the professional sense. To see behind the scenes of someone else’s job in a different field than I am in has been fascinating. I was a fan of teachers before, but I am even more in her corner now. Seeing this side of Lindsey has been awesome, and I hope I can learn to help and support her even more down the road.

But summer starts tomorrow after she leaves school. Sure, I still have to work but in a way I expect this to be a different summer for me. She will be around the house, she will be able to relax, and I know she has a stack of books she is dying to read. And, if promises are the be believed, the frequency of baking will increase. Which is always a good idea.

I want to close out with a note directly to my lovely wife:
Lindsey, I love your dedication to your job and your students. I love how much you care about them, and how much you care about your subject. I love how you dealt with the struggles and strife, and I loved to see how you celebrated the accomplishments of your team and your students. You are a great teacher, and you are truly going to be phenomenal as your career grows. I’m looking forward to a great summer with you. 🙂

B

Moving out

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Today I helped Lindsey clean out her classroom. Tomorrow is her last day with students and we wanted to get it all taken care of before the very end. It was a fast move, and that made for a good afternoon.

It reminded me of many end of school years as a kid. My mom has taught for almost 40 years and I still remember countless days before and after the school year helping in her classroom. In a way, it’s fun to be able to do the same with my wife now.

On one of our last trips into the room I stopped and snapped the picture above and sent it to my mom. There is something I truly love about there being a new Mrs. Lundin.