This has been an exciting and thought FULL week for me.  Fewf! Last week I was offered a three week start up position in a grade 7 class.  I gladly and excitedly accepted this start up and got to planning straight away.  For those of you who are unsure, a “start up” is when a TOC teaches during the first few weeks of school until the position is posted and filled with the actual teacher.  The TOC doing the start up can very well become the actual teacher for the class, given they apply for the job and have enough seniority/qualifications to be the successful applicant.

Now, this start up is not just ANY three weeks of work for me.  No, no.  You see, my amazing, talented, game-changing friend (my former practicum mentor teacher) now works at the school I’ll be teaching at for three weeks (and maybe beyond?)  When she and I found out about the idea of me potentially starting up a class at “our school” we looked at each other and made this face:

This is the "oh my goodness, can this actually be happening this is so awesome" face.
This is the “oh my goodness, can this actually be happening this is so awesome” face.

Okay, maybe my friend didn’t make this face, but I definitely did.  Since I finished my final practicum with this lovely lady a year and a half ago, we’ve been dreaming of the day when we would work together again.  Well, people, the day has come!  Even if this time only lasts three weeks, you all better believe that I am going to make the very best of it.  Not only do I get to work alongside one of my most favourite and inspiring people of all time, I also get to be in a community of fabulous educators and admin staff for these three weeks (I suspect some of you are reading this right now…you know who you are!)  Even my blogging/teaching/running buddy, Meaghan, will be at this school! Expect some major blog updating and an inundation of “Back to School” photos from us next week.

After all this excitement started to sink in I got two phone calls…offering my last year’s dance/drama and music jobs back.  I was baffled and torn.  I really did not expect to get my jobs from last year back and I really had my heart set on my “dream three weeks – or maybe beyond”.  I had a lot to think, talk and wonder about.  I’ll spare you the endless details and conversation I had with numerous people, but know that it was probably one of the hardest choices I’ve ever had to make.  I realize I am extremely blessed to have THIS as one of my hardest life choices.

I took a long look at my vision board for this school year and the word GROW kept popping out at me.  In the end, with a slightly heavy, yet brimming with excitement, heart I decided to let my last year’s jobs go and to take the risk of a three week start up without definite full time employment beyond those three weeks.  I am so grateful that I am in a space and time of my life where this kind of risk can be taken with an adventurous mind and spirit.  Having made my decision I dove in headfirst and began setting up my classroom (something I’ve been dreaming of doing since I was 7 years old and playing “school” with my younger sister, handwriting my own imaginary attendance lists and the like…)  Here is the photo evidence of my three days of hard work:

Stepping in to this gorgeous classroom with brand new desks and feeling 100% overwhelmed.
Stepping in to this gorgeous classroom with brand new desks and feeling 100% overwhelmed.
With a TON of help from my lovely friend, we got the desks moved around into a more desirable & communicative teaching environment.
With a TON of help from my lovely friend, we got the desks moved around into a more desirable & communicative teaching environment.
While my friend worked on her classroom (three doors down from mine!), I started "Karley-fying" my room.  I'm going for a theme of openness, communication, trust and gratitude (with a bit of plain ol' middle school hilarity in the mix).
While my friend worked on her classroom (three doors down from mine!), I started “Karley-fying” my room. I’m going for a theme of openness, communication, trust and gratitude (with a bit of plain ol’ middle school awesomness in the mix).  If I only get to be in this space for three weeks I want to make sure I start the year off with a calm, yet inspired, tone.  My inner (and outer) yogi exploded all over this classroom.
I had this vision to create a giant tree out of paper and fix it upon that nasty back wall.  We are going to create our classroom charter and keep it up there to ensure we all get daily reminders of what kind of people we want to be(come) in this community.
I had this vision to create a giant tree out of paper and fix it upon that nasty back wall. We are going to create our classroom charter on the tree and keep it up there to ensure we all get daily reminders of what kind of people we want to be(come) in this community.

So, it’s been a busy week! I have many people to thank for getting me through this week still intact, so let me take moment here to shout out to you all: Joel (the man listens to my teaching highs and lows 24/7, so he gets to go first), Meaghan (seriously, you’re amazing), Karen (I’m still repeating the face from up at the top of this post), Nadine (I just love you), Carrie & Sean & Brent (thanks for supporting what’s best for me, and for listening).  Very excited for next week!!!

Karley