Tag Archives: teacher

Goddess Nudges – Or is it the Way the Cookie Crumbles?

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Do I see the Goddess or Leaves

Do I See the Goddess or the Leaves? – Original Artwork

Dear lovely readers, my apologies for not posting in such a long time!  Part of the reason is that so much of this blog has been about my change in career from Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (TODHH) to sign language interpreter, and now I’m back, teaching the sweet kiddos.  I felt that I had messages and nudges from the Goddess/ the universe/ the powers that be/ The Force, whatever you want to call it, to move in that direction, and now I’m back to what I was doing before? How do I explain that?

I’m still interpreting occasionally.  I volunteer interpreted at a rally, and I still interpret at a local Springtime music / pagan festival.  Two years ago in December, 2015, or maybe it was November, 2015, I got word from a fellow interpreter that a job as itinerant TODHH had opened up in her district, which was close to where I live now.  I got the job and started in January of 2016.  Oh, and I moved in with my sweetie sweetness, I’m not sure if said that in the last blog- I probably did.

I’ve been loving my job as itinerant teacher!  It was a learning curve to adjust to that, since I used to be a classroom teacher.  I used to stay in one or two schools, with a caseload of about 10 students.  Now I travel from school to school (about 13-15 schools and about 24-30 students in my caseload).  There’s fluctuation, students moving in or out of the district, graduating, or other TODHHs available, or not, to take on some of my students into their caseload.  I teach Deaf/Hard of Hearing kids from preschool to 12th grade.  For some kids, I help them develop vocabulary and language, or I help with literacy, or I help with self advocacy and care of their hearing equipment.  I still use my sign language skills in my job with some of my students, and I love that.

I had not really worked with preschoolers before, and audiologists took care of the hearing equipment needs.  Now I troubleshoot hearing aids, BAHAs (Bone conduction hearing aids), and cochlear implants.  I don’t know enough to program them or anything, but I can clean them and change batteries and put them on kids, and though I knew some of that, I know a lot more now than I did before.  Also managing the schedule and trying to see students in my caseload, and finding schools, kept my brain challenged and learning last year.  Now I’m comfortable with it.

Wow, preschool.  I am now comfortable with the wee little ones.  I was so used to secondary students.  I wasn’t sure what to do last year, and I grew into it, and figured it out.  It’s pretty fun being a goofball with little ones and figuring out how to draw language out of them, so to speak, and then driving and meeting with an older student. I like the variety I get in my job, and the flexibility.

So, did I get ‘messages from beyond’ supporting my decision to go back to teaching? Not really- unless I wasn’t paying attention to them.  It just seemed right and it’s been great so far.  But what about those messages from beyond before, how do I justify going against what they supposedly said?  I don’t know how to answer that.  I can’t justify it.  Lame, huh.  I’m a lame pagan dork.  And I’m also a fantastic pagan dork! Haha.

I’m still doing some pagan things. I joined a pagan chamber choir (I know right? Those exist? I thought all pagan music was heavy metal!) Joking on that last comment of course. I’m not as witchy-poo as I used to be; I’m not mixing herbs and doing spells and sitting at my altar like I used to.  I have kind of fallen off the magic carpet I used to ride.  What’s up with me? I have no idea.  I still love the Earth and I love connecting with other pagans.  But am I still pagan?  Yeah…. I just ‘practice’ the pagan stuff less.  I’m sure that’s why I didn’t get nudges about whether I moved in the right direction regarding my job- I didn’t ask. I just did.

My sweetie, who I think of as a gift from the divine and a somewhat subdued Pan in the flesh, and I will be getting married this summer.  After just dating a few months, we felt like we’d known each other forever.  Now, we’ve been together about 2 and a half  years.  He’s my gift, because of many reasons:  all sexual needs fulfilled, intimacy needs as well, he’s my Obi Wan Kenobi when it comes to my little worries and shyness and how to relate with people and how to be free in life, he’s my guru, my friend, and he’s my lover.  I am so blessed.

Anyway, I think I fell off of my overtly pagany ways, and so did this blog along with that.  I am still pagan though! I am, I am, I swear.  My brand of paganism is just less obvious than it was before… I am just me.  I haven’t felt a draw to go to circles and drum or do rituals with others, in fact, I feel a bit of a resistance inside.  I’m not sure why.  I think I’ve seen the people behind the curtain and I’m a little disillusioned.  That, and another group I know is wonderful is such a long car drive away.  Also, I had some magic experiences and then fell flat on my face.  After you do that, you might not want the magic experiences any more, or at least you might be hesitant about them.

I feel like my life is good right now.  I’m happy.  I’m free to be myself most of the time, and less shy to express myself the way I want to.  I’m with someone who truly cares for me and supports me.  I have sweet, sweet friends that like me the way I am.  My job is pretty darned good.  I have what I need in abundance.  Thank you, God and Goddess, for providing.  I am so grateful for this wonderful life.

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Pitching My Tent at the Precipice

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camping on the precipice

Original artwork

I have come back into “manifest reality” of the day to day worklife after being in fairyland.  That fairyland was a May Day festival in the mountains.  During the festival, I truly felt like I had finally blossomed.  I had been to the festival 3 times before, and each time had been wonderful, but this time I felt truly released and grounded at the same time.  I felt truly myself and blissful.  During the maypole dance, I skipped and frolicked, because I felt freed.  The last thing I did there, before saying goodbye and leaving, was to attend a small cozy ritual that focused on bringing about positive changes in our lives.  The circle wasn’t closed; it remained open to continue the change in our lives after we left the festival.

Now I’m back, and I’ve got some decisions to make.  Here are my choices: go with what my current job is offering me, which is to work with a population that I don’t really have a passion for working with; keep on searching for a job as a teacher working with a population I am passionate about working with, or chuck teaching altogether and either become an interpreter or work towards becoming an interpreter. If I go with the first one or second one (both really, for financial security), I am pleasing one set of loved ones I have.  To them, my choice should be to remain a teacher only, because of financial security; if nothing had been offered here, they wanted me to look elsewhere for a teaching job- that is, to move far away if I had to.  I know their hearts will be broken (or they will at least feel scared and worried for me) if I go with choice number three.  Another loved one would like me to pick becoming an interpreter.  The reason is because I would be much less stressed, and therefore have more time to offer and focus on that particular loved one.

It’s dangerous to let others pull you in one way or another when it comes to life decisions. It must be your own choice.  Since my last post, I have still not resigned, though I have made some strides in preparation for change.  I completed a written and performance test to become an Educational Interpreter (have passed the written, and don’t know yet on the performance), and had two interviews, both of which did not lead to new jobs as a teacher.  I have applied to a third- which would be with a population I’m passionate about working with but is in a district that has a reputation for gangs and violence within their schools.  I haven’t heard back from that one and maybe it’s just as well.

A situation at work escalated to the point of a decision being made for me- thankfully, not to dissolve my position, but to have me switch schools with another teacher.  In the midst of all this, I went from the precipice where I nearly jumped into the jobless scary place of becoming an interpreter (but finishing out the year as a teacher, because that’s me), to creeping backwards into the safe place of job security.  And still, the disrespectful way superiors have been treating me- pointing fingers of blame rather than offering their hands in support- is urging me back towards the precipice.

I am still in the midst of decision.  Do I jump, or do I stay put, looking for a way out, or do I accept the place I’ve been given?  This is my 13th year of teaching.  Though I partly believe myself to be a natural at teaching, excellent at motivating students and getting them excited about learning, and great at developing relationships with students, another part of me is greatly disappointed in my teaching ability.

It’s very difficult and stressful to be a teacher, and it almost never feels like you are ‘good enough’ or ‘excellent enough.’  There is always something to work on, to improve on.  There are always people observing and picking you apart.  These observations are only snapshots and therefore snap judgements are made.  ‘There was no scaffolding,’ they say, but they were only in the class for 15 minutes, and didn’t know or think to ask about whether there had been scaffolding the entire month leading up to that lesson during which they peeked in.  Those aren’t the only stressors (and by the way my latest evaluation was not so bad and I appreciate that particular supervisor (I have many) appearing to be on my side.  Other stressors include legal documentation with Special Education being scrutinized, telling parents (or anyone) the truth of the way things are is looked down upon, and every little mistake is made into a huge embarrassing can of worms.  It’s like being in the movie Office Space:  the main character has too many bosses, and they’re all reminding him about one little mistake he made, and sometimes I feel like the guy with the stapler who has been relegated to the basement.  He’s been laid off but doesn’t know it; “It’ll sort itself out,” his supervisors say.

My boyfriend has seen that I am a completely different person during my summers off.  I am much more carefree, more loving, more affectionate, and more happy.  I am more confident, since there is no one but myself around to tear me down.

My gut is telling me that if I work on becoming an interpreter, that is where my bliss lies.  But is it wise?  I have been given wings to fly, they are unfurling, and I have a bit of a safety net with saved money, on which I believe I can live on for a year including paying for schooling if need be.  The scary part lies after all of that.  Do I jump, and fly, or jump and fall to the safety net and bounce a while, after which, do I take off flying or do I fall into the abyss?  Am I being over dramatic about that abyss, and am I being over dramatic about my current situation?  It’s certainly better than many people have to face.  I think for now I’ll keep adding to that safety net, and investigate things further- which may be a cop out!  But if I’m going to jump, I had better know what I’m doing.  I’m going to pitch my tent at the precipice and hug a tree.

Emerging as a Butterfly

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emergence as butterfly

Original Artwork

In some previous blogs, I talk about being inundated with butterfly imagery last year, and the feeling of being in a cocoon the last few months.  This past week I have felt like I am starting to emerge.

Part of being in a cocoon is being dormant, not passionate, wrapped up in myself and my own experiences.  I felt a bit of depression as well.  Not that I was completely shut off from other people and not that I was completely heartless (the cocoon was not completely opaque).  I was faced with some gut-wrenching choices that grew from the soil and muck of feeling overworked and the extreme opposite of being appreciated, and a lack of respect by superiors at work.  In the other arenas of my life- friends and family- I am well supported by wonderful people, and I am very grateful for that.

The ordeal at work tore open old wounds, and I was back to re-developing a love of myself and who I am.  I am still in the midst of re-developing it- I’m not completely free of that yet.

Ironically, though I experienced some added ordeals this past week, I feel refreshed as a person.  I feel like I am breaking out of the cocoon.  The skin of the cocoon has thinned and I can wrench my head and upper limbs free, and see and love the outer world.  I’m not sure what it is that did it, or if it was “just time.”  It may be that a recent meeting with superiors brought many things even closer to my inspection and I faced reality even more head-on.

Although I had decided months ago that I would resign from my current position, I hesitated to do so.  I still haven’t done it, though I drafted a resignation letter last week.  I plan to 1) figure out the correct steps to do it and 2) follow those steps in turning it in next week.  It feels a little like the Fool’s card of the tarot deck:  stepping gleefully over the brink of a cliff and into the unknown.  Though this act of resignation doesn’t feel gleeful- instead, it feels ….  resolute, freeing, a little gut-wrenching in the final goodbye of my current position, and final.

I’m not sure if it’s the decision to finally follow through with what I’ve known I need to do for months that is making me feel fantastic, or if it’s that I’m back in control of my life.  It’s ironic, because with this step, I also lose control- I won’t be employed, at least (hopefully) for a short time.  That’s the scary part.  Why, in this economy, would I do such a thing?  I will be doing it because I must.  If I don’t, I feel that I will be failing myself, letting myself stay down the well with steep sides (and jeering hands like in the movie Labyrinth) and leaving myself in a place where I feel worthless.

I want to be clear for any critical and caring thinkers out there that I am applying for jobs as well as working on getting certification as an interpreter, which will likely open up more jobs for me, once I get that certification.  It seems that it will take me a year or less of passing exams and honing my skills to get to where I want to be in that field.  I hope that my perception of that is true! I also have money saved, that I can use toward schooling if that is needed and to live on.

It isn’t always so horrible at work that I feel like I’m in the well- sometimes I’m at the top of the well looking out, and sometimes I’m deeper down;  but it often feels deeper down.  My  boyfriend, who I started dating 3 years ago, says I even felt it then, and that I would be oftentimes extremely stressed.  That’s one wondrous thing about my boyfriend:  he is a gentle reality checker for me.  A gentle person holding up a mirror, ready to hug me and support when I react to what I see.  It’s one of the reasons I love him.

The feeling of emergence is fantastic.  I say ’emergence’ instead of fully being a butterfly, because I don’t want to assume I’m completely finished ‘baking’ yet, and because I have no idea what’s to come.  Maybe the feeling really is more like I’m ready to stretch my wings; I’ve come out of the cocoon and my wings are still wet, so I can’t really fly yet.  I feel friendly, open, passionate, and happy to be alive, and at the same time quite grounded.  I hope this state of being continues.  I am looking forward to flying, and yet am happy to be at the stage I am in.

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Update:  On further reflection, I will 1) talk with my union rep 2) talk with powers that be in HR and 3) make a decision on next steps.  I may be ‘throwing away’ certain opportunities if I resign.  We shall see.

Geeking out on – of all things – Organizing!

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This post is going to be a bit mundane.  It has nothing, or probably nearly nothing, to do with anything pagan.  It’s just something about my daily life.  Unless it can be said that pagans are messy, but that would be stereotyping ourselves, I’m sure!  I know plenty of very clean and neat pagans… I’m not one of them!

For about a half a year, and especially the last month or so, I’ve been focused on organizing and getting rid of things.  As I may have already said, I’m a Cancerian- a ‘double’ Cancerian with my moon and sun in Cancer.  A typical trait of Cancerians is that we hoard.  Uh yeah, erm, understatement.  I hoard things.  I’m getting rid of things I’ve had since college.  That would be 15 years ago.  I have a “give-away” pile going just past my entryway- out of the walking path, pushed to the side.

Those who have worked with me will confess with long-suffering smiles that I am *Messy*.  My teacher desk is clean, for maybe the first week of school.  Maybe.  Then it has piles on it until, well, the end of school.

It may be a sad statement to make that I am finally at the point where I don’t have so many things needing done ‘yesterday’ at work that I can finally organize things to make my work easier.  If that had been done in the beginning of the year, well, that would have been logical, wouldn’t it.

Regardless of how late in the year it is and how “ironical” it is, it does feel good to get organized.  It’s been a gradual process in my life.  I have some OCD people to thank for that.

No, seriously. 🙂  One of my best friends is OCD.  She not just jokingly is, and she’s a wonderful person.  Her purse has little bags in it to organize all her stuff.  It would seem like this is common sense, and maybe it is common sense for most people, but this was a HUGE thing for me to realize: a purse can be organized!  Since then I have little bags in my purse, too!  I do still need to clean it out from time to time, but I have a special spot for each thing.  The ‘special spots’ have been developed especially in the last month.  For example, I didn’t have a place just for my gum/menthos/etc.  Now I do!  For some reason that makes me proud!

I’m so proud, in fact, that I would now like to brag about all the things I have organized so far:

my ribbon– in a special box with holes in it to let the ribbon out, with dowels to put the ‘wheels’ of ribbon on.  I am a little embarrassed to say that it was a Martha Stewart idea.  I have been a scoffer when it comes to her kind of ideas, they are a little too ‘posh’ and uppity for me, but maybe that’s my own little weirdness.  Maybe it’s that I’m turning into Martha Stewart as I age, and the little teenager in me wants to still be a headbanger!

Dec. 31 2012 (3)

I cut the box shorter so it would fit in a drawer.

Dec. 31 2012

my purse, as mentioned.

-as of today: files for the days of the week and Math folders in my classroom for the students to put away work.  In my own defense, before I moved classrooms, I did have a days of the week file thingy for my desk.  I now have one again and WOW it feels awesome to put papers in there!! Not just from a paper-nerd standpoint, but it’s a relief to put it in a place I’ll easily find it for when I need it!  I know, go figure, huh!

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The one on the right is the Math folder organizer for students. It doesn’t have a label yet… baby steps.

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Folder organizer on teacher desk- has a lesson plan folder, discipline slips, passes, sub folder, Mon-Fri folders, and folders specifically for classes.

-some fabric.  Not all- I do have a whole bunch occupying seats around my table waiting to be made into something.  But the rest *is* in fact, believe it or not, organized in my craft room!  I even have organized socks to be used as material in projects.

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I’m not really into fake flowers, but I had a lot left over from crafting- I saved these and gave the rest away. Organized by color. 🙂 I made the top shelves out of packing material that cushioned electronic devices.

-the inside of my teacher desk- I am very proud to say I organized that in the beginning of the school year!  There are even labels in there for where things go!  ::geeking out on the labels::

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I taped everything down with packaging tape, because it drives me nuts when things swish around in there and it gets all messed up.

-my curlers and curling iron and blow dryer and blowdrying hairbrushes are all in the same bin now.  It used to be a bread box but they all fit in there, and they tuck away under a kindof antique stool that works as a small table in my bathroom.

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Someday I want to paint the stool. It’s a kindof cool retro color, but it’s too “Mary Kay” for me. I was thinking some kind of purply light blue. Also the black rubber has spots- I want to clean that and make it look sharp.

-my pantry:  it was a mess until one or two years ago.  I bought a WHOLE bunch of clear plastic rectangular shaped bins, and organized and labeled ALL of it.  I do need to go through it and throw out old stuff (like boxes with 1 cookie left in them), but it is _really_ organized now.

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I recently put in the curtain. It used to have a trashed plastic accordion door.

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-My DVDs and VHS tapes: I am getting rid of a lot of them, which helped me organize them again.  They are alphabetized.  ::geeking out on that concept alone::

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I left spaces on the shelves just in case I add one, so I don’t have to shuffle everything to keep it alphabetized.

Now, don’t be fooled- I still have various piles of things, either waiting to be organized, or waiting to be made into something, or… just waiting.  Lonely little piles, just waiting for someone to love them.  ::sniff::!!

All of this to say, that I’m not sure where this trend is coming from, but I do like it!  And I hope it continues!