I have found myself being quite reflective this week. A year ago this upcoming week, during Former School's winter intersession (ie a week vacation), I went to my doctor and admitted that I just couldn't handle being at my school anymore and I needed to get out. It was the first step to admitting something was really not right in my world.
Last Wednesday when I was with my therapist, she mentioned how differently she sees me after a year of being together. She said that sure, I still have job pressures and things but it is nothing like when I first started seeing her. It was a bit weird to realize it's already been a year. I've grown and changed so much and I am very lucky to have the group of kiddos I have this year. I couldn't have picked a better class to help me "heal". Last night, The Husband and I were talking about it and I said I really wanted to just relish every moment I have left with this group because it's so doubtful that I'll get this lucky again next year (I've NEVER had two totally amazing classes in a row). Plus I know some of the current 4th graders are kiddos who need extra love (ie don't always make the best choices).
Even though I'm tired and sort of wish that I had a vacation coming up this week....I'm glad to be where I am. I'm excited to spend my Valentine's Day with my class and have a little party to celebrate all of the hard work they've been putting in this year. The maturity I have seen in some of the kids recently is truly remarkable -- they really do come to us SO immature and leave with an almost "worldly" outlook on things. I love watching that transition in them. Every day they give me a reason to smile and help me to see that this IS my purpose in life. They are the reason I am where I am and I love them for that (even on the days I want to wring their little necks!).
I have had a really sore neck the last day or two. Last year, when it was so horrible in my class, I had neck aches all the time from the tension I carried around with me daily. I told The Husband that it concerns me just a bit that I've had these neck issues again...but I did just come off one of the busiest and most stressful weeks I've experienced this year. I'm sure that's the reason. I bought some Icy Hot patches which are the best invention ever. I can slap one on my neck and I'm good to go for a whole day. It helps me to relax by keeping the tension out of my neck and I'm hopeful that I won't need one at school tomorrow (the kids ALWAYS ask what happened if you have any type of bandage or anything) but I am bringing one just in case.
I definitely think that at our party tomorrow I need to be sure my class knows how much I appreciate them and how much they have really helped me to realize that teaching is what I was called to do. Despite some of the ups-and-downs (which of course are normal in any school), I really can't imagine not having this fabulous group. They make me glad to be part of their lives.