Sunday, January 18, 2009

Grateful & Lucky

These past weeks I have been thinking a lot about how grateful I am, how truly grateful I am. In no particular order- I have a wonderful family. We are all relatively healthy. I have a home that is comfortable and warm. We have the money we need to pay the bills. I have friends that care about me. I have a job that I love. I live in a country in which freedom of speech is a right. I live in a technological time and have a pretty "comfortable" life compared to my ancestors.

It is easy to forget how lucky a person is when something upsets the normal routine. Recently a person I don't know well had her husband die unexpectedly. Another person I network with, lost her mother. I cannot imagine either of their losses. I would imagine the death almost like a hole in ones heart. Our son recently had a health crisis but fortunately he is going to be ok with the drug therapy that our health insurance will cover. I am relieved and grateful that we have insurance, good insurance. The costs of the tests that he took, the doctors that looked at the results and the drugs that he is on, would have been a huge financial burden on us that I hope never to experience.

Like so many school districts in the United States, the one that I work for is losing students. The way that the public funding is calculated is based in part on the enrollment numbers. We have had the privilege and luxury these past 8 years of having the state and the district support low class sizes with SAGE funding. One teacher to 15 students is the ratio in kindergarten to 3rd grade for reading and math. This gives the youngest of students an opportunity to get a great start in their formal education. I returned to the classroom after a 10 year hiatus from raising my own children. I was so happy to get hired to teach kindergarten during the expansion to all-day kindergarten and SAGE classes that our district embraced. After 2 quick years I was asked to move to the technology computer teaching position. I have been teaching k-2 ever since and love it!

I may or may not have a teaching job in the future. The district is facing budget cuts. A primary computer technology teacher is not a mandated class that a district has to have. I would hope that I could move back to teaching kindergarten if that were to happen. I have never taught another grade and don't feel qualified to do so. If the district wants to restructure and decides that SAGE is not necessary and that budget woes can be solved by increasing class sizes, then the laying off of many teachers will happen. I hope with all of my body that this does not happen. I know that life changes and curve balls come at you fast. I will tell my readers this, " I am lucky to have a job." I don't take it for granted. I love working for my school district and touching the lives of the students in positive ways. I hope that in my future I can keep being employed as a teacher in whatever capacity the district chooses.


  1. Thanks for your reflections... we often forget to be thankful and greatful in the business of our everyday life. I too try to keep it all in perspective. It is a challenge for me to keep my kids grounded too. I wish you luck in the future with your job. I am also in a flux position and hope that there will be something permanant in the future. Whatever happens, your perspective on life will get you through it...

  2. With experience in Kindergarten and K-2 technology, you could teach another grade. It would be a steep learning curve (starting a new grade is always like that!) but yes, you are qualified. Don't sell yourself short.

  3. Since we network with some of the same people, I will say that those losses in the lives of members of our PLN have weighed heavy on my mind as well... and the recovery of an entire family from a horrific accident caused by a drunk driver gives me pause every time I see the updates of that family's slow but sure recovery.

    The current economy has resulted in an increase of ads for loan consolidation, bankruptcy solutions, etc., and these things make my heart heavy for the people who must be facing that reality.

    I too am very thankful -- for many of the same things that you mention. And I consider myself lucky, because many of those "gifts" are not a result of my skill nor determination.

    I hope fortune continues to smile upon you, and that whether it is this position becoming permanent, or another door opening, that you find happiness in either.

    Thanks for this post, this reminder, this perspective.

  4. Heidi: Your humility made me think how lucky I am too. It is best to focus on the good, even as we plan for eventualities that might not be good. Whatever happens, you will make the best of the opportunity.