Right now I should be stocking up on memes to print and laminate for my classroom. I should be buying markers, colored pencils, and organization bins for student supplies. I should be researching the most effective seating arrangements and visiting my classroom to see which ones will work. I should be hoarding pens, pencils, and erasers because every day at least 5 students need to borrow them. I should be fine tuning my lessons and making changes to any that didn’t go so well last year. But I’m not doing any of that. I have had a classroom one way or another since I student taught and this year I don’t.
I was displaced at the end of last school year and rather than be a day-to-day sub in any school in the district for any grade, I decided to stay home with my daughter. I NEVER EVER EVER pictured myself being a stay-at-home mom. Has it been a blessing in disguise, absolutely!!!! Did it take me a few months to realize it, yes! If I could have had a long-term subbing job each semester where I actually taught that would have been different, but it unfortunately wasn’t an option.
When my daughter turned one I knew she was going to need more than just me at a certain point and I needed to get back to teaching. She started going to day care 2 half days a week and that gave me the time I needed to finally open my own store on Teachers Pay Teachers. Now with 6-8 unadulterated hours a week to create activities for other teachers, I had a professional outlet again.
With no traditional jobs in sight, I reached out to some home schooling communities to see if any families would be interested in having me teach their kids social studies a couple of times a week (because let’s be real, not every parent who home schools loves every subject, is an expert in every subject, has creative ideas for every subject, etc). In one local home school co-op, the kids get together 2x/week for class. They are taught things like science, math, Spanish, history, robotics, and music theory (essentially the history of the world through music). I was lucky enough to have a specialty that the co-op director needed a teacher for so the best of all worlds seems to be falling into place for me. My daughter will still get what she socially needs in 2 days of daycare, I will teach 2 days a week (Geography and Music Theory) and get some professional fulfillment, and I will still have my at home time with my daughter.
So I won’t technically have my own classroom which will be weird and I won’t be decorating the room I’m in because the co-op is in a multi-purpose/multi-use community building. Needless to say, I’m pretty jealous of all these back to school pins on Pinterest and I’m living vicariously through my friends who are starting to decorate their classrooms, but I’m doing something new which is in itself exciting, and I’m doing what works for me and my family. All in all I have no complaints, but man I love back to school shopping and decorating and I am definitely missing it right now!