It's been awhile! I've thought about sitting down and writing a blog post MANY times in the past few months, but actually doing it is another story altogether. Even now, I should be in bed, but here I am instead...
It's been quite the adjustment for me going back to work after being a SAHM for the past 5+ years. It's been challenging, but I do feel like we are finally falling into a routine. I just feel like I have no time to do anything anymore. No time for myself. No time to clean the house or do yard work. No time to cook dinner. No time to run errands. My freedom is gone. But really, now that I think about it, did I have freedom to begin with as a mom of two young children?
I know that working moms have been managing it for years, but my goodness, how??? I look at it kind of the same way as all the people that say they don't know "how we do it with twins." You just do. As a parent of multiples, you have no choice but to figure it out and make it work. I figure it's the same way with working parents. You simply find a way to make it work the best you can. You find your own routine.
I really struggled with my job at first because there wasn't a lot of guidance. I was basically handed my schedule and I was on my own. Literally. Nobody gave me a tour of the school or introduced me to the other staff members. I was given a map of the buildings and was told to walk around and find the classrooms I would be working in. It felt very awkward and unwelcoming. I started about a week before school resumed in the Fall, so there weren't any students. Once school actually started, things did got a lot better and I do like my job now.
I absolutely LOVE that I am working at the kids' school as an Instructional Assistant. I love that I can walk by their classroom and see that they are where they are supposed to be. I love that I am there if something happens to one of them. A few weeks into school, Rylee fell on the playground jungle gym and scraped her leg up pretty good. The school secretary told me about the incident and asked me if I would check her out and make sure she was okay. The scrape was up by Rylee's underwear line, and the secretary thought it would be more appropriate for me to look at it to see if she needed more attention. Easy peasy since I was right there at the school already! I also love that I get to be there for all the school assemblies. I was able to be there when Ayden received an award for being a responsible student last month!
Another positive to working at their school is that I am getting to know who their friends are, as well as the teachers. Their teacher is awesome, and always fills me in if there are any incidents that come up throughout the day so I can be ready for potential conversations later at home. It's so great to hear from all the teachers how wonderful Ayden and Rylee are, and how they are so kind and respectful. Makes my Mama heart proud!
As for the job itself and what I spend my time doing all day... my schedule keeps me hopping! I am not working in just one classroom or with one teacher. My schedule has me moving all day long, spending a half hour here, a half hour there, all day. I run reading groups, do classroom supervision so the teachers can have a break/prep period, help with math intervention, and I spend a lot of my time in the "wellness room," helping with the kids that are having trouble behaving themselves.
It's been extremely eye opening! Holy smokes, I had NO idea what goes on in public schools these days. I knew there would be troubled kids, ones that are especially ornery and have behavioral issues. But I never came close to imagining the reality of it. I had no idea that there are some kids that cause so much havoc that classrooms have to be cleared for the safety of all the other students, because desks are being pushed over, and chairs are being thrown, among other things. I had no idea that kids would go into the library and wipe out entire bookshelves. I had no idea that I would be chasing kids around the school that REFUSE to stay in their classrooms. I had no idea that a 6 year old boy would be banned from using the student bathrooms because he was exposing himself to other students inappropriately.
Just this last Friday, we had to call the police to come help contain one of the students because he was so out of control and his parents couldn't be reached. He assaulted a student and a teacher. He took a swing at me, but thankfully missed. The school went into lockdown so that he couldn't enter the office, classrooms, the cafeteria, because he was on a rampage to destroy and was terrorizing staff and other students. So the police had to be called. This was a first grader!!!!
Our elementary school has roughly 500 students, and there are about 10 that are on the extreme end of being behaviorally challenging. The others are wonderful. Because I am in so many different classrooms throughout the week, I have gotten to know a lot of the students. I feel a little like a celebrity when out and about in town and they holler "hi, Miss Amber!"
I may have gotten off to a rocky start at the beginning, and I may have to spend a good portion of my day dealing with hooligans, but I do feel like this has been the perfect job for me to step into as the kids have started school. I am mostly on their school schedule, get to see them a few times throughout the day, and am fulfilling the financial need that is necessary for our family.