I bet some of you were absolutely shocked when I announced on Facebook that I was heading back to the classroom! I still can’t believe it myself. I’ve been so busy with my new position and running Schoolgirl Style, that it’s been almost impossible to get to my computer and tell you the story. I finally have some time to sit down and explain EVERYTHING!
Here it goes…
My husband is the principal of a K-8 Catholic school in my hometown (this happens to be the school that I attended as a child). Back in January, the Kindergarten teacher at his school made the decision to resign from her position to pursue an advanced degree. When my husband came home to tell me the news, naturally, there was some nervousness on his part. He was very concerned about finding a new teacher. He was hoping to find someone with experience, since he knew it would be tough for a brand new teacher to walk into a classroom in February. As he was telling me about his situation, my mind started racing…I wondered if I could do it? I’ve taught Kindergarten for several years and felt very comfortable with this grade level. Also, my daughter was in this class. I knew right away that it made sense for me to take over for the remainder of the year…I had to help my husband and help my daughter!
When I told my husband that I would be willing to do it, he thought I was C.R.A.Z.Y.!!! He kept saying, “Melanie. You can’t do this. You’re too busy.” Yes, it was true…I am busy running Schoolgirl Style, but I have some AMAZING employees! I knew right away that if it became too hard, they would be able to help with my responsibilities. I’ve always been very lucky because my Schoolgirl Style schedule allowed me to be a mom during the day, and once my family goes to bed, I work on Schoolgirl Style products at night. I realized that my schedule really wouldn’t change if I took the position. I could continue working on Schoolgirl Style in the evenings and it WOULD be possible to teach during the day! My husband knows that once I get something in my head, there is NO changing my mind!:) With the support of his boss, they both agreed that I would be the best fit for the position. YAY!!!
The thought of going back to the classroom was SO exciting! I love my Schoolgirl Style job, but I also love teaching! Leaving the profession was one of the hardest decisions that I’ve ever made in my life. I almost felt like I had lost my identity when I left. There has been a huge hole in my heart for the last three years, but every time I thought about going back, I would tell myself that it didn’t make sense. The rational side of me knew that since Schoolgirl Style was doing really well, it would be so silly to even consider it. I felt a constant pull towards teaching that I continually forced myself to ignore.
This position just fell into my lap. Never in a million years did I think I would be going back so soon….maybe someday, but not now. It’s funny how life works. I truly feel like I was meant to take this position and I’m at that school for a reason. Everyday when I walk into that classroom, I feel like the luckiest person alive! Taking a few years off has revitalized my passion and there isn’t any place I’d rather be! Yes, I miss being able to shop for photo shoots during the day OR being able to schedule a doctor’s appointment whenever I want, but this job has been so rewarding. I just absolutely LOVE it!
Oh! I forgot to mention…this position is not permanent. I will be done in June. I can apply and interview for the permanent position if I would like to. I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I think you can guess which way I am leaning!:) I plan to continue and grow Schoolgirl Style either way. We grew tremendously this year (just wait until you see all of our new products) and I have plans up my sleeve to grow even bigger the following year. There is no slowing down for sure!
Okay, now it’s time to show you my room…
Disclaimer: I only had two days to pull this room together. Also, I didn’t know if I was taking the position permanently until two weeks INTO the position. I didn’t have a theme planned or any decor ready. The first day I got into the classroom, I cleaned the room and created a room arrangement. The second day, I threw some bulletin board paper and border up (I didn’t have a chance to even think it through), then added some lanterns above each table. I knew that all “decorations” had to be student work. I did have a few items left over from a photo shoot – I used those as well. It had to be quick and easy – there wasn’t time to do anything else.
Just so you know, I am SO apprehensive to show these photos. I know all of you are expecting something out of this world! I feel like I am disappointing all of you. I had one follower tell me that I needed to be transparent. I think about her comment constantly. She is absolutely right. I need to show you that, first of all, it’s not perfect…and it’s really okay. Secondly, you don’t necessarily need a lot of time or money to make a classroom look inviting. I’m so busy focusing on curriculum, that I haven’t gone back to add a thing. I don’t plan to add anything either. If I get the position next year, it will be a different story…I have big plans for that room. For now, I’m content with what we have…and the children absolutely LOVE it! A bunch of older girls walked through my classroom the other day and I overheard one of them say, “What a great place to learn!!!” I’ve accomplished what I had hoped for…end of story.