Friday, May 29, 2009

Like Visiting an Old Friend

Jesse and I went to the high school baccalaureate service tonight at church. We sang How Great Thou Art, which--I don't believe--I've sung since attending a Lutheran church.

I love this song! I still remember the page it's on in the beloved Trinity Hymnal that I sang from all of my growing up years, and the way the voices of the church members blended together with the piano's melody. Jesse's always surprised when I know a song by heart. I don't just memorize them. I feel them in my very being. I love this one! Singing it tonight just made me want to share it with you.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Missing Preschool

I typed this during my lunch break on Friday, but didn't get a chance to post it...

I subbed for my first time as a preschool TEACHER yesterday. I've spent a lot of time substituting at preschool in recent months, but have never actually been given the opportunity to sub as a classroom teacher. Usually, I'm the one who has to run around and make sure all of the teachers have had breaks, help out with taking kids to the bathroom, and done errands for the teachers. I enjoy getting to meet all of the kids and teachers that way, but it's also a little bit of a let down after having been a classroom preschool teacher for so long!
I absolutely loved yesterday. It surprised me how much I enjoyed it.
I opened the morning with Circle time, having the kids sit "criss-cross apple sauce" on the carpet with me and started out by singing "Open, Shut Them," which was the song Dalia and I opened every morning with at Turtle Rock Preschool. As I was singing the song, I realized that it was May 21st, and I hadn't sung that song since my last day at the preschool, May 2nd, last year. I got all choked up realizing that it had been so long, and was amazed that I still remembered every word and finger play. Flashbacks of my little ones in Room 3 flooded back to me, and I could see their little faces scrunching up as they sang "creepy, crawly, creepy, crawly, right up to your chin, chin, chin," and the pudgy little fingers that crept up their bodies to their mouths and then dashed away to hide behind their backs as they sang "open up your little mouth but do not let them in, in, in!"
I loved revisiting my favorite songs from my Room 3 days. Preschool songs are so much fun! The expressions you have to make, the way they fumble their hands trying to imitate your finger plays, little mouths learning new words.

Yesterday made me remember how completely happy I would be to teach preschool again. And how easy it would be to get a position again! The preschool I was at yesterday has a position open right now and is looking for a teacher. It's so tempting to want to just give up on this discouraging search for an elementary teaching position, and jump back into preschool. But I need to know that everything that I've done for the last five years is worth something. I need to know that I didn't just sacrifice a year of my life (a year I could have been helping Jesse support us financially!) to chase after something that won't happen.

I could be happy being a preschool teacher. But doing that right now means that I'd be giving away the opportunity to clear my CA teaching credential. I don't know how much you know about CA teaching credentials and the whole process you have to go through, but to "clear" mine (make it valid) I have to teach full time for 2 years within the next 5. If I don't, everything I've worked for counts for nothing to the state. That's a scary prospect in these times! And discouraging, since teachers without tenure are the first to go.

It's a struggle! The main thing is, Jesse and I are looking forward to beginning our family (or extending, I guess--since we ARE a family!) in 3 or 4 years. I need to be able to work until then so that we can afford for me to be able to stay home with our little ones like I dearly want to. But working full time at a preschool for 3 years pays better (especially with what the preschool director offered me yesterday because of my high education!) than subbing intermittently and waiting for a job to open up.

The way things are right now is that Jesse and I have agreed that if I'm not able to find a full time position for Fall '10, that I will then seek a job as a preschool teacher. If I worked at a private school later in life, it wouldn't matter anyway if I didn't have a clear credential. A credential at all is better than none! Still, you can see what we are praying so hard for!

That's something I'm really thankful for: Jesse includes that in nearly every prayer when we are together. It's wonderful to have someone who not only shares your burdens, but truly cares about them, too. Speaking of which, what a friend we have in Jesus!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another One

I subbed for 8th grade yesterday, and this is one of the student conversations that nearly put me on the floor:

(Two students working on homework together)
Bryan: So you combine the percentages and find the average--
Aliyah: Wait! Speak Aliyah language for me. I don't get this.
Bryan(pointing to the worksheet): Ok...add this number, and this number, and this number, and divide it by three, and you get eighty-five and a half percent.
Aliyah: Shoot. I still get 85.5. What am I doing wroooooooooooooong???

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Funny Sub Story

I completely forgot to share this story with you last week!
Last Wednesday, I subbed for Hope (our church school). While I was out watching K-4 during recess, Mandy, one of the 4th graders came up to me.
"Hi Mrs. Brubaker," she said. She played with a water bottle in her hands as she peered up at me. "Do you know Jesse?
Thinking she had forgotten, I decided to tease her. I bit my lip and asked "no, who's that?"
"Oh..." Mandy's gaze dropped to the woodchips she was kicking with her shoe. "Well, he's the DCE here, and his last name is Brubaker too! I thought he might be your son." And with that, she trotted off across the playground.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A New Leaf

I've been putting off blogging for a while because I have so many pictures I want to share, and many of them are on Jesse's computer! But I can blab all I want and post pictures later :)

In the last two weeks, I've reawakened my green thumb and enjoyed potting lots of new flowers as well as tomatoes, cucumbers, and strawberries. There's no area for me to put a flower bed or vegetable garden, so pots on the patio will have to do for now! But they are very pretty, and I'm finding true joy in tending to them.

It's hard to believe that summer is nearly here. I feel like I needed more time to thaw out from the chilly winter here before getting hit with 90* weather! Of course, if you know me, you know I'm never ready for 90* weather...even 80* in fact... :)

I've dusted off my harp and gotten back to playing. Since we moved here, I really haven't spent the time I should have with the one thing I used to devote the majority of my time to! I guess I get frustrated by the difference in my playing post-college as opposed to what I used to be able to do in high school. In high school, I was good. I played for about 2 hours every day--not just because I was supposed to, but because I loved it. My name was out there, and I would get called for weddings, dinner parties, funerals, fun gigs...I miss those days. Then I hit college, a full-time job, and a boyfriend, and all I had time for was the music that I played with the orchestra. Since college, things just haven't been the same! But this week, I put aside the feelings of discouragement and stopped getting frustrated at what is instead of what was. (If that makes sense.) I pulled out my hymns and Celtic pieces (always my favorites!) and surprised myself with how easily things came back. Maybe it's all about attitude, and knowing that I just have to work really hard again to get rid of all this rust. I want to get back out there and start playing gigs again. I talked with my beloved harp teacher on Sunday (called my "second mom" on Mother's Day)and she inspired my to contact all of the churches in the area to offer my services for weddings and funerals and other events. I've got to do that!

But before I do that, I need to work even harder to find a teaching position. I realized that I haven't been doing as much as I should because I'm scared. Not scared that I'll get a job, scared that I won't. Rejection is hard, almost as bad as failure. I just need to put ALL my trust in God that He will help me find one. Substituting is a great opportunity to see how different classes are run, but it's also a discouraging job. Not being able to create relationships with the new children I see each day, not understanding their backgrounds or knowing their learning styles is frustrating. Sometimes at the end of the day, I feel like a horrible teacher because of the way the day went. I don't want that! I want to have a class that I can know and love, inspire and understand. I miss having that relationship with my preschoolers and their families. I was so happy there! It's been a year now since I left Turtle Rock Preschool.

I just can't wait till the time I walk into a classroom of the precious faces that make every day brighter. It will be that way again.

Circle time with my little ones

Laughing with Kylie on the playground

Art project in Room 3

Playing the harp for the preschool for Saint Patrick's Day last year :)