What an eventful first week back at school! No one could get into the building because the floors were being re-tiled. This made the challenge of getting my room ready even more challenging, but ready or not, here they come on Monday!
I just have enough time to hit the highlights of the week in the hopes of remembering details to embellish my experiences at a later date.
Monday was a great day! Just waking up and knowing that I didn't have to drive for 25 minute just to get to the school was a huge relief. Even the smell of West Valley, every school has a distinctive smell, ya know, was a comfort to me. It just felt like home.
Tom, Jackie, Ali, Livvy, Ashtyn, Addie, and Sam helped move all my bookcases, file cabinets, boxes of books, etc. into my classroom in 95 degree heat! Hot, hard work that only true friends and family who love me would do for me.
Tuesday afternoon I had a Dream Team meeting and although everyone across Knox Co Schools was SLAMMED with work to do, we had a great turn-out and got many things accomplished.
A neighbor had a tragedy in her family and Mom, Lori, and I made dinner for her that Mom delivered for us.
Wednesday's great news was that I was allowed to make an announcement for Reach Them to Teach Them to all the middle and high school Reading and Language Arts teachers, Russell Biven was our kick-off speaker, and then I had a second meeting with the folks from Food City!
What a special connection we had! They enjoyed hearing my story and felt that they would be able to help build our dream. Chris Harper with Youth Transitions may also benefit from our meeting. I definitely feel like Food City is a strong contender for our title sponsorship position. One of the biggest takeaways was the Vice President of the Knoxville area asked me to speak for 30-45 minutes in Abingdon, VA to all of their store managers about the power of influence they have in the lives of young people. There will be 300+ people there! They also shared the name of a powerful young speaker that we could contact about sharing her story with Reach Them.
Touching on the highlights only is tough here, but I'll control myself...
Thursday was an all day work day. I left school at 6:30. Friday was a BIG DAY for Addie. She had her first trial run-thru as a middle schooler! She survived...THRIVED, actually. She had a blast! We also made a quick run to A.L. Lotts with Sam so he could meet his new 4th grade teacher, Mr. Pickwell. It's Mr. Pickwell's first year and he's going to be great! The traffic and huge throng of parents stood in sharp contrast to last year's open school at SMG. What a difference!
I find myself thinking of my SMG kids and fellow teachers and when I do, I pray for them. I do not want to ever forget them or my experiences there. Yes, where I am now is radically different, but I left a piece of my heart in my Locker Room and in the hallways of SMGMTA.