Sunday, May 23, 2010

Change Is In The Air

Because I'm a teacher, I live my life in the cycle of a school year. I absolutely love the rhythm of it. There is a clear beginning, a clear ending, and some nice little breaks in between. There are many opportunities for a fresh start, and each school year is like starting all over again! While new starts are a good feeling, they often mean change (dreaded change) and I'm currently in the middle of change. Right now I'm at the end of a school year cycle. May always has a weird feeling to me - schedules are different, kids are restless (read: irritating), yet I want to hang on every moment because next year I will have a whole new group of kids, and I will miss the ones I have now. It's kind of exhausting to think about starting all over again. Also, many of my best teacher friends at school are leaving next year. I am going to miss them so very much.

To add to the change, there are some definite changes going on in my career and personal life! In anticipation of starting a family in the relatively, possibly, not-so-distant, yet not-so-immediate future (was that vague enough for you??), I have decided to scale down my work just a bit and begin transitioning into new roles. Instead of teaching a full load, I will only teach two classes. Instead of serving on my school admin team, I will now be the school librarian and possibly the literacy specialist. For the meantime, I will also keep my job as district English content specialist. I know, this doesn't sound scaled down, but believe me, it is!! I'm very excited about becoming the librarian. I mean, who gets to recommend books to kids all day? Also it will be the perfect flexible job once we do decide to add a baby to our family. But all this change is a little scary... I have always taught full time, so it was really, really weird to see the new schedule with my name on only two classes. I'm having to give up 7th grade English to other people. However, I know it is a necessary change.

And now for the biggest change of all... I have decided to go to grad school. I know: this is insane. I thought so myself for a very long time. However, about a year ago, God began speaking to me quietly with the idea of going back to grad school. I NEVER thought I would want or need to get my masters, but now I think God is very clearly leading me in this way. I'm frustrated that I did not get my masters earlier, but I trust that God's timing is perfect, and he has put it on my heart now, so I believe this is the right time. I spent all year studying for the GRE, applying to schools, and trying to figure out what is best. In God's infinite faithfulness, everything has fallen into place, and I have been accepted into what I think is the absolute most perfect masters program for me. This summer, I will begin attending school here:

Columbia University! I'm going to be getting a Masters in the Teaching of English at Teachers College (the education grad school at Columbia). Teachers College has played a huge part in my development as a teacher. I have attended three teaching institutes there that took my teaching to the next level. I always dreamed of getting a masters at Columbia, but never thought it would actually happen. Don't worry... I'm not moving to NYC permanently! I'm going to be getting my masters through a program for practicing teachers. The classes are three weeks in the summer in NYC for three summers. Then I will take one online class each semester back in Houston. It's actually a great deal... I get to live in NYC for 3 weeks each summer, but I don't have to attend any face-to-face classes during the busy school year.

I am elated that I found a program that meets my needs so perfectly. And to have a masters from Columbia will be not only a personal dream come true, but hopefully an asset in the future as I seek to have more flexibility in my job. I hope that it will open up opportunities to work in education for a long time without being a full time teacher. So... want to come visit me in NYC? I will be there for the entire month of July! I am very excited but also very nervous. Do I still have what it takes to be a student? Can I be away from Brent & Blazer for that long? Can we even pay for this? Am I crazy? Definitely not sure, but I trust God's provision and can not deny that things have fallen into place in a supernatural way. Also, Brent plans to come visit, so I won't have to be without him... which will help lots :-)

As much as I hate change, the thing I love most about change is that it always drives me to the Lord. When I would fret for hours about grad school decisions, I would involuntarily begin to say a prayer for wisdom. When I saw the new schedule with me teaching only two periods, I immediately prayed, "Lord, remind me how you are unchanging." God uses these moments of change and uncertainty to force us to rely on him. This is where I always want to be, so I'm learning to savor these moments of change rather than dread them.

So here's to the next year and whatever other changes may come our way!



Shayla said...

Congrats, Katie! This sounds like such a wonderful opportunity for you. God's timing is always perfect.

Josh and Jamie said...

Congrats Katie! So excited for your future and what it holds. You're going to be a stellar student, as you were back in the day. I wish I could come visit...maybe the next summer. :)

Liz said...

WOW how awesome!!!!!! I'm so excited for all the new things you have coming. And you are going to have SO much fun being in NYC for a month. I can't even imagine how great that will be. You will definitely have to be on top of the blog and keep us posted when you're up there. Love you! :)

princessdiana214 said...

Wow!!! That's so exciting! Congrats on such a wonderful opportunity at Columbia University! Life takes you so many different places :)

Marisa Frizzell said...

That is awesome, Katie!! I'm so excited for you! As I read your blog, I kept nodding my head going, "I have totally felt that way, I know what she means!" You will do amazing and God totally has you where He wants you and in the season He has planned for you!
PS- We might be in NYC in July- will have to get together if we are!!

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