Well, friends, another school year has come and gone. Bean and Gracie have continued to grow, despite every direct order I have given them to knock that crap off. They have made new friends, made good grades, and made us very proud, as usual. We were lucky to have two teachers who cared for our kids in our absence during the day and continued to foster their love of learning. Both are voracious readers, smart as little whips, and, more important than anything else, have big, kind hearts. I could not be prouder to be their momma.
It was a big school year for me, too, as I left the comfort of my old school for the convenience of a new school in my own neighborhood. The transition was a lot harder than I expected. It was really difficult to lose my teacher family, much more difficult than I anticipated. I missed them for most of the year, and especially today as we ended another school year and I found myself looking around for them to hug and cheer with. But I made some really great new teacher friends who helped me acclimate to my new school as smoothly as I could.
Like most teachers, I’m looking forward to my summer, but this year it will be a very different season for our family in so many ways. We are at the point with ClassMax where it is almost time for me to leave my teaching position and take on running our company full time myself. That transition has not been easy for me. For one thing, there are so many variables to that situation – are our investors on board, is our company ready, is our FAMILY ready, and – the piece I have been struggling with the most – am I ready?
About a month ago, my school offered me a leadership position as a digital media specialist. It is a job I would LOVE. It involves all the things I love in my job – training teachers, digital instruction, and coaching teachers and students on how to use technology in their learning and teaching. It could not have been a better job offer for me, which is why I took the position the same day it was offered. My principal called in me into his office and made the offer, which completely knocked me off my feet and like a responsible adult, I told him I needed 24 hours at least to think it over. But before I was even back to my classroom, I knew I was going to take the job. And before the day was over, I had officially taken the job.
And then GOD. Dang it. That Guy has the worst timing sometimes…
That exact afternoon we had a phone call with a potential investor and it became very clear to us that me going full-time with ClassMax needed to be a priority. We weren’t 100% sure yet, but we knew that it was enough of a possibility that I couldn’t in good conscious take the media specialist position knowing that I had one foot out the door. So, for a few days, our team talked it all through and I made the decision to turn down that position. I told my principal a few days later and then I came home and cried my eyes out.
I kept my teaching position for next year, but I am blessed with a very understanding principal who wants me to be successful and so he knows everything that is going on and he has assured me that I have a teaching position, whenever I want it. That is such a huge relief and gift for our family. But it has left me in this limbo stage – will I be teaching next year? Did I just finish my last year in the classroom, at least for a little while? Which is hard because if I have, then my heart is broken a little bit. I adore teaching. I love my students. Everything about teaching feeds my heart and soul. And not being able to really… well… mourn that loss is hard.
But at the same time, I have this incredible feeling of excitement as I look into my potential new future as a self-employed, start-up owner. The freedom that will come with that position is so much of a blessing that I can’t even fully understand what it will do for our family. I will be able to volunteer in their classrooms, make it to ALL of their school events (instead of having kind friends who send me pictures when I can’t be there), and pick them up from school. And, of course, there is the business itself, which will thrive when I am able to give a full-time commitment to growing our customer base and services we provide. Right now, I am doing professional development for teachers and schools, taking phone calls with administrators and groups of teachers for training, and scouting out new schools and districts… all after 4:00pm. I am just giddy with the idea of being able to commit ALL day, EVERY day to those things. I can’t even imagine what that will do for ClassMax.
But if you know anything about me, you know that change and uncertainty is not my forte. I am prone to anxiety and that can often lead to bouts of depression where I completely withdraw from everything when things get overwhelming. In fact, I have noticed some of that happening in my life in the past month already. In these times of great change, it is easy to forget my compass. It is easy to feel like I am floating away in uncertainty. And, as always, it has been Chris who has pinned my feet to firm ground and who has reminded me where my compass is and has always been.
“This is faith, right?” he said to me a few weeks ago. “It’s praying and working hard and moving forward and knowing that God’s hand is in it all, every step of the way.”
So tonight, as one chapter closes on another school year, I am looking ahead, one day, one foot, one prayer and one breath at a time. Do I have answers to longterm plans? No, I don’t. But He does. And so I will wake up every morning and say, “Here I am. Where will you take me next?” and God will hold my hand and whisper in my ear, “To places you can’t even imagine, my friend…”