Crazy how last time I posted around here, I was just returning back to "normalcy" post- Cozumel. April was kinda sorta the month from hell, and in May I immediately jumped from school mode to summer mode by beginning my summer job at a local day care. I was a fill-in/substitute teacher, helping when teachers went on vacation; if no teachers were on vacation, I spent my days split between the Pre-K and toddler classes, and helping teachers when they needed an extra set of hands.
And now, here's August. Classes start two weeks from tomorrow. Friday is my last day at work. The summer both dragged on and sped by all at once. Time is interesting like that, isn't it?
Transitioning from being a full-time student to being a full-time 40 hour a week employee was difficult. I was totally not anticipating the drastic change, though I totally should have. It's a totally different way of life.
Besides that, I loved this summer. I enjoyed never being bored, unlike past summers. I laughed every day, both at funny things kids said or did, and at my co-workers' antics. The kids could make me smile AND drive me nuts within a 5 minute period. I've always LOVED kids, but if this summer has taught me anything, is that kids can sometimes be overwhelming. Okay, a LOT overwhelming. They are so all over the place-- and that's what makes them fun to be around (annnd definitely what makes me totally exhausted by 5pm every day). This job taught me a lot about how to manage a classroom, even though my future classroom will likely be filled with teenagers. ;)
This job was my first experience with a full-time job. It made me grow up a LOT. I was scared at first, realizing that I was in charge of these tiny humans. Especially if I was by myself with the kids; the first few weeks, I was so unsure of myself. I didn't know what I had permission to do (if anything) or if I said or did something in a class that a co-teacher disagreed with, or if I should just jump in and act like their full-time teacher. I felt clueless at times. Really, I felt like a kid myself- how could I be responsible for kids in a classroom?!?! How were they going to look to me as the adult to listen to, when I barely felt (feel) like an adult myself?!?!
After I got the hang of it so to speak, I loosened up and started feeling confident. Even when the kids were unruly, or when they wouldn't sit down or stop talking when they were supposed to, or when they started scream-singing Let it Go at the top of their lungs-- I tried to enjoy it and learn from it.
And so, here we are at the end of the summer and the cusp of a new school year. Senior year, to be exact. (though I won't earn that official title til January). The fact that I'm at this point in my life is surreal. I'm gonna miss this summer more than I realized back in May when I started this job. Friday is going to be bittersweet, leaving the munchkins and preparing for life back in the realm of college life. I'm mostly ready for it, because I miss my friends and am ready for my next chapter. I'm looking forward to starting classes (minus the papers and lesson plans that loom ahead) and being back on campus.
But closing the chapter on this summer will be different than in past summers. It's been a summer of growth, a summer of (mostly) solitude (minus a few friend excursions, I've spent most of my off-time at home, reading or online shopping. Oops.), and a summer of fun, sweet moments with a bunch of cute, (slightly) crazy kids (and some crazy adults too). I'm excited for what's to come, but am sad over what I'll be missing.
August brings so must change, every year. This year more so than in other years. Though I'm sad to leave the summer behind, I'm excited to embrace what the fall has in store.