Saturday, September 15, 2012

Change of Pace [August]

Our new life in New Mexico has certainly presented us with a change of pace. After two years and some months of working hard to find work, we now have an abundance of it. 

At the beginning of August we squeezed an afternoon of climbing in with friends and then the school year began. Since that time we have been going non-stop - between teaching, planning, attending grad school and studying it is sometimes difficult to find time to breathe (and write blogs). However, we want to ensure you that we are alive and well (in the grand scheme of things)!

Chris, King of the Mountain
We began our teaching careers with a two-day orientation. The first day was a field trip to nearby Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the Navajo Nation, and then down to Zuni, New Mexico, a local pueblo of (you guessed it) the Zuni people. It was wonderful to explore the museums of these towns and to learn a little more about the people that we now live amongst. We learned about the history of the people (very briefly), saw some beautiful and interesting artifacts, and met some amazing people. The second day of our orientation wasn't nearly as exciting - we sat in informational sessions, had our school email set up, got fingerprinted, and had pictures taken for our ID cards. (But hey, as a result we now get paychecks and have health insurance!)

Window Rock, AZ (Can you guess how it got its name?)
The two-day district orientation was followed by two days at our schools. It was a rush to try and get our classrooms in order during breaks from training sessions at the school. I had the additional benefit of having a meet and greet with some of my students in the midst of trying to get myself organized. We both ended up back at school over the weekend and did the best we could to be ready for our students first thing Monday morning.

For those that do not know, Chris is teaching 5th grade in a community just outside of Gallup and I am teaching kindergarten in town. It's amazing how similar students from these different age groups can be, but how different our expectations are as a result of their ages. As a result, life is challenging at times, as was expected, but we keep pushing through.

We are taking two graduate classes this semester and so when we aren't busy trying to figure out how to teach, we are busy remembering how to be students. Thankfully our classes are there to help us become better teachers and our classmates and professor are pretty awesome. It is great to have our thinking challenged and to be made to evaluate the decisions that we have made to become teachers.

Don't worry though, it's not all work. We try to carve out a little bit of time to play as well. We attempt to get together with friends on Friday evenings to decompress at the end of the week. Most of our friends here are also teachers, so we are able to support and problem solve with one another - and eat good food, play games, and spend time outdoors.

So long for now, there's more work to do. Don't worry though, we'll be back. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

1 comment:

Tarah and Chris said...

Oh, and sorry Aaron - no first day of school photos. We were running around like chickens with our heads cut off that day. Maybe next year!