Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thursday Photo Challenge: Thankful

This week's theme is "Thankful", in honor of Thanksgiving, of course.

During my absence the past few months (more about that later), the importance of family and making memories has been stressed! While trying to find pictures of everyone, I realized that I had already posted them (from our reunion).  Given that, the next thing I am thankful for is my camera.  With it, I am able to document my adventures and those images stir emotions, feelings, and memories.  Because I only have one camera, I cannot take a photograph of it, so here are a few favorite autumn images I've captured recently.

I love autumn.  

If you would like to see submitted photographs from all over the world, click here.

Taken in Wheaton, Illinois at Seven Gables Park.  This tree
stayed yellow long after the rest had dropped
their leaves.  

This is the mum in my perennial garden - I love the deep red color!

Also taken in Wheaton, Illinois at the school where I teach.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Life Lesson . . . Change is Good!

Six years ago, I made a career change from teaching to social work.  Although this may sound similar, the work was completely different.  Instead of focusing on direct service, I was behind the scenes.  My work involved writing reports, contract compliance, quality reviews, customer service (for direct service staff), and grant/RFP writing.  While the work was challenging, the pay/benefits were good, and the egocentric side of me enjoyed the title, I wasn't happy.

After much soul searching and a few panic attacks concerning the reduced wages, I traded my suits/heels for a pair of khakis and an art apron.  The first few weeks were physically tough.  Although I have never been "in shape", I had become even less active sitting at desk for years.  What was more challenging; however, was overcoming the anxiety about being the "new kid" again.  Not to mention that at 40 years old, I am the oldest teacher in the building.        

Now, nearly three month into the new job, I am happy again.  My days are filled with music, stories, time on the playground, hugs and lots and lots of paint!  My co-teacher and I work well together and the children have settled into a routine.  Did I mention that I am so happy to be in the classroom again?!?!

Life lesson -- change, although scary and frightening can also be invigorating, encouraging and in my experience is most likely the key to youthfulness, inspiration, and creativity.

My old office.
My new office (I also have access to a library with a
Smartboard, gym, playground, and open play area).  
I love teaching!