Friday, February 20, 2009

Vividity of Life

My First School Picture as a Teacher

There are times when life seems to be more vivid. You remember every smell, site, song, noise, that encompass that specific moment in life. Sometimes this vivid moment is happy and other times it's painful or sad. I will never forget Eve 6's song "Here's to the Night" which I heard on the night before Dirk left for college. The lyrics that still stick out to me, "Here's to the nights we felt alive, Here's to the tears you knew you'd cry, Here's to goodbye, Tomorrow is going to come too soon." I remember driving with Dirk in his step-dad's red Amigo, hearing that song blaring while the wind blew in my hair and a few warm tears fell from my face. So many fears, so many thoughts running through my head.

Fast forward to five years later, I was wearing a black long-sleeved shirt and jeans. I was freezing cold, looking at the moon and all of a sudden Coldplay's song "One I Love" starts to softly play in the background. Dirk tells me to turn around, I read the red roses on the hill that say "I Love U" and I turned around to see Dirk on bended knee, proposing to me. It's interesting how our minds hold onto such vivid memories while forgetting others.

Yesterday was a day of vivid memories. I don't know that I'll ever forget it. It's not that it was devastating but it was a rough day.

On Wednesday my principal handed me a note and said, "This is the number to a lady at the district, she needs you to call to make an appointment to meet with [the district]. Unfortunately it's regarding the pink slips. I'm really sorry." I knew it was coming but the reality of it hit me. I picked up my kids from recess, walked back to my classroom and thought, "I don't want to lose all of this." Teaching is a funny thing. It's not a job it's a lifestyle. It takes up so much of my time and so much of my thought life and yet I love every minute of it (well almost every minute of it). I look at the faces of my kids and realize that I am, hopefully, making a difference in their lives. I look at all of my hard work that I've gone through to ensure that my students are meeting the state standards the best way they can. I think of my strong relationships with my colleagues and the respect I have for my principal. Man, this sucks!

Thursday comes, and I have a meeting at 10:15 with "the district." I prepare plans for the roving sub whose coming to take over my class while I go get my pink slip (isn't it ironic...don't you think?). My heart is heavy all morning as we move through our reading lesson. I prepare my students for my departure and ensure that they are on "auto-pilot" for the next 30 - 45 minutes. The sub walks in the door, she says, "Good Luck." Good luck? I know she meant well but what kind of good luck could I have? I pick up my purse to leave and my students all start saying, "Bye Mrs. Dallas, bye Mrs. Dallas." "Come back soon!"......Shoot!....This sucks!.....

I make my way to the district office. As I turn to go on to Jurupa, a close friend, colleague and mentor of mine is coming back from the district and we pass each other. We both hold our hands up in a cordial manner....Man!....The tears start flowing, which is unusual for me because I'm not known as an emotional person. I break the law and text Dirk to tell him to pray for me because I'm losing it. I have 60 seconds to pull myself together. I barely do so and walk out of my car, shaking. I look in front of me and there's another really close friend and colleague leaving the district. She has a smile on her face and I try to fake one but I don't think it was very convincing.

I walk into the office and everyone has that sympathetic, "I'm sorry look." I sit down and wait to be called. One of the heads of the district, also one of Dirk's family's close friends comes out to greet me. She hugs me tight and walks me into the office. In the office is the friend of Dirk's family, my principal and the superintendent. ...Okay, here we go.... The superintendent was very loving and personable. He offered a lot of words of hope and they all tried their best to reassure me that they are going to do everything they can to bring back all 160 teachers that are receiving pink slips. I will be the 138th person hired back to the district, my friends 124 and 137... Wow, we have a ways to go.... Everyone was very loving and friendly and encouraging.

I return to Camino feeling better than I did before I left but also sad because I'm realizing that these next few months could be my last few here. Even if I do have my job back I won't necessarily be at Camino. I've given my heart and soul to Camino for the past 5 years, first as an instructional aide, then as a long-term sub and now as a teacher. Camino is my passion, my work -family. My kids were all happy to see that I returned so quickly which made me feel a little better. We went about our day almost as usual except that I have a little black cloud over my head.

Now it's time to wait. Wait and pray, hoping that I'll get my job back. People keep saying things like, "Well, if you go get some math units then you can teach Jr. High" or "Maybe you could work here or there in the meantime." The problem is that I'm not really sad about losing my J-O-B. I know that God will provide and I'm not worried about the money. I LOVE what I do. As weird of a kid as I was, I always thought that the coolest thing would be to get locked up in school for the weekend and be able to play with all of the things the teacher got to "play" with. The computers, the white board, glitter, glue, paper, etc. I LOVED the idea of being a teacher. Ironically enough, here I am 16 years later teaching in the same district I once wished I could be locked up in for the weekend. I know that God has a plan and I look forward to WHATEVER it is. It's just that when I'm with my kiddos and they're "getting it" and I'm making a difference and doing what I love I get saddend to see it go. I just pray that God will be glorified in this situation.


  1. great post sis. i know the Lord is going to use you and I can't wait to see how. He works in very mysterious ways!!

    And because you want God to be glorified, He will be!!!

    I love you sis!!

  2. Gosh, I really think that everyone is really going through a really rough time in their lives right now. I know we are really going through the ringer. I think it is really reminding me to not just lift up my own requests to the the Lord, but to fervently pray for others as well. I will deff, do that for you too!

  3. I'm sorry to hear you had to go and sign our pink slip. You said it for sure, that God has control of the situation. The only comfort I guess that can be offered is what James MacDonald said this morning, "You are not your job." Leash, you are amazing at what you do and you've dedicated most of your adult life to this "cause" (if you will). You know without a doubt that this is what the Lord wants you to do. Just remember the passion you have for it and the strive you've had to gasp this opportunity!

    I'm sure it's hard to face the unknown too, but as Brad said, "because you want God to be glorified. He will be!!"

    Love you lots.

  4. You are one of the women I have come to greatly respect. I know God has great plans for a person with such a wonderful heart to serve - and seeing you surrender to His will for your life and not fight and fret also shows the strength and faith that you have in our creator. I will be praying for you guys and you obviously know that we're here for you both in whatever capacity is necessary!

  5. Alyssa: You are SO right about being reminded to pray fervently for others. Just as we think we are in a tough situation we realize that our situation is nothing compared to that of others. Thank you for your prayers. Love ya!

    Robyn: Thank you so much for your prayers. You are so sweet.

    Alex and Nat: Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. I totally appreciate your support. Love you guys!

    May God be glorified!!!

  6. Hey Alicia,
    Your post was really good...and emotional. Not in a bad way, you just describe stuff really well so it gives a picture of what you were feeling in that situation.
    A teacher with so much heart, like you, is a rare thing and I think that people are going to see that and really want to keep you. In the meantime, I hope you are having a blast with your kids, who are so blessed to have you!

  7. I clicked on your picture and got this great post from the past! It made me tear up. I know exactly what you went through and you are right..God led you to where you are now! Its so neat to go back and read what you went through! loved it!

  8. Michele, what perfect timing for that to come up for you! I come to this post often when I'm worrying about a situation or missing teaching. I know that God had every step planned for me. Although I miss teaching, I'm so happy to be right where I'm supposed to be. I pray that God will bring you right where he wants you as well.