4 years ago, I posted my last blog post with my excitement for being offered a position at my current junior high school. That seemed so long ago, but…2012-2013 / 2013-2014 / 2014-2015 / 2015-2016 … and now we’re approaching year 5…2016-2017. WOW! Time REALLY does fly! The students that I talked about in my blog…the 8th graders have graduated high school, and the 7th graders are getting ready to be seniors! Damn! Time flies.
My first set of 7th graders are going to be juniors this year. They’re growing up very quickly. I run into them from time to time (if they remember me) and it’s nice having conversations with them about life. Some of them are pretty wise. Some of them have a long ways to go! Lol!
But 2014-2015 was a difficult year, especially the ending of the year. I was pretty sick and had a lot of back pain. Then, over the summer of 2015, I discovered I have cancer. So I couldn’t start the 2015-2016 school year because of treatment. During that time, I was depressed — I really love my job and what I do. I’ve received cards, the school made a banner that said, “Get Well Soon, Ms. Barnes” and students signed it. I received a comforter with a bunch of students and coworkers sending love and messages. It was overwhelming, but it was great to know that people really cared about me.
So, as my health started to improve, I was cleared to return to work in February. I was a bit anxious because (1) I changed classrooms (2) It’s the middle of the year, a month into second semester and (3) The students I worked with had a sub for the longest time and adjusting behaviors were going to be a challenge. But, I took all challenges with ease and this 2015-2016 class was truly special to me. I had a lot of siblings of former students, so they knew of me already…one kid on my first day was so excited to the point of saying “OH MY GOD! YOU DO EXIST!” We all struggled together, but, we made it. They were supportive and they cheered me on throughout the day. At times, I was tired, and they were on point with what they needed to do (for the most part lol). But, unfortunately, they were sad to only have me for half of the year. I was a little sad, too. But, I was glad to have met them.
But, this year is going to be special for me, too. It’s year 5 of my teaching career (year 9 in the classroom). I get to return to work on time, thank God. I get to meet with my coworkers (old and new) and I am looking forward to meeting and working with my students. Of course, there will be challenges on the health side, such as radiation, surgery, etc. But, my coworkers are supportive enough to support me through it all. I am blessed and thankful for this journey.
I am glad that I have made this career choice. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Hopefully I have inspired a lot of students. And I will continue to inspire more on my journey. Ms. Barnes, the tenured veteran. Yikes!