all good things must come to an end

On Friday afternoon, I said goodbye to my first classroom and my first group of students. As I stood in the classroom at the end of the day, with all of my belongings, it almost brought me to tears. I did it, I thought to myself. I followed my dreams and (hopefully) touched the hearts of 15 little kindergarten kids. A bittersweet feeling.

I think back to my first day in September. I couldn’t sleep. I was anxious. I didn’t know what to expect. Basically, I was being thrown to the wolves. I had to make my own path, set my own classroom rules, be the teacher I had always dreamed of. I was just trying to figure things out day by day (with the help of my teaching partners of course). And, although there were endless work nights, and days where I felt tired and run down, it was all worth it.

Not only did I grow as a teacher, but I grew as a person too.Β Patience. Compassion. Flexibility. Parenting. Sense of humour. Open-minded. Firm. Just to name a few.Β 

For 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. 5 months of the school year. These children were learning with me. Growing and maturing. Interacting with other kids. Developing their self-regulation skills. Yes, there many times when I felt frustrated. Overwhelmed really. After three months of school, I felt like some kids still weren’t quite getting it and that worried me. As a result, I was really hard on myself. What was I doing wrong? What could I be doing better? Am I really cut out for this?Β 

I doubted myself at times. After all, they do say we are our toughest critic. But, this process taught me not to be so hard on myself. Sometimes I had to take a step back and appreciate these little humans for who they were. Take each day as it comes. Enjoy the little moments. Learn from your mistakes. And remind yourself, that it’s okay to cry on your drive home from work (as long as it’s not every day).

During my last couple weeks at my school, the other teachers were asking me if I was feeling happy or sad about leaving. I always kept my head held high and answered, A little of both. Truthfully, I was looking forward to taking a couple days off for myself to get caught up on some work at home. Some much needed “me” time.

But when Monday came this week, I woke up feeling like something was missing. I missed interacting with my fellow staff. I missed being greeted by my students when the bell rang. I missed the excitement of when my students learned something new. I missed the little letters my kids would leave for me. I was feeling emotional. I know this isn’t the end for me, but this is the last “first” teaching experience I’ll get.

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So as I sit here, I can’t help but think, I hope my students remember me. I hope they know how special they are and how much of an impact they had on my life. And, if I could tell them one last thing, it would be from my favourite children’s book:

“You’re off to great places. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!”

– Dr. Seuss

Sometimes, good things come to an end, so better things can begin. On to the next teaching adventure…

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teachers have ‘first day of school’ pictures too.

 

separated by ocean

For those of you who don’t know, my boyfriend of a year and a half just moved out to Ireland to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. Being separated by 3212 miles is not the most ideal situation for the two of us. However, I’m so unbelievably proud of all his hard work to get to where he is today and I stand by him 100%.

With that being said, it doesn’t mean this hasn’t been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Leading up to his last days in Canada, I was handling it all very well. Being supportive and positive. But then we had a going away party for him, and it was all downhill from there. I was an emotional mess. How was I going to survive without my best friend?! There would be moments before he left, where we would be hanging out together – I would look at him and just start crying. I kept thinking about all of his little quirks and the memories we shared. There was no doubt in my mind that our relationship wouldn’t work, but I was faced with the reality that it was going to be tough at times. Luckily for me, I have an extremely compassionate guy who reassured me things would be okay.

For those of you out there who are going through a similar long distance love, just remind yourself that distance means nothing when the person at the other end means so much. I understand it may be hard at times, but there are so many different things you can do to keep the relationship alive. Justin and I really try our best to keep our relationship thriving. Here are some ideas that we’ve done so far:

1. Text/Video Chat. We talk everyday, even if it’s not for long. Fortunately, we have grown up in a time where technology is so easily accessible. It’s nice to feel connected to one another while you’re apart. So whenever time permits, we update each other with what’s going on in our lives.

2. Writing. Seeing as I’m also a bit old fashioned, I think it’s important to write each other every now and then. Whether it’s a postcard or a letter. Everyone loves getting mail and it makes it that much more romantic when it’s from the person you love and miss.

3. Date Nights. I know, this sounds silly. How are you supposed to have a date night when your significant other is on a totally different continent? Well, it’s possible! What we do is, we decide on a movie to watch together. Get a few snacks before hand, then video chat each other and start the movie at the exact same time. It feels like you’re side by side, laughing or crying together. I highly recommend this.

4. Trust and Open Communication. Two of the most important qualities to ANY relationship really. It’s very different being so far away from one another. That’s why trust and open communication is so key. Be honest with each other. If something is upsetting you, talk about it and come to a solution together. But, trust in the love that you share and know that it is okay to be apart and have “me” time. As long as you’re being respectful to your partner.

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I’m confident that it will get easier. And, we’ll be a stronger couple because of it all. I’m only about a month into this, so I’m sure there are other strategies to learn in the months and years to come. We really do appreciate all the love and support that we’ve received from family and friends. It’s nice to have a good support system standing behind you!

pick me, choose me

Wouldn’t it be awesome if just for once you actually won a huge contest with an awesome prize? (The answer is yes).

I never used to enter contests or giveaways before, because quite frankly, I never think I’ll win. So why put myself out there only to be disappointed? Well, for some reason, lately, I’ve been really big into entering every contest that comes my way. From Blue Jays tickets to Jeopardy: Explore the World sweepstakes. You name it, I’m entered! Every contest I see, I find a glimmer of hope that I WILL BE the winner this time.

As of today, I haven’t been very successful. BUT…I just entered a new contest on Twitter to win playoff tickets for me and my boyfriend to go to the Toronto Raptors game 7 this Sunday. CHUMFM decided they were going to post the contest on their social media site to get fans excited about the possibility of attending one of the most exciting NBA events thus far. So naturally, I think it’s a great idea to send out a few tweets and retweets, in hopes that they’ll actually pick me to be the winner. 7am rolls around and I’m in there like a dirty shirt; favouriting tweets, creating my own tweets, adding pictures…

Well, it’s now almost 9am here in Canada and since posting mine, millions more people have attempted to win this contest. Basically what this means is that my tweets are lost somewhere in cyber space, and I just look like a total idiot trying to get a giveaway that is nearly impossible to win.

The moral of this story ladies and gentlemen, never give up on your (contest/giveaway) dreams. If you see a contest you want to win… look like an idiot, tweet like a mad person, sign up for every damn newsletter imaginable. Whatever it takes. ‘Cause maybe one of these days they’ll pick or choose you.

Or in this case, maybe they’ll choose me to win these Raptors Tickets, eh eh (I hope Drake sees this and has some pull).