Teaching in Hawaii: The First Quarter


I am, literally, walking into my second quarter of teaching here in Hawaii. Monday, today, is the start of a brand new quarter. I am excited, relieved and most of all, happy I have made it this far.

I have a lot I need to work on. Like, gracious me, there are a hundred and one meetings that I have to attend and I need to find a better way to keep track of it all. I plan on buying a new planner here in a few for the upcoming year, but that isn’t going to help me much at the moment.

This first quarter has had a lot of ups and downs.

I have learned I really do love teaching, there really is no other job I would rather do, in the world. I love my science team and department. I am learning to get along with my team as I have started to get to know some of them better, at this point.

Classroom management isn’t too bad. I have a few kids that are very challenging but overall, day to day, no big deal by any means. I am changing up my punishments a little. I don’t like taking all of their recess time for infractions so I have decided one warning is free, after that it is 5 minutes per warning for a same or similar infraction (mostly a concern during lab work).

I have learned to pick my battles. I do not have lab stool for my lab tables, so they have taken to sitting or laying on the tables during lab. I used to care and now I don’t. Is it really a big deal if they are laying down while working with no liquids or hazardous materials? Personally, I really don’t think so. Similar to my study hall group. I question and talk to them about their grades and why they are failing a class, but the reality is they are 8th graders and it is high time they start to advocate for themselves and be proactive about their education. I have no idea what they are missing or have for homework in other classes. So, past drilling them on why they are failing a class that is not mine, I can’t really do a whole lot. I let them chat, decompress. They talk to me about personal things and I mediate disagreements. It is still a positive use of time, for the most part.

It took me about half the quarter but I figured out a daily schedule that I like and seems to work well for my students. They now hate that they have bell work, which is a requirement of the school, it just took me a while to find something I found advantageous and that didn’t take up a ridiculous amount of time. Tomorrow they have an easy peasy bell work, three favorite things you did over break and then we will share and transition to talking about our field trip. I have to tell them their jobs, what day they are going and hopefully we will have time to do a stations activity. If not, we will just transition that over to other days this week.

Honestly, the hardest part has been learning our schedule. I see each class 4 times a week, we get our an hour early one day a week, and I do not see two periods, on a rotating basis, once a week. Thank goodness I have these schedules printed out and hanging on the board. I would never know what was happening.

I really do love what I am doing. I am sad that fall break is over, but, a small part of me is excited to get back to work. Only 16 school days until our next day off!

I will add, I love our days off because they are almost always days that my husband gets off too. So, we get some quality time that we rarely get during the work week.

I hope you all are doing well. I am going to try and get back into posting here, at least once a week. I know that is not a lot, but I don’t want to over-commit. I do a lot at work. Averaging about 50-60 hours a week. There is a huge district grant program where we have to implement a project, science fair, a field trip and then the state testing. Just, so much.


The Job Search

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So, apparently, I am just going to share all the pictures we have taken with ya’ll. Share the beauty and the Aloha spirit. That is a real life sea turtle we saw when we did one of the many island tours. That way we know where to take our families for some tourist stuff, but don’t have to drop the money. The tour was a hundred bucks a person. Because we live here they cut it in half for us, which is really the only reason we did it. But, that isn’t what this blog post is about! Get back to it lady!

I have been looking for a job for about two weeks now. So, not very long by any means. I am looking for a job that is full time, relatively set schedule, and with most weekends off. The pay I’m looking for really depends on the type of job, and I will explain that in a minute.

I have applied for all kinds of jobs at this point. Most of them are different types of office jobs. That is what I am, ideally, looking for. For a while, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, but I have nailed that down at this point as well. I won’t be able to do what I want to do for some time.

What it boils down to is, I saw a job for a trainer. Read the description and was like, “Yeah, I want to do this!” I applied for it. I’m very certain I won’t even get an interview for a variety of reasons. I do have the educational background for the job. I just don’t have a lot of experience in training/instruction/teaching. I have a year and a half of professional experience with it and roughly three years of entry level experience. I’m okay with that, given I graduated in May of 2015.

Last night, I showed Mr. Wanderlust the job posting and just happened to decide to look at other jobs that this company had available. They had a low level, entry level position and I applied for it right then. It would give me the background in a sector I am highly interested in (finance) and would allow me to work my way up to be a trainer with them or another company It would also allow me to get relevant and updated references.

I really, really would like to interview for this position. It likely doesn’t pay a whole lot (around $11 an hour).It is full time, so there is that. It is also very conveniently located…literally two blocks from our condo…walking distance. So, the pay would be fantastic when you don’t have a commuting cost.

I really am interested in this job! I’m going to give it until it has been a week since I have applied. At that point, if I haven’t heard back, I’m probably going to pop on by the branch (nicely dressed) and inquire about my application. Inquiring about my application has been how I have received every job I have applied for. I don’t fully know why, but that is how it has always happened.

Wish me luck, keep me in your prayers, whatever it may be…send me some good mojo ya’ll.

On a side note, I’m still tinkering with some side hustles. I will talk about those next month. I’m working on updating my spreadsheets for all the things.

The Best Jobs in America

Cat Update: Jolly did have a hard time waking up on Monday from his sedation. Which is why I didn’t post. I was really stressed out and afraid we were going to lose our cat over a blood test. He woke up, but was struggling to maintain his body temp. They let us bring him home. We kept him under blankets and snuggled with him all night. Tuesday, he was back to his old self. It was adorable though, our white cat, Sherbet, would lay on top of Jolly to try and keep him warm. Jolly hated it, and would (looking like a drunk person), get up and weeble wooble over to another area and collapse on the floor.

So, to today’s topic. The Best Jobs In America according to The Glassdoor’s annual list. I’m a teacher by degree and profession. As is Mr. Wanderlust. He is currently in the military following his hearts calling. Now, I of course hoped some type of educator would be on the list, but it appears that they did the jobs based on income…so, yeah, not likely at all.

There were a few jobs I found interesting; Tax Manager and Physician Assistant. I’m weird and like doing taxes. I have always liked the medical field but I cannot hack it. When I did my Anatomy and Physiology cadaver lab I couldn’t handle the fact that I would, at some point, have to tell someone a loved one passed away. Thankfully that was my freshman year so it wasn’t a hard transition into discovering other opportunities for myself.

Do you work in any of the fields on the list? Would you be able to transition to one, if you wanted to? I could potentially transition to a tax manager, over time, and have considered it. But the hours and workload that go with it aren’t necessarily something I am interested in.

Cross Country Travels: The Saga Part 4; The Final Legs

After returning to Ohio, I had no information on when I would be moving to Texas. Over the next week Mr. Wanderlust kept me in the loop on how everything was progressing and I was offered two subbing positions at two districts and had been in contact with a third to set up an interview.

A week, to the day, Mr. Wanderlust gives me a call and says we have a home! I couldn’t progress with the hiring process back in Ohio, and wanted to get everything going, so I packed up some things to get us through until our stuff followed us down. I took one of my best friends with me to go through our home goods to load my car. My in-laws had let us use their garage as a storage unit for the summer. They live in a small town; just to preface. While we were there, a cop parked, blocking the driveway, ran my plates and kept watching us. We just kept doing what we were doing. He eventually waved and drove off. It was funny and awkward. After all, we would be the most polite robbers ever! We were putting stuff back where it belongs.

I then drove back down to Texas. Went to my orientations and had my fingerprints done for the state of Texas. About a week after arriving I had to drive back to Ohio to supervise the packing of our home goods. They arrived last week. I started working this week as well.

Honestly, this leg of the trip was more along the lines of, “Oh, my goodness gracious. Can I be done with this driving thing?!” I drove around 6,000 miles in a month. I was done. So done. I have no desire to do long drives for a while! Sweet goodness.