Yesterday I went to an orientation at the local school district for my new job as a substitute paraprofessional. And today I was accepted into Central Washington University. Big changes, right?! I've been thinking about taking both of these paths for a while now, in particular going back to school for additional education.
I have loved being a stay at home mom and felt extremely blessed that Troy has worked hard through the years to make that possible for our family. There is truly no more important job to me than being a mother. Over the past few years, I prayed that we would have been able to have even more children for me to mother. But that wasn't to be and I accepted that a while ago and just love the three we have even more.
Once all the kids were in school, I had time to pursue hobbies and interests I had set aside for a long time. Well, when I wasn't working on finishing our house that is, darn painting! In the back of my mind has also been the thought that I'd like to put some of my extra time into working with kids in a teaching capacity. Over the last few years and right now, I've been volunteering a little each week in the classroom and sometimes reading room also at the girls' school and at PTO functions. And at church, I've had the opportunity to work with teenagers and young children for years and I really enjoy working with kids of all ages.
And since I did get a B.A. in Art Education K-12 way back in 1999, it was inevitable that the teaching bug would bite me again at some point. I was pregnant with our first child while student teaching in college and after graduation I stayed home with our new baby boy. So I never did have the chance to have my own classroom and teach full time. Even after many years have passed since I graduated I still think about how I'd like to be a teacher one day.
This year I decided to do something about that desire. At first I wanted to just be a substitute teacher occasionally. But I discovered that for now I can only apply to be a parapro in my school district because not only is a Bachelors degree required, but your WA teaching certificate has to be current.
Some states (like Utah where I went to college) don't even require a bachelor's degree of any type for substitute teachers. Check this list out for various state requirements. I don't think it's bad in any way that subs in WA need to have a degree and teaching certificate because then our schools have subs that are much more prepared to work in the classroom. It just makes it a little hard to get a sub job though!
So no substitute teaching for me yet. I was told that after I've worked as a parapro for a while, then I can get on the emergency sub list probably. Parapro work is important and needed to as well of course so I'm looking forward to gaining work experience that way and getting to help students. I'm just hoping I also will have the opportunity soon to also substitute teach.
And not only for subbing, but if I ever do want to teach full time I need to get a Washington teaching certificate. My initial teaching certificate was for Utah since I graduated from BYU in Provo, Utah. When we moved from Utah to Washington in 2002 it just wasn't a priority at the time to keep it current in Utah, though I should have transferred it to Washington at least before it expired.
So that's what I'm working on now - getting my Utah license renewed and after that I can then transfer it to Washington. One way to get renewal points for my certification is to take classes which is why I applied to CWU. That, and I'd like to gain additional education and work on an Elementary endorsement as well so if I decide to teach one day, I'll have more options than just Art (since art teaching jobs aren't available very often around here).
I'm excited and also nervous to be back at a university! Excited because I love to learn and I really enjoyed my time at BYU years ago. But I'm nervous because I'm now 20 years older than the incoming freshman and it's been a long time since I had to submit work than anyone graded. Eeek!
And did I mention I start classes next Wednesday?! Yes, in one week! I had started my application process with fall semester in mind. But since there was just enough time to apply and register before spring term began, I made a million phone calls and transcript request to try and get into spring and with the help of a great admissions employee at CWU, I made it into spring and registered yesterday. I'm excited and also nervous to be back in college. Wish me luck!