Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Cardinal Newman Retrospective

Although it all feels like a dream now, it was five years ago that I was preparing to become the third grade teacher at Cardinal Newman, a Catholic (not allowed to say that in the title, though! Argh.), classical school, or, as I dubbed it when Therese was still a baby, Great Books for Little Kids.  Seriously, this Pre K- 8th grade school was the curriculum I would teach if I were to homeschool. I wasn't wild about the idea of 3rd graders.  I had applied for middle school and thought then (and do now) that I was much better suited to that age.  For whatever reason, though, I ended up in 3rd grade teaching everything from Saxon Math 4 to Greek History.

What I Know Now...

  • I trained to teach at the college level; attempting third grade was a big mistake.
  • I treated all the kids as if they had the same capabilities as my daughter.  I couldn't reconcile the fact that, as a first grader, she was capable of higher level thinking and reading than the majority of my third grade class.  Another big mistake.
  • As per the previous bullet, I expected too much from those kids.  Some of their parents were upset with me.  More should have been.
  • I thought that God was calling me to be a part of this school about which I was so passionate, but my one semester at Cardinal Newman taught me that you can't be a SAHM and work - even if you work where your kids go to school. My vocation is as a SAHM.  I won't ever forget that again.

What I Took Away from Cardinal Newman...
  • An absolute certainty that I was being called to homeschool.  I guess I needed it in flashing neon.  I got it.
  • A few wonderful friendships.  These alone are worth my months at Cardinal Newman.
Why is Cardinal Newman on my mind? Because I'm coming up on five years homeschooling and I've been reflecting on what has worked and what hasn't. That post is coming soon.

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