At the end of last year I had a feeling that I really wanted to do something this year, rather than being home full time. I have been at home full time since Jalen was born. I love being a stay at home Mum, but after twelve and a half years, and caring for Noah full time for ten of those, I just really felt like I wanted, and needed to do something else - mostly for myself.
I loved teaching before Jay was born, but definitely didn't feel like I wanted to jump back into teaching just yet. After Noah passed away I just felt really lost as I was so busy caring for him 24/7. To go from watching the clock all day and night, to not having a schedule at all was really hard. It was nice to have a 'break' from the exhausting routine as he was harder and harder to care for as the years went on, but I would take all of it back to have him here again.
I talked to Aaron about it and said that maybe doing some relief Teacher Assistant work or relief teaching would be a good way to get back into work, and asked him what he thought. His reply was typical Aaron. He said 'about time you pulled your finger out!' :) He was totally joking of course, and was more than happy for me to continue staying at home full time for however long I wanted, even without Noah here.
I have always loved working with kids with special needs, even before Noah was born, so thought that maybe working as a Teacher Assistant with kids with special needs would be something that I would really enjoy.
I mentioned it to one of the teachers at Noah's old special school, and after submitting my application and crossing my fingers, it worked out that I was offered a position as a Teacher Assistant in the Kindergarten class at Newstead Heights School this year. I was so happy as the hours are great (only three mornings a week - ten hours a week in total) and I get to work with some great people.
I started work last week and have really been enjoying it. I know I'll love it even more in a couple of months when I'm not so busy and stressed with getting things sorted out at home with everything going on.
There are seven kids in the class, all with special needs. At first I thought it would be really easy as there are seven kids, and four adults including the teacher and three teacher assistants. When all seven are there (or even when they aren't!) it is anything but easy. It's very busy, but I love it and the kids are great.
We have two children who have cerebral palsy in the class and are in wheelchairs, and although it makes me think of Noah a lot as I'm working at his school, it doesn't make me sad being there. I just feel really happy to be there and to work with the kids. This photo of Noah makes me smile as I used to love it when he was this tiny as I could still pick him up easily and give him a big cuddle.
I'm not sure if I'll ever want to teach again, but for now I'm just loving being able to walk in, work with the kids and walk out, without having to worry about any of the other things that come along with being a teacher including planning and reporting etc.
The first day at work last week went well, but it was hard as I kept thinking that I couldn't wait to get home to talk to Aaron about how cute the kids were, but then as soon as I thought it, I remembered that I couldn't go home and tell him. I'm sure that he's probably watching down with Noah though and already knows how cute the kids are, and how much I'm already enjoying it.